Biological Sciences Columbia University
FACULTYRESEARCHPh.D. PROGRAMM.A. BIOTECHNOLOGYUNDERGRADUATECOURSES
Ph.D. PROGRAM
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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the deadline for Ph.D. applications?
What faculty are available for me to do my thesis research work with?
I submitted my application to the graduate school. I am wondering if the graduate school has forwarded it to your department. Also, can you tell me if my application is complete.
What is the correct address for sending my application materials?
Will my application still be considered if it is submitted after the deadline?
In order to save your time in evaluating my application, I want to know if my scores are enough to receive financial aid. If my scores are OK, I shall mail my application materials to you.
What is the stipend?
Is housing provided by the University?
How many total students do you admit each year?
How many international students do you accept?
When are admissions decisions made?
I plan to apply for graduate study, however, I will be taking the GRE subject test in December, the scores for which will not be reported until January. Will an application complete minus the GRE subject scores submitted by the application deadline still be considered for acceptance once the subject scores are received a week and a half later?
I want to be part of a particular professor's research lab. What do I have to do?
I cannot afford to pay my application fee ($105). Can you waive this fee for me?
I have submitted my application, and I would like to know whether or not I have been accepted.
What is Columbia's institution code for the GRE and TOEFL?
What is your department code for GRE/TOEFL score reporting?
Is the GRE Subject test required?
If I have a Master’s degree from an American university, do I have to submit scores for the TOEFL exam?
Is it necessary for me to take the TSE (Test of Spoken English)?
Can I send photocopies of my test scores since it is expensive to have the originals sent?
I would like to know if my degree is the equivalent of an American university BA or BS degree. Can you tell me if I can be admitted with my current degree?
Can I be accepted in the spring semester for the Ph.D. program?
I am interested in visiting your Department and meeting with faculty. Is this possible?
In the online application, which Degree should I select under the Biological Sciences Program of Study?


Q: What is the deadline for Ph.D. applications?

A: Beginning on December 1, the Department of Biological Sciences will evaluate applications to the Ph.D. program in the order in which they were submitted. All applications submitted prior to the final deadline (Monday, January 6, 2014) will be evaluated, but applicants submitting their applications earlier are more likely to be invited to the recruitment Open Houses. The first of these will take place in late January, the second in early March.

Q: What faculty are available for me to do my thesis research work with?

A: Here is the link for our list of Ph.D. Program Faculty and their individual research interests.

Q: I submitted my application to the graduate school. I am wondering if the graduate school has forwarded it to your department. Also, can you tell me if my application is complete.

A:

The Department usually does not begin its part of the admissions process until the application deadline. I do not have access to the applications until that time.You can check the status of your application materials by logging into the application system. 

If you are a domestic applicant and would like to check the status of your application you can go to: https://www.ais.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/ssv/adol

You can also email the
Admissions Office if you would like to inquire about your application. 


Q: What is the correct address for sending my application materials?

A: The materials go to:
Office of Admissions
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Columbia University
108 Low Library
535 W. 116th Street, MC 4303
NY, NY 10027

Q: Will my application still be considered if it is submitted after the deadline?

A: Yes, Your application will be considered if it's submitted after the deadline; however, keep in mind that there are a limited number of admissions openings, around 20, so the later you submit your application the less your chances are that there will be a opening available for you.

Q: In order to save your time in evaluating my application, I want to know if my scores are enough to receive financial aid. If my scores are OK, I shall mail my application materials to you.

A: I'm sorry, but I do not make decisions regarding the acceptance of students so I don't really know if your scores are adequate or not. However, for your information ALL students admitted to the Department are fully funded, that is they receive full tuition coverage, a stipend of $29,328 for academic year 2008-2009, medical insurance, as well as subsidized housing in the area. Regardless, my advice is to send in your application if you are interested in coming to Columbia.

Q: What is the stipend?

A: The 12-month stipend/salary for 2013-2014 is $32,445

Q: Is housing provided by the University?

A: Yes, if you are admitted to the Ph.D. program, you are guaranteed Columbia housing as long as you maintain timely progress towards the degree. You can expect to pay around $725-$1200 a month for an apartment share and around $1000-$1525 if you are able to get a studio apartment.

Q: How many total students do you admit each year?

A: This year we planning for an incoming class of about 16.

Q: How many international students do you accept?

A: There is no official limit, but to give you an idea, last year we admitted 5 internationals.

Q: When are admissions decisions made?

A: Decisions are made on a ongoing basis beginning the first week of March and going up until the first week of April.

Q: I plan to apply for graduate study, however, I will be taking the GRE subject test in December, the scores for which will not be reported until January. Will an application complete minus the GRE subject scores submitted by the application deadline still be considered for acceptance once the subject scores are received a week and a half later?

A: Your application will still be considered even though the subject test scores will not be in by the December 1 application deadline.

Q: I want to be part of a particular professor's research lab. What do I have to do?

A: Students are admitted to the Department, not to work for a particular research group. To work in any research group in our Department you first have to be admitted by our Admissions Committee and approved by the Graduate School. If you are interested in working with a particular professor, you should consider applying to the Department. If you are interested, please send us your address and we will send you an application.

Q: I cannot afford to pay my application fee ($105). Can you waive this fee for me?

A: All requests for fee waivers must be submitted through the online application. See the Application Fee Waivers (http://gsas.columbia.edu/content/fee-waivers) page on the GSAS website for specific instructions.

Q: I have submitted my application, and I would like to know whether or not I have been accepted.

A: If you are admitted to the program, you will receive an email letting you know that you are accepted followed by an official acceptance letter from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. If you are not accepted, you will receive a letter informing you that you were not admitted into the program.

Q: What is Columbia's institution code for the GRE and TOEFL?

A: Columbia University GSAS's Institution Code is 2162.

Q: What is your department code for GRE/TOEFL score reporting?

A: The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences does not use department codes, as all test scores are reported to the Office of Admissions. Scores are then forwarded to this department. If ETS requires designation of a department code, please use a default code of all nines (9) or all zeroes (0)

Q: Is the GRE Subject test required?

A: A GRE Subject test in one of the following fields is strongly recommended: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics

Q: If I have a Master’s degree from an American university, do I have to submit scores for the TOEFL exam?

A: Yes, you do. You must receive a Bachelor’s degree from an institution in the U.S. or an English-speaking country in order to be exempt from having to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

Q: Is it necessary for me to take the TSE (Test of Spoken English)?

A: No

Q: Can I send photocopies of my test scores since it is expensive to have the originals sent?

A: You may send the photocopies of your scores, however, I cannot guarantee whether or not your scores will be accepted. Official scores will of course be preferred.

Q: I would like to know if my degree is the equivalent of an American university BA or BS degree. Can you tell me if I can be admitted with my current degree?

A: The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will now accept applications from students earning 3 year bachelor's degrees in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Australia, South Africa and any country participating in the Bologna Process.

Q: Can I be accepted in the spring semester for the Ph.D. program?

A: I’m sorry. We only admit students in the fall semester.

Q: I am interested in visiting your Department and meeting with faculty. Is this possible?

A: Each year we have an Open House, usually the last week of February, for prospective students we are interested in admitting. We will contact those applicants directly once we have finished the application evaluation process.

Q: In the online application, which Degree should I select under the Biological Sciences Program of Study?

A: Please select "Autumn M.A./M.Phil/Ph.D." PhD students in this program must earn a Master's degree and a Master of Philosophy degree before earning the Ph.D.

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