Graduate Application FAQs


Beyond meeting basic requirements, what type of students do you accept?

The major goal of the graduate program is to prepare scientists for careers in research and teaching. Therefore, we admit only those who demonstrate a potential for innovative research. Applicants will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

a. Competitive evaluation of application materials

b. Number of openings in the student's area of research interest

c. Number of teaching assistantships or research assistantships available


How competitive is your program? How many students do you accept?

We usually accept about 10% of our applicant pool, so it is a very competitive program. In addition to having a strong application, finding a suitable major professor is essential.


Are GRE general scores required to apply?

No, GRE scores are optional (beginning with applications submitted in fall 2020 for studies beginning fall 2021).


When will I be notified of my admission decision?

Faculty members may start contacting their top applicants as early as January, or as late as March. All applicants should be notified of acceptance or rejection by April 15.


What are the prerequisite courses for your program?

We do not have a specified list of prereqs, which allows more flexibility in accepting students of varying backgrounds. Faculty members expect applicants to have a strong science and math background. The majority of our applicants have an undergraduate degree in life science, but that's not a requirement. 


What courses will I take at Oregon State?

There is no list of "required" courses to take. Each graduate student will develop an individualized program of study in conjunction with the student's major professor and graduate committee. There are requirements in terms of number of credits, number of stand-alone (non slash) credits, etc.


How can I apply?

Required documents and application procedure.