Apply to the OBEE Grad Program


All OBEE students are admitted to work with an individual faculty advisor or (more rarely) co-advisors. Thus, in addition to applying to the program, you should identify and contact potential advisors (see OBEE Focal Areas and OBEE Faculty pages) to learn whether they are admitting new students and to establish a relationship. Some OBEE faculty also advise students though other grad programs, such as Wildlife BiologyCellular, Molecular & Microbial Biology, or Systems Ecology; your potential advisor can direct you to the most suitable program, or you may apply to multiple programs.

OBEE guarantees incoming PhD students five years of support and incoming Masters students two years of support, pending satisfactory progress. This support can take the form of teaching assistantships (TAs), research assistantships (RAs), fellowships obtained by the student, or a mix. Both RA and TA support includes a waiver of tuition. OBEE also provides travel and research funding opportunities for students.

For full consideration for institutional TA support and OBEE fellowships, applications for Fall matriculation must be received by the December 1 target date, when review of applications begins

Admission to OBEE is competitive. In addition to sponsorship by a potential advisor, admission decisions are based primarily on research experience and publications, letters of reference, the statement of purpose, and, to a lesser extent, GRE scores and GPA.  At minimum, OBEE requires a GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate coursework in biology, a ranking >60% on each of the three sections of the general GRE, and (if applicable) a score >90 on the iBT TOEFL. However, successful applicants generally far exceed the minimums. 

Note on Spring Applications: While OBEE's primary application cycle is for the Fall semester, Spring applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in applying for the spring, please speak to your potential advisor to determine if spring admission would be a good fit.

How to Apply (Target date: December 1)

Please submit all materials through the UM Graduate School online application form

Application Materials
  • UM Graduate School application form -- includes $60 fee 
  • Curriculm vitae/resumé
  • GRE scores -- General Exams (Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical/Writing) required, Biology Exam optional
  • Personal statement -- up to 2 pages describing your preparation and vision for graduate research 
  • Three letters of recommendation -- letters should be requested, as pdfs, through the online application form
  • Official transcripts -- official paper copies of your transcripts should be sent directly from each institution 
  • Transcripts may be requested electronically through the application page, but should be sent by mail to:
    • OBE Graduate Admissions
    • Division of Biological Sciences
    • HS104, 32 Campus Dr.
    • The University of Montana
    • Missoula, MT 59812-4824
    • Official transcripts may also be emailed by the institution to:
  • TOEFL scores -- If applicable, please submit TOEFL scores (minimum scores: iBT= 90; PBT = 580; CBT = 237) 
  • Writing sample -- If you have a first-authored publication, upload as a "writing sample". If not, leave this field blank.