Q: How can I check the status of my submitted application?
A: Once your application has been received by the Rackham graduate school you will be able to verify your application information in Wolverine Access. You will receive two e-mails from Rackham after you submit the application. On the day you submit the application you will receive an e-mail which acknowledges the successful submission of your application. A second e-mail will arrive, in approximately 5 business days, acknowledging that Rackham has received your application. This e-mail provides your University of Michigan identification number (UMID) and information on how to use the Wolverine Access system to verify your application information.
Q: What admissions materials should I send to the EEB department?
A: You do not need to send any admissions materials directly to the EEB department. All admissions materials should be uploaded via the Rackham on-line admission application, including your recommendation letters and unofficial transcripts. Official transcripts should be sent only to Rackham. More on specific admissions requirements can be found here, and on the Rackham website.
Q: What institution code should I use when submitting application materials?
A: Please use institution code 1839 when submitting all application materials. This is the code for the University of Michigan, which is used by all departments applying to the Rackham Graduate School. A separate department code IS NOT necessary.
Q: Am I eligible for a fee waiver?
A: There is a fee waiver available to students applying for the Frontiers Master's program. In addition, a limited number of waivers are available for PhD applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for a Rackham Merit Fellowship. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a code to be used when applying.
The Rackham Graduate School also offers a number of fee waivers, including for students who participated in LSAMP, MARC, or McNair, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, undocumented students, and a need-based waiver. Most of these waivers are processed directly through the online application and you can find the full list and details here.
Q: What pre-requisites are required for application to the EEB Ph.D. program?
A: No set pre-requisite coursework is required for acceptance to the EEB Ph.D. program. Student applications are reviewed on a holistic basis, with overall academic record, research experience and recommendations taken into consideration. However, it is recommended that students applying for admission to the Ph.D. program take the following courses during their undergraduate study: 2 terms of general or inorganic chemistry & 1 lab; 2 terms of organic chemistry & 1 lab; 2 terms of physics or 1 term of physics & 1 lab; 2 terms of analytic geometry or calculus.
Here are some stats for newly admitted Ph.D. students in the most recent cohort:
- 19 newly admitted Ph.D. students in the 2023 cohort
- Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.75
- 53% women, 21% men, 16% gender non-conforming, non-binary, or genderqueer
- 27% international students
- 41% have M.S. degrees
Q: Should I contact faculty with similar research interests prior to submitting an application?
A: We strongly recommend that you get in touch with faculty (with research interests similar to your own) before you apply to the program. Information on faculty fields of interest can be found on specific faculty member's webpages.
Q: Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required to apply?
A: No. Starting in Fall 2019, the EEB department will no longer be using the GRE to evaluate applications for the Ph.D. or master's programs. Additionally, we will not review MCAT or GMAT scores. Some students may need to take the TOEFL to meet the Rackham English Language Proficiency requirement. More information can be found here.
Q: What do I need to score on the TOEFL to be considered for admission?
A: Rackham has a minimum requirement for the internet-based TOEFL of 84 for the combined score. Students who have an overall score lower than 84 cannot be admitted to the Rackham Graduate School and/or any UM graduate programs. EEB has no defined cut-off for TOEFL scores other than the Rackham minimum. International students who were offered admission las year had an average total TOEFL score of 102.
Q: Do you need my transcript for my BA translated to English?
A: Please arrange to send both an official transcript, and an official ENGLISH translation of the transcript sent to the Rackham Graduate School. No transcripts should be sent to the department. More information can be found here for prospective students from non-U.S. institutions.
Q: On the application web site it states that letters of recommendation with the official Rackham Recommendation Form cover sheet can be submitted online, however I see that the recommendation form requires the applicants signature for waiving right of access. Is my signature required or could I type my name on a digital copy?
A: If you or your recommenders are filling out the recommendation form electronically, you can simply type your name and the date.
Q: Is there a word limit for the academic statement of purpose and personal statement?
A: Rackham requests a 500 word limit for the personal statement, and does not specify a word limit for the academic statement of purpose. Note: If you go over this limit that in no way makes your application invalid, but might make the admissions committee impatient; remember, they have many of these to read.
Q: What is EEB looking for in my personal statement as opposed to my academic statement of purpose.
A: How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.
Q: When will I hear something about whether I'm being considered for admission?
A: The EEB Admissions Committee begins evaluating applications in mid-December, when applications submitted by the December 1 due date have been processed and imaged by the Rackham Graduate School and made available to the department. Usually, the committee has not completed their review of Ph.D. applications until the last week of January. You may expect to hear something regarding the status of your application after this time.
Q: What are the components of the Ph.D. funding package?
A: EEB provides an outstanding support package to doctoral students, with five years (10 terms + five summers) of departmental funding guaranteed. Funding includes academic year and summer support amounting to an annual stipend of a minimum of $38,970, full tuition waiver, and year-round health insurance. Health insurance is provided for all dependents (spouse, children). Components of the funding package generally include the following, but this formula may be customized based on individual circumstances:
- 2 terms of department fellowship for pursuing graduate research (only one term is available as a pre-candidate)
- 6 terms: GSI (Graduate Student Instructor)
- 2 terms: GSRA (Graduate Student Research Assistantship) support expected from advisor, including two academic terms (i.e. fall and winter) and two summers of support.
- 5 summers of support: department guarantee (includes two term of advisor GSRA support)
Q: What is the stipend rate for fall and winter terms (the academic year minus summer)?
A: The department fellowship and graduate student research assistant (GSRA) rates are based on the graduate student instructor (GSI) rates. The typical GSI has a 50% appointment, working between 16.5 and 20 hours per week during the eight-month academic year. During the 2022–2023 academic year, GSIs will earn $12,027.50 per term. In the summer students either receive a department fellowship or GSRA position, which both pay at the same rate as the academic year.
Q: What fees would a graduate student with a stipend have to pay?
A: Tuition waivers are usually credited directly toward student accounts approximately three weeks into the term. Most assistantships do not cover the registration fee, so it is your responsibility to pay the fee by the due date on your bill (to avoid being assessed late fees). Registration and other mandatory fees for the 2021–2022 academic terms are approximately $165 per term.
Q: Does U-M offer student health insurance? If so, how much does it cost per semester?
A: GradCare is the medical insurance plan available exclusively to GSIs, GSRAs, and benefit-eligible fellowship holders. GradCare is administered by Blue Care Network and the provider network in Ann Arbor includes University Health Service, the University of Michigan Health System, and participating community pediatricians. There are no deductibles to meet before the plan begins and outpatient services are covered with a co-pay. In-patient hospital services are covered in full for medically-necessary conditions. Prescription drug coverage is also provided. With Gradcare, you will never have to pay a contribution for yourself, a spouse, or any children. If you choose other medical insurances, you would have an amount to contribute. For more information, visit the U-M Benefits Office website or GradCare information.
Q: How can I contact the EEB department with questions?
A: Email the Graduate Program staff at email@example.com. We'll be in touch!