How to Apply
How to Apply to the KU-EEB Graduate Program
It is critical that ALL application materials arrive in the department by the deadline.
|Application Term||Application Available||Application Deadline|
|Fall 2021||August 1, 2020||December 1, 2020|
A complete application includes all of the items listed below under "Required Application Materials." Applications will be reviewed by the department admissions committee to determine admissibility to the graduate program only when they are complete, and when they are sponsored by an EEB faculty member. For this reason, applicants are strongly encouraged to correspond with one or more faculty members during the application process and before the application deadline. Establishing a relationship with one or more faculty members who are willing to consider accepting an applicant into their lab group is a critical part of the admissions process. Students who would prefer to do rotations with two or three faculty members in their first year should indicate a general field of interest and a short list of prospective faculty mentors on their application (see Department Requirements on the Admission Requirements page).
Required Application Materials
- Application Form & Fee: The application form is submitted online. You can find information about the process and links to the form here. Application fees must be submitted when completing the form ($65 for domestic; $85 for international).
- Resume/Curriculum Vita: This document can be uploaded when submitting the application form.
- Statement: The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) seeks diverse applicants with a variety of personal experiences that are motivated by a strong interest in ecological and evolutionary research. We ask you to reflect on your experience and preparation by providing us with two statements: a) a statement of purpose in pursuing graduate education, and b) a personal statement to help us understand your background and personality. These two statements allow the committee to learn more about you as both a scientist and an individual. Please keep the two combined statements to a total length of about 3 pages, single spaced, 12-point font.
- Statement of purpose in pursuing graduate education: Please provide a description of your overall scientific interests, the questions that motivate and inspire you, and explain how EEB is a good fit for developing your career. Please name your prospective thesis mentor(s) at KU (if identified) or your prospective rotation mentors (if you intend to do rotations prior to choosing a thesis mentor) and explain why you seek to be mentored by them. If you have previous research experience, provide an explanation of what that research entailed, including the questions you were focused on answering, how you went about addressing them, and the broader significance of the work. A description of how your previous research influenced you as a scientist is more helpful than a list of previous experiences. We are aware that there is variation in how much opportunity prospective students have to perform prior research. Therefore, it is important to explain what motivates you intellectually as a scientist.
- Personal statement: This statement is used by the admissions committee to learn more about you as a person and as a potential future colleague. Please describe how your personal background has influenced your decision to pursue a graduate degree. For example, you may discuss any educational, economic, cultural or social experiences that shape you as a candidate. The admissions committee recognizes that access to opportunity varies, so feel free to discuss any challenges you have experienced, which can include any hardships due to your life circumstances or scientific challenges you’ve overcome with regards to your previous research experience. Not everyone will have experienced challenges, so you do not need to discuss this if you do not feel it is relevant, but can instead focus on your life experiences that have shaped your interest in pursuing a graduate education. Overall, please indicate how you hope to contribute to EEB as a colleague and to broader society as a scientist.
- Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation play an important role in the admissions decision. They provide useful context and perspective about the applicant to the admissions committee, addressing topics like academic ability, work ethic, creativity, leadership, relevant experience, and capacity for doing independent research. Select three individuals well qualified to write letters of recommendation that most fully speak to your potential to succeed in graduate school. Ideally, at least two of these recommenders can directly address your abilities as a student and scholar as well as your potential as an independent researcher.
Applicants will provide the email addresses of the letter writers on their application for admission, and KU will contact the letter writers to request the recommendations. Letters of recommendation from prospective KU faculty mentors are not admissible unless the KU faculty member previously served as the applicant’s primary research mentor. Please click here to see a sample letter of recommendation.
- Transcripts: One set of academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must be uploaded with the application form. Uploaded transcripts should be scanned versions of official transcripts issued by the institutions attended. Please note that advising forms do not fulfill the transcript requirement. Transcripts in a language other than English must be accompanied by English translations. You may be admitted with the transcript/s you uploaded to the application; however, Graduate Admissions must receive your official, final transcript–sent directly from your institution in a sealed envelope or through an electronic delivery service–before you will be permitted to enroll for your second semester. The official, final transcript must show that a degree has been conferred.
- GRE Scores: Students who apply to our graduate program are no longer required to submit GRE scores. Applicants who have already taken the GRE are welcome to submit their scores and they will be considered if the scores reflect well on them. However, the GRE is not required and not submitting them will not reduce an applicant’s chance of being admitted to the EEB graduate program.
- Proof of English Proficiency (for non-native English speakers only): An official TOEFL or IELTS score report should be sent directly from the agency that administered the exam. KU English Proficiency requirements as well as alternate means of satisfying the requirement can be found here. (Institution code 6871; Dept. code 0207).
For additional information, please contact the department's graduate coordinator, Aagje Ashe at 785-864-2362 or