The graduate program of the Biology Department is composed of an energetic group of students at both the Masters and Ph.D. levels, working in diverse fields spanning molecules to landscapes. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members doing research in the area of interest to determine whether the lab is taking new students. Every year we review applications for both degrees; competitive applicants will be invited to visit the campus for an interview in the spring. Note that many Biology faculty also mentor students in other Wake Forest graduate programs, including programs based at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Each program has its own admissions process and distinct degree requirements. This FAQ refers to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs of the Biology Department only. Check the main Graduate School website for information on other Wake Forest graduate programs.
- I am I eligible to apply?
- How do I apply?
- What is the application deadline?
- What is your institution code for the GRE?
- What is your institution code for the TOEFL?
- Is there a minimum required test score for the GRE?
- What is the minimum required score on the TOEFL or IELTS?
- What financial support is available for Biology graduate students?
- Are there teaching and/or course requirements for Biology graduate students?
- If I have questions about the application process that are not answered here, where can I find out more?
You may apply to the Graduate School of Wake Forest University if you are an undergraduate senior or a graduate of an accredited US college/university or recognized foreign institution. Undergraduates must complete their degree requirements prior to entering the Graduate School. Applicants are expected to have superior academic records, which is interpreted as at least a B average or standing in the upper quarter of the class or both.
All applications must be submitted online through the Graduate School website. Before starting the online application, have the following available:
- Official or unofficial transcript from each postsecondary institution you attended. Official transcripts are required before beginning graduate study, but are not necessary during the review process.
- GRE General Test scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). The GRE Biology Subject test is encouraged, but not required.
- If English is not your native language, scores from TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS.
- Names and contact information of three references qualified to assess your qualifications for graduate study (typically former undergraduate or graduate instructors).
- Personal statement – the statement should be at least a page in length, and should include information on the particular area(s) of biology you are interested in; names of faculty members whom you have contacted or whose labs match your research interests; previous experience while working or volunteering in a related field; your strengths that you would bring to the program; and career plans as perceived at present. Special thought and consideration should be made to this statement. A CV may be uploaded as part of the personal statement.
What is the application deadline?
The priority application deadline for Fall admission is December 1. Applications will be accepted until January 15, but review begins in December. If circumstances warrant, an applicant may be admitted to begin graduate study in the Spring semester.
Though the WFU Graduate School does not have a minimum test score for the GRE, in order to be competitive a combined score on the Verbal and Quantitative sections should be approximately 1100 for tests taken prior to August 2011, and 300-302 (50th percentile) for tests taken after August 1, 2011.
The minimum total score on the TOEFL is 550 (paper-based test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79-80 (internet-based). The minimum score on the IELTS is 6.5.
All of our students are admitted with a full tuition waiver, and stipend support through Teaching Assistantships – for Masters students, TA support is guaranteed for 2 years; for Ph.D. students, TA support is guaranteed for 5 years. Stipend levels are competitive; for particulars, inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All graduate students are required to teach at least two semesters; the standard TA load is two sections of the same lab per semester. Teaching assignments are based upon departmental need and the student’s area of expertise. Training is provided, so no prior teaching experience is necessary.
Masters students are required to fulfill 30 hours of coursework. Of that, 24 hours must be from classes (minimum of 12 hours from graduate-only, 700-level courses), and the remainder may be thesis research hours.
Ph.D. students have no minimum required number of course hours. Classes taken are selected in consultation with the advisory committee, and are focused on acquisition of knowledge to support research and career goals.