For Applicants

How to Apply: 

The Georgetown Department of Biology houses a wide range of research interests that fall into two major categories: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior (EEB) and Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) with foci in Microbes & Infectious Disease and Neurodevelopment. The application process and the program can vary by research area. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the research programs of individual faculty, searching either by either name or by research area.  Please contact faculty members directly regarding mutual research interests and the possibility of doing graduate research in their labs. 

Ecology, Evolutionary and Behavioral Biology (EEB):

The research conducted within the EEB research groups encompass a wide range of study systems and methodological approaches. Because of this, EEB students typically do not rotate between multiple labs; prospective students usually commit to a lab and PI (Principle Investigator or Professor) before arriving to start their PhD. Prospective applicants should email the PI of the lab that they are interested in before they submit their application. Introduce yourself, describe your research interests, and where you think your interests align with those of the lab, and attach your CV or resume. You may be contacted by that PI and asked to have a phone call to talk about mutual research interests before you submit your application. If there are multiple labs that interest you, feel free to reach out to multiple PIs to determine what would be the best fit. In the research statement of your application, you should be able to state which lab you are applying to.

Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) in Microbes & Infectious Disease and Neurodevelopment:

The Department of Biology has developed two foci within the broad area of MCB: Microbes & Infectious Disease and Neurodevelopment. Students who are interested in conducting research in these areas typically perform rotations in one to three labs during their first year of the program; these rotations are in the labs of PIs who are actively recruiting graduate students. If there are multiple labs that interest you, feel free to reach out to multiple PIs to determine what would be the best fit. At the end of these rotations, students will come to a decision with the PI of the lab that they are interested in joining and commit to doing their graduate work in that lab. Prospective applicants should email the PI(s) of the lab(s) that they are interested in before they submit their application. As noted above, introduce yourself, describe your research interests, and where you think your interests align with those of the lab, and attach your CV or resume to the email. You may be contacted by that PI and asked to have a phone call to talk about mutual research interests before you submit your application. In the research statement of your application, you should be able to state in what area of research and in which labs you are interested.

Applications are submitted through the Georgetown Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website, but are reviewed by the Department of Biology. The fit both of research interests and working style between the prospective student and the PI is an important component of admissions, and we encourage applicants to consider this. Please read through our Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) page before you start your application.

Timeline for applying to the Biology PhD

Our application deadline is December 1st to be considered for admission in the following fall semester. Applications are accepted throughout the year for spring and summer admission, but such applications are contingent on available funding.

  • Late summer/fall: Read about the research programs and interests of faculty who are recruiting students for the following year. Contact PIs whose work is of interest to you; you may be asked to meet to evaluate mutual fit.
  • December 1: Submit your application via the online portal.
  • February: Attend interview weekend, or virtually meet with the potential PI and current and recent graduate students of the lab.
  • February/March: Receive admissions or waitlist offer.
  • April: Accept or decline offer.

The following information must be submitted before the Biology Graduate Committee will review your application:

Application Check List

  •  Complete form
  •  Unofficial college transcript(s) will be considered initially for departmental review. For those recommended to the Graduate School for admission, official college transcript(s) will be required.  
  •  A one-page essay stating your research interests and career goals. Be sure to identify one or more faculty with whom you might like to work, and explain how your research interests are compatible with the research activities of the faculty that you identify.
  • The Department of Biology and Georgetown University is a diverse, global community. We encourage you to submit the optional statement (about 500 words) on your own scientific, educational, and personal journey that has shaped your goals and how you hope to contribute to the vibrant diversity of our community.
  •  Three letters of recommendation.
  • If English is not your first language, a TOEFL score is also required.

The Biology Department is seeking graduate students who will contribute diverse perspectives to our vibrant research community. We particularly encourage candidates from groups that are underrepresented in STEM to apply. You can read more about the department’s work to build a more inclusive and equitable department on our Inclusive Community page.

Georgetown University admits qualified students of any age, sex, race, religion, color, national or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities it generally accords or makes available to students. It does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, handicap, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other University-administered programs. Georgetown University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Answers to Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) can be found here.