VCU Bulletins

Integrative Life Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Admission requirements, procedures and financial aid

The purpose of the admission requirements for the Ph.D. program is to ensure selection of outstanding students whose motivation, ability and education prepare them for interdisciplinary graduate study in the life sciences. The following requirements and procedures incorporate those of the VCU Graduate School.

  1. Admission requirements
    1. Graduation from an accredited college or university or its equivalent, with a degree in a discipline, a spectrum of course work, and/or professional experience that provides an appropriate background for graduate-level study in the life sciences.
    2. An undergraduate or graduate record indicating superior performance. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for at least the last 60 credits of undergraduate work or for a completed graduate degree. In very unusual cases, this requirement may be waived by approval of the dean of the Graduate School.
    3. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination. Scores for appropriate advanced tests, in particular biology, chemistry or molecular biology/biochemistry, are recommended.
    4. For applicants whose native language is not English, satisfactory scores from a standardized test commonly used and deemed appropriate for evaluation of English language proficiency, such as the TOEFL.
    5. Letters of recommendation from three present or former instructors or other individuals qualified to evaluate the applicant’s ability to engage in graduate study in the life sciences.
    6. A written statement describing the applicant’s interests, motivation, education and goals for pursuing graduate study in the life sciences.
  2. Admission procedure
    1. The above material must be sent along with a completed application form and the required application fee to the Graduate School, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-3051. Application forms and further information can be found on the Graduate School’s Web page at
    2. Applicants may apply for admission to begin studies any semester of the year, but fall admission is recommended. Admission to graduate study in integrative life sciences requires majority approval and recommendation by the Graduate Program Committee and acceptance by the vice provost for Life Sciences and the dean of the Graduate School.
  3. Types of admission
    1. Degree-seeking student: An applicant who meets all requirements for admission to the program.
    2. Provisional student: An applicant who has not fully met the requirements of the program but shows exceptional promise. Applicants with outstanding potential but who lack courses or training in specific areas deemed necessary for success in the program may be required to complete specific course work. Provisionally accepted students must remove all conditions of the provisional admission within one year of enrollment. Failure to meet these conditions will result in the student being dismissed from the program. No prerequisite courses taken as a provisional student may be applied toward the graduate degree.
  4. Financial aid. In addition to need-based financial aid awarded through the Office of Financial Aid, students may be eligible to be considered for a variety of scholarships, fellowships, and teaching and research assistantships. Information regarding available financial support will accompany an offer of acceptance.

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Last update: 1/4/2008

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