Prerequisites for Admission
It is strongly recommended that applicants take the Advanced Biology section of the GRE.
- hold a bachelor's degree in the biological sciences or related major
- have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0)
- have an acceptable combined GRE score
Master of Science (MS) Program
Degree Requirements. For the MS the student must (i) complete 24 course credits and 6 research credits and submit a thesis or complete 30 course credits including 4 research tutorial credits without a thesis, including satisfactory completion of core courses, (ii) have knowledge of either an appropriate modern language or a computer language, and (iii) pass a comprehensive examination after completion of core courses. Master's students are required to take the core courses in their area of specialization and one additional core course outside of their concentration. All graduate students are required to successfully complete two semesters of Biological Colloquium. Before the end of the first academic year in the MS program, the student should declare whether he or she will be pursuing a Master’s degree with a thesis or a coursework only Master’s. Those students who select the thesis option should identify a mentor by the end of the first academic year. The mentor need not be the interim advisor, and the student can change to another area of interest.
Core Courses. All students (MS and PhD) must successfully complete core courses in their specialties. If in cell biology: Cell Biochemistry, Biology of Eukaryotes, and Molecular Biology. If in ecology: Population Biology, Community Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology, and Ecological Methods.
Early Admissions Option to the MS Program: Interested Fordham undergraduate students must apply by the time they register for the fall semester of their senior year but are encouraged to apply earlier. Applications do not need to include GRE scores unless the student is planning to apply for financial aid during the 5th year.
The minimum GPA to be eligible to apply is 3.5 or higher. This policy applies to FCRH, FCLC, and PCS. Candidates will begin their graduate studies in their senior year and will carry elective credit in the summer between their fourth and fifth years. Courses taken using the early admissions option must be approved by the Chair of the Department. Students opting for early admissions to the M.S. program must consult with the Chair and the Director of Graduate Programs before registering for Graduate courses.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program
There are two paths leading to the doctoral degree in the department: a direct PhD track and a track that requires the MS degree. At the initial registration, the student should indicate his or her area of interest. Based on this, the student will be assigned an interim faculty advisor by the Chair. Before the end of the first year in the PhD program, the student should select a mentor. The mentor need not be the interim advisor, and the student can change to another area of interest. The mentor will organize a committee consisting of three or more faculty members to advise and supervise the student in the selection of course work, preparation for language and comprehensive examinations, research, and writing a dissertation (thesis). Details of these procedures can be found in the departmental Graduate Student Handbook.
- Direct PhD Program. For admission to this program, the applicant is required to have a Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent with a GPA of at least 3.3 (out of 4.0). For the PhD, the student must complete a course of study and research consisting of a minimum of 30 course credits (including core courses) and a minimum of 30 research credits.
In addition to the above, the student in either track is required to have a reading knowledge of a foreign or computer language deemed appropriate by the departmental chair and to pass a comprehensive examination. The student must prepare a dissertation based on material acceptable for publication by a refereed journal in biology or a related field. The candidate must pass an oral examination on the subject of the research.
- PhD Program Requiring MS Degree. For admission to this program, the applicant must have a MS degree or equivalent from an accredited university. For the PhD, the student must complete a course of study and research consisting of (i) a minimum of 18 course credits (including core courses or equivalent) and (ii) a minimum of 12 research credits. All graduate students are required to successfully complete two semesters of Biological Colloquium.