Applying to the Biology Graduate Program

Information on Applications and Admissions

Applicants are accepted only for full-time work towards the Ph.D. degree. Part-time admissions and terminal Master's applications are not considered. The application system for Fall 2020 will open on October 1, 2019 and the schedule for the admissions process is as follows:

December 15, 2019 - deadline for submission of applications and accompanying requirements. 

January 2020 - Invitations to Visiting Day will be sent to selected candidates.

Mid- to Late-February 2020 - Selected candidates will come to Penn for personal interviews with faculty members and to learn more about the Biology Graduate Program and life at Penn.   

Early March 2020 - Offers of admissions will be sent to those applicants who have been selected for admissions.

April 15, 2020 - Decision deadline for admitted students.


We strongly encourage prospective students to contact faculty who they may be interested in working with, to determine whether the lab is accepting new students and to discuss ideas for possible research projects. 


The Biology Graduate Group cooperates with the Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) program in the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine but is administratively and financially distinct from BGS. If applying to both programs, an application must be submitted to each program. Applicants may wish to review each program to see which program best serves their research interests before applying. 

Please note that the Biology Graduate Group and the Biomedical Graduate Studies Program are in separate schools within the University of Pennsylvania.  The Biology Graduate Group is in the School of Arts and Sciences while the Biomedical Graduate Studies Program is in the Perelman School of Medicine.


The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).