The Catholic University of America

Graduate Programs - Application Process

Financial Aid Opportunities

Graduate Students in the Department of Biology may obtain financial aid in one of several ways:

Federal Loan Programs

Students may borrow under Federal Stafford Loan program or the Federal Perkins Loan program. Current or past military service of the student or the student's family may allow education benefits through the Veteran's Administration or other service organizations related to the Armed services.

CUA Scholarships

Doctoral scholarships provide full tuition to qualified incoming doctoral students. They are awarded to applicants who have outstanding undergraduate records and superior aptitude as indicated by excellent GRE scores. University scholarships and Centennial scholarships are for half-tuition.

Departmental Teaching Assistantships

Teaching assistantships providing remission of tuition as well as a stipend are available in the Department of Biology. Excellence in teaching, academic performance, and participation in departmental