The BISI Program Office is in room 2101 in the Bioscience Research Building.  

The BISI Program Office is in room 2101 in the Bioscience Research Building.


Applying to the BISI Program

The BISI program is an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary training program leading to a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. BISI accepts only full-time doctoral graduate students. The complexity and depth of the biological sciences requires full-time study to successfully complete doctoral-level research. Students can earn a non-thesis or thesis master's degree en route to the Ph.D. degree.



The Graduate Program in Biological Sciences is committed to supporting students and ensuring a fear-free, inclusive space where all students can thrive. The department recognizes non-binary gender identifications, as well as the difference between assigned biological sex and gender expression. It encourages students, faculty, and staff to share and honor preferred pronouns and names.


Application Process:  Deadline December 1

The University of Maryland’s Graduate School accepts applications through its ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system. Before completing the application, applicants are asked to check the Admissions Requirements site for specific instructions.


As required by the Graduate School, all application materials are to be submitted electronically.  The application materials required by the University are listed below:

  • Graduate Application
  • Transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose
  • CV/Resume
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores (see here for guidelines)
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Non-refundable application fee ($75) for each program to which an applicant applies

GRE Reporting Codes for UMD-College Park: 5814
TOEFL Reporting Codes for UMD-College Park: 5814
No departmental code is required.


In addition to the general requirements of the application, BISI also asks for the following:

  • GRE Scores (general test only)*
  • Identification of a research area (Concentration Area: BEES, CBBG, MOCB, or PSYS; "Area of Research 1")
  • Identification of content area research interests ("Area of Interest 2 & 3")
  • Identification of faculty at UMD whose research is of interest to you and may be potential advisors.
  • Publications and Presentations (BISI does not require that you upload publications, simply listing a citation is adequate.)
  • A Supplementary Application statement that expands upon your research interests and experiences.

* If you’re taking the exam close to the application deadline date, please contact the BISI Office with your unofficial test scores ( ) so that they can be added to your application


Contact Information

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Hobsons online application’s help desk for any technical issues.  For questions related to the admissions process, prospective students may contact the Graduate School.



During review of your application, we strive to look at the entire application to assess how well your academic background, research experiences, and interests fit with the opportunities provided by our program.


The holistic admissions process for BISI is designed to determine whether the program is a good fit for your background, education, and research interests.  

In general, successful applicants have:

  • Earned a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale)
  • At least one year of research experience
  • Strong letters of recommendation from people that can speak to their academic and research strengths, including a letter or letters from previous research advisors
  • GRE scores in the 70th percentile or higher (verbal and quantitative) and analytical scores of at least 4.0
  • TOEFL scores of 100 or greater (international applicants only)

These characteristics describe many successful BISI applicants, however they are not fixed metrics.

Josh Kiner (ENTM Admin Coordinator), Julie Choi (MOCB, Cao Lab),  Pravrutha Raman (MOCB, Jose Lab) recruit new students at the AHEAD Conference.

Josh Kiner (ENTM Admin Coordinator), Julie Choi (MOCB, Cao Lab),  Pravrutha Raman (MOCB, Jose Lab) recruit new students at the AHEAD Conference.


The University of Maryland is dedicated to maintaining a vibrant international graduate student community. The office of International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) is a valuable resource of information and assistance for prospective and current international students.  International applicants are encouraged to explore the services they offer, and contact them with related questions.


The University of Maryland Graduate School offers admission to international students based on academic information; it is not a guarantee of attendance.  Admitted international students will then receive instructions about obtaining the appropriate visa to study at the University of Maryland which will require submission of additional documents.  Please see the Graduate Admissions Process for International applicants for more information. 


Financial Support:  Full support for all students accepted into the BISI program is available  through a combination of teaching/research assistantships and fellowships.  Support includes tuition remission for up to 10 credits, access to health benefits, and a competitive stipend.