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Population Biology Graduate Group

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Kirsten Sellheim at Quail Ridge during the Feb 16, 2008 Recruitment Weekend field trip.

The 2014-2015 Admission and Fellowship application cycle is now OPEN.


The application deadline is January 2, 2014

 

The following information identifies the REQUIRED admissions application procedures for the Population Biology Graduate Group.

Admission Application | Fellowship Application | Application Fee |
Letters of Recommendation | GRE, TOEFL, IELTS | Transcripts| FAQ's|

 

(NEW) How the admission process works.

(NEW) Preparing for Grad School: An Overview

Admission applications are now completed exclusively online. NOTE: The graduate studies online application system will not release your application until you mark the application as complete and the application fee is paid. If you fail to complete your Pop Bio application by our deadline, the online system will lock you out.

Fellowship Application

To be eligible for fellowship and other forms of program support, you must complete both the Internal Fellowship Application for New Students and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).*

You will be prompted to complete the required internal fellowship application as you progress through the online admission application. (Note: Transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation submitted as part of your admission application will be used in support of your fellowship application.)

* International students are exempt from filing a FAFSA as international students are not eligible for federal financial aid. As you review the online fellowship application, please note that any citizenship requirements will be clearly notated. Back to the top.

Application Fee

The application fee for domestic applicants is $80.00. The fee for international applicants is $100.00. The fee must be paid before the application will be considered complete. The application fee must be paid for EACH graduate program you are applying to. You have the choice of paying by credit card or e-check.

Your credit card statement or canceled check is your receipt. Please note that the fee is non-refundable under any circumstances. As noted above, Embark (the online application system administrators) will not release your Pop Bio application for review until the application fee is paid. Back to the top.

Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters of recommendation from college instructors are required. Refer to the FAQ's below for additional instruction. As part of the new online admission application, letters of recommendation will now be submitted exclusively online. Paper copies will not be accepted. You will be prompted to provide contact information (name, e-mail address etc.) for your referees as part of the online admission application.

Based on the contact information you provide, the application system will generate an e-mail notification to your referees. The referees will receive specific instructions of how to submit their letters of recommendation.

Note: We will accept letters of recommendation from employers where your service is directly related to your academic pursuits. The remaining letters of reference should come from your major professor(s)/college instructors who can speak directly to your scholarship and graduate school potential. Back to the top.

GRE, TOEFL*, and IELTS*

GRE exams are administered through Education Testing Services (ETS). The ETS website will provide exam date and location information for both the online version of the exam along with instructions for those who may need to take the paper version of the exam.

Pop Bio requires the GRE general aptitude test and STRONGLY recommends the advanced subject test in biology. The majority of applicants have completed the biology subject exam at the time of application. Your application will not be reviewed until we receive your general GRE scores. Therefore, it is important to take the examination as soon as possible. (GRE scores are only valid for 5 years from the date of exam.) Please have your scores sent electronically for faster processing.

GRE Distribution Codes: Please use the Zoology code as there is no Population Biology department code.

UC Davis Institution Code: 4834
Zoology (Pop Bio) Department Code: 0220

TOEFL code: 52

* Applicants whose native language or language of instruction is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS.

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Transcripts

Pop Bio requires two sets of official transcripts from all prior colleges and universities you have attended. Please note that we can not review your application until your transcripts are received nor can we match your transcripts until you have activated an application.  Activating an application places your name in our database. We use this database to match your transcripts. If you are not in the database, your transcripts will be set aside until such time we can find your program match.

Avoid delay - request your transcripts as soon as possible to coordinate with the timing of your online application.

Send official transcripts directly to the graduate program you are applying to. Do not send transcripts to the Office of Graduate Studies. Doing so will cause delay. NOTE: In cases where you are applying to multiple UC Davis graduate programs, please send transcripts to your "first choice" program. Refer to that program's transcript requirements to learn if you must send one set or more. The "first-choice" program will handle your transcripts and make scanned versions available for view by all the programs you have specifically applied to. You may send your transcripts to:

The Chair of Graduate Admissions
Population Biology Graduate Group
2320 Storer Hall
One Shields Avenue
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616-8554

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Frequently Asked Questions


Q1: What is a graduate group?

Q2: Can I apply to more than one graduate program at UC Davis?

Q3: What happens to my application after the deadline?


Q4: What if my GRE scores, transcripts, or letters of recommendation don't get to your office by the application deadline?

Q5: What are the minimum GPA and GRE requirements for entrance into Pop Bio?

Q6: What if I didn't take the GRE subject exam in biology?

Q7: What is the required preparatory coursework for admission?

Q8: Must I complete all preparatory coursework prior to admission?

Q9: Do you have a recruitment weekend?

Q10: When will I know if I have been accepted to the program?

Q11: Why do I have to apply for fellowship?

Q12: What is the normal time to completion for the Pop Bio Ph.D. program?

Q13: What if I only want a Masters degree?



Q1: What is a graduate group?

At UC-Davis, some graduate degrees are offered by interdepartmental "graduate groups," which unite faculty with common research interests from across the campus. The Population Biology Graduate Group was formed in 1992 by faculty committed to the study and teaching of population biology as a broad discipline that blends ecology, evolution, population genetics, and systematics into a unified field. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.

