Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students FAQ

  1. Should I contact IB faculty?
  2. Does IB have a lab rotation system for first year students?
  3. I would like information about your program sent to me.  Is that possible?
  4. The results from the GRE will not be reported to Berkeley until after the application deadline of December 1st.  Is that too late?
  5. What is the average GPA and GRE scores of successful applicants?
  6. Although I was an undergraduate biology major, I have had little research experience.  Is research experience a requirement for your program?
  7. I received my B.A. in Anthropology and took a limited amount of biology courses.  Should I even consider applying?
  8. Does IB accept M.A. candidates?
  9. Does IB have an interview/visit program?
  10. When does IB make admissions decisions?
  11. What about support for students, especially international students?

 

1. Should I contact IB faculty?

 

Yes, you should contact IB faculty, and list them on your application. Contacting faculty members whom you are interested in working with is the most important step. It's in your best interest to discuss your academic background and preparedness with as many prospective faculty sponsors as possible. Their input and recommendation have significant influence in the Admissions Committee review and consideration of your application into our program.

2. Does IB have a lab rotation system for first year students?

Our department does not have a lab rotation program.  Students are essentially admitted to an individual faculty's lab. It is therefore important for the students to find an appropriate match with a faculty advisor.

3. I would like information about your program sent to me.  Is that possible?

Unfortunately we don’t have any printed versions of our program information to send to prospective applicants.  All of the information about the university and the department of Integrative Biology can be accessed through several web sites.

The Graduate Division website contains general campus policies, requirements and the graduate application (available by the first week of September).

The Integrative Biology website has graduate admissions information as well as faculty research interests, and general information.

4. The results from my GRE will not be reported to Berkeley until after the application deadline of December 1st.  Is that too late?

No, as long as you have taken the GRE by December 1st your scores are considered on time, even if they are received after the application deadline. Be sure the rest of your application package is complete and submitted by the deadline, including all letters of recommendations and transcripts.

Please note that if you take your GRE test later than December 1st, we may not receive your scores in time to adequately review your application.  It takes about 10-15 days for the scores to arrive to us from ETS. Our faculty committee may begin reviewing the applications as early as mid-December and your application might be disadvantaged if it is missing scores or materials.

5.  What is the average GPA and GRE scores of successful applicants?

Upper division or graduate GPA is more important than overall GPA, and is typically 3.4 or higher for successful applicants.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 (courses after the first two years) is required by the Graduate Division.

We don’t compile statistics on average GRE scores, however, there is no minimum score required for consideration. Scores are taken as just one of many indicators of ability and skills needed for graduate school.

6. Although I was an undergraduate biology major, I have had little research experience.  Is research experience a requirement for your program?

Research experience is preferred. It helps to define interest and focus, and proven success with research is a positive indicator for success in the program.

7. I received my B.A. in Anthropology and took a limited amount of biology courses.  Should I even consider applying?

Students admitted to the Integrative Biology graduate program usually have a bachelor's degree in one of the life sciences or physical sciences. However, promising students with other academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. if they have a strong undergraduate grounding in biology. Discuss your academic background and preparedness with prospective faculty members.

8. Does IB accept M.A. candidates?

Integrative Biology admits students to the Ph.D. program only. Occasionally a student's academic goal changes and they may petition for a master's degree.

9. Does IB have an interview/visit program?

We have an interview weekend usually in late January. Selected candidates are invited. Please note that if you are not invited this does NOT mean you aren't being considered for admission.

10. When does IB make admissions decisions?

Most admissions decisions are made by late February/early March.

11. What about support for students, especially international students?

We are committed to financially supporting all our admitted students, which includes our international students.  Most of this support will come in the form of teaching assistantships – Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) or research assistantships – Graduate Student Researcher (GSR). 

Because of the high cost of the non-resident tuition (currently about $7560 per semester) for international students and domestic students who are not California residents, the department is only able to commit to paying one year of non-resident tuition. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can apply for residency after the first year, so this amount will drop off after the first year.

International students are not able to apply for residency and therefore must pay this non-resident tuition throughout their academic program.  However, after you advance to candidacy, which in IB is typically after the second year, you are eligible for a 100% reduction of your non-resident tuition for up to three years.