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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences

Graduate Program Application


Application and Admission to the Graduate Program

CLICK HERE to access the USC Application Portal
Select "Online Application & Update Request Form" 

You may apply to one of these Programs

  • Graduate Studies in Biological Sciences (M.S. or Ph.D.)
  • Accelerated Bachelor's/Graduate Study in Biological Sciences (M.S., for USC undergraduates only)


You may also apply for the Science Masters of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)

A  teacher’s certification program in English, mathematics, science or social studies for individuals with a bachelor's degree in appropriate content areas. This program is administered within the School of Education.



  • How to Apply: Access the Application Portal on the Graduate School website (CLICK HERE). You will be directed to establish an account and how to provide the necessary information.  Be sure to indicate the correct program to which you wish to apply (Biological Sciences, MS; Biological Sciences, PhD; Accelerated Bachelor's/Graduate Study in Biological Sciences, M.S.; Professional Sciences Masters, PSM; or Sciences MAT).
  • Dates / Deadlines: January 1, 2017 is the deadline for applications for admission to the Fall semester of 2017.  If you have questions please contact Pat Earley (  The Department of Biological Sciences makes special admissions for students starting in the Spring and Summer semesters as requested by individual faculty members.  Students interested in special admission must first contact prospective faculty mentors.
  • Application Details: The Graduate School Application Portal provides details on preparing the necessary information.
  • Admission Criteria: Applicants are required to provide transcirpts, GRE scores, a minimum of two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, etc.  Applicants should also be sure to fill out the supplemental information sheet availabe through the Application Portal. 
  • Improving your chances: The Department of Biological Sciences accepts students, in part, based upon their interests in relation to those of the faculty.  Thus applications should contact prospective faculty mentors with whom they hope to work to determine mutual interests and availability of positions within the laboratory of the prospective mentor.
  • Financial Support:  Graduate students are accepted into the Ph.D. or M.S. programs only if they have financial support.  The majority of students in the Biological Sciences are supported through teaching assistantships provided by the Department or research assistantships provided by their faculty mentor.  Students with independent financial support (NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, etc.) are also encouraged to apply.