Q2: Can I apply to more than one graduate program at UC Davis?

Yes. The new online admission application will allow you to identify the various programs you wish to apply to. Follow the instructions accordingly. Remember that you will be required to pay an application fee for each program selected. Example: If you are applying to our program and to the Genetics Graduate Group, you will be required to pay an application fee for each application for a total of $160 domestic or $200 if you are an international student. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.

Q3: What happens to my application after the deadline?

Complete applications only will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and relevant faculty. All components of the application must be complete for consideration. From the applicant pool, a short-list will be created.  In mid to late January, the students on the short-list will receive an invitation to visit UC Davis for a recruitment weekend with the program. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.

Q4: What if my GRE scores, transcripts, or letters of reference don't get to your office by the application deadline?

Applications will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee until all required materials are received. The key is to plan early. Remember that you can use your online account to track the status of required materials. It is to your advantage to check frequently to insure compliance with our January 2, 2014 deadline. The admission committee begins reviewing applications immediately following our deadline.

Learn how long it takes for your academic institutions to provide certified transcripts; don't wait until the last minute to order. Sadly, the program receives late transcripts long after the committee has made its deicisions on interviews.

ETS has specific dates for the GRE exam. Be sure to take the exam as soon as possible to insure timely distribution of your scores to the graduate programs you are applying to. Have ETS submit your scores electronically for faster processing.

Provide early notice to your three referees that you will be asking for letters of recommendation. This way, each referee will know to look for the online notice in their e-mail. Inform them of when the letters are due and how each institution may require a different method of letter submittal. Fall can be a busy time for your referees and advance notice is always appreciated.

We will send a courtesy e-mail to all applicants identifying materials received or missing shortly after our January 2, 2014 deadline. Please make every effort to submit the required materials on time. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.

Q5: What are the minimum GPA and GRE requirements for entrance into Pop Bio?

The Office of Graduate Studies has set a minimum requirement of a B grade average (3.00) in prior coursework. Pop Bio has not set any additional GPA entrance requirements.

Pop Bio does not have a set GRE requirement; however, the average scores range as follows: Verbal (660-730 93% - 98%), Quantitative (760-800 83%-92%), Writing (5.5 86%). This is only an average. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.

Q6: What if I didn't take the GRE biology subject specific exam?

The subject test in biology is strongly recommended. The Admissions Committee will review your application without the subject test score, but it is important to note that the majority of applicants have completed this exam at the time of application review. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.

Q7: What is the required preparatory coursework for admission?

The following courses are required for admission:

  • a one-year course in introductory biology for biology majors (e.g. BIS 1 or BIS 2 series or equivalent)
  • a one-year course in calculus (e.g. MAT 17 series or equivalent)
  • a course in statistics (e.g. STA 13 or STA 100 or equivalent)
  • an upper-division course in general ecology or population biology (e.g. EVE 101 or equivalent)
  • an upper-division course in genetics (e.g. EVE 102 or equivalent)
  • an upper-division course in evolution (e.g. EVE 100 or equivalent)

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Q8: Must I complete all preparatory coursework prior to admission?

Applicants who are offered admission with missing entrance requirements will be notified prior to matriculation.  Once enrolled in the program, students will be required to complete missing entrance requirements in the fist year of residence in the program. First year students will meet with their First-Year Guidance Committee to determine how the missing entrance requirements will be completed.  Entrance deficiencies in upper division courses must be taken for a letter grade; lower division courses may be taken for an S/U grade. (We may recommend taking courses on campus, a community college, being a teaching assistant in a specific course, or other arrangements as deemed appropriate.)

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Q9: Do you have a recruitment weekend?

Yes. The recruitment weekend is by invitation only. Invitations will be sent via e-mail in mid to late January. Recruitment weekend is scheduled for Friday, February 14 - 15, 2014.   Candidates will have one full day to interview with multiple faculty members and current graduate students (Friday).  During the visit, candidates will lodge with Pop Bio students, and on the second day (Saturday), candidates will visit one of the nearby nature reserves. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.

Q10: When will I know if I have been accepted or denied admission to the Pop Bio program?

Those students eliminated during the first round of reviews will be notified in the last week of February if not sooner. Students from the second round will be notified of either admission or denial approximately one week after the recruitment weekend. Please track your status using the Embark online application system. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.

Q11: Why do I have to apply for fellowship?

To be eligible for program support (grants and fellowship) and other UC Davis fellowships, you must complete both the internal fellowship application and a FAFSA (note separate deadlines).

  1. You will be prompted to complete the "UC Davis Internal Fellowship Application for New Students" as you progress through the online admission application (Due January 2, 2014).
  2. U.S. citizens, permanent residents or immigrants must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online NO LATER THAN MARCH 1, 2014 to meet the California State deadline . (Earlier is better.)

    * International students are exempt from filing a FAFSA as international students are not eligible for federal financial aid.

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Q12: What is the normative time to degree completion for the Pop Bio Ph.D. program?

Four to six years. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.

Q13: What if I only want a Masters degree?

Our graduate group normally offers only the doctoral degree. Exceptions may be made for mid-career applicants in professional agencies or education who seek a Masters degree to strengthen their backgrounds in population biology. Such applicants will be expected to meet the same admission standards as Ph.D. candidates. Back to FAQs or Back to the top.