Graduate student looking through a microscope in a lab


With one of the highest concentrations of life scientists in the world, the Department of Biological Sciences offers a wealth of academic opportunities, both on campus and throughout Washington, D.C. Students move easily between collaborating with agencies like the National Institutes of Health and learning from biologists at GW’s Institute for Biomedical Sciences.

The department is devoted to making each graduate student’s experience as interactive and customized as possible. Students join small research teams led by faculty in our sophisticated research facilities, taking part in projects that receive competitive research grants every year.

To apply, begin by reaching out to faculty whose research interests overlap with yours. It is important to make connections with faculty prior to applying. Once you have made these connections, fill out the application via the "Apply" button.

For information about application requirements and a description of the graduate program please see the department's entry in the CCAS Graduate Program Finder.




Related Degrees


Research Requirements


All applicants to the Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Program must establish research correspondence with a professor with whom they would like to work prior to submitting an application. Individuals should mention these contacted professors in their statement of purpose, along with an explanation of how their research interests align. Applicants who have not discussed their interests in the program with faculty are unlikely to be admitted.

Graduate students choose to focus on one of two research areas:

Student researching caterpillars in Dr. Lill's class



Graduate Students in Action

The web of a Laminacauda rubens spider from Robinson Crusoe Island.

A Living Laboratory in the South Pacific

Ruth Weintraub Professor of Biology Gustavo Hormiga’s lab includes several PhD students in biology. Hormiga takes regular expeditions to study spiders in the Juan Fernandez Islands off the coast of Chile. Since 2013, Hormiga has discovered 11 new spider species on the islands. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, BBC News and Science and received a $422,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.