gloved hands in the lab

Applications for admission to the Plant Biology and Microbiology PhD programs are reviewed on a holistic basis by an admissions committee composed of faculty, graduate students, and staff. We value the strengths that applicants bring to our graduate programs from their diverse academic and research backgrounds, employment experiences, and life journeys. Candidates are evaluated using rubrics meant to minimize bias, and committee members receive training in recognizing implicit bias.

What We Look For

The admissions committees evaluate applications based on several criteria:

  • Academic potential, taking into consideration any barriers that may have impacted the applicant’s prior achievements
  • Depth of research experience and other work experience
  • Motivation for graduate work, intellectual curiosity, persistence, and leadership experiences
  • Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as outreach activities, multicultural experiences, and lived experiences

The committee bases admissions recommendations on the statement of purpose and personal history statement written by the candidate, research experiences, prior coursework and grades, and letters of recommendation.

For Plant Biology:  A basic background in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology, roughly equivalent to the Department's undergraduate program in Genetics and Plant Biology.

For Microbiology:  A basic background in chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology, roughly equivalent to the Department's undergraduate program in Microbial Biology.

The minimum graduate admissions requirements are:

  • A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution
  • A satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale
  • Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.

Graduate Diversity Admissions Fair  2023

Join us on October 30th, 2023 to learn more about becoming a successful applicant and get all your questions answered by our admissions staff!  REGISTER HERE TO JOIN.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the graduate admissions application or graduate admissions process, please contact the Graduate Advisor at

Application Requirements
How to Apply
After You Apply