Prospective Students FAQ
- What is the application deadline?
- Should I contact IB faculty?
- Does IB have a lab rotation system for first year students?
- I would like information about your program sent to me. Is that possible?
- The results from the GRE will not be reported to Berkeley until after the application deadline of December 1st. Is that too late?
- What is the average GPA of successful applicants?
- Although I was an undergraduate biology major, I have had little research experience. Is research experience a requirement for your program?
- I received my B.A. in Anthropology and took a limited amount of biology courses. Should I even consider applying?
- Does IB accept M.A. candidates?
- Does IB have an interview/visit program?
- When does IB make admissions decisions?
- What about support for students, especially international students?
1. What is the application deadline?
Please check the official deadline listed on the Graduation Division's website here. The recommendation letters are due on the same day.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. I would like information about your program sent to me. Is that possible?
We don’t send printed versions of our program information to prospective applicants. All of the information about the university and the department of Integrative Biology can be accessed online:
The Graduate Division website contains general campus policies, requirements and the graduate application (available by the first week of September).
The Berkeley Academic Guide has our admissions criteria and admissions information for our PhD program.
The Integrative Biology website has general information and information on our faculty research interests.
5. The results from my GRE will not be reported to Berkeley until after the application deadline. Is that too late?
GRE is not required for admission, it is optional. If you wish to submit GRE scores, as long as you have taken the GRE by the application deadline 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 the application deadline, 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 soon as the application deadline is over.
6. What is the average GPA and GRE scores of successful applicants?
Upper division or graduate GPA is more important than overall GPA, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 (courses after the first two years) is required by the Graduate Division. Beyond that, if applicants have concerns about their GPA during the application process, we recommend they discuss those concerns with the IB faculty that may be considering them for direct admission into their lab.
There is no minimum GRE score required for consideration, and applicants without GRE scores will be considered just as much as applicants that provide GRE scores. The GRE scores are taken as just one of many indicators of ability and skills needed for graduate school. Again, GRE is not required and is optional.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. When does IB make admissions decisions?
Most admissions decisions are made by late February/early March. All admission offers will be made by mid April.
12. What about support for students, especially international students?
Here is our earnings guarantee for all IB PhD admits. We are committed to financially supporting all our admitted students, which includes our international students. Much of this support will come in the form of teaching assistantships – Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) or research assistantships – Graduate Student Researcher (GSR).
International students are not able to apply for residency and therefore they or their faculty mentor must pay this non-resident tuition throughout their academic program. However, after an international student advances to candidacy, which in IB is typically after the second year, students are eligible for a 100% reduction of their non-resident tuition for up to three years (6 semesters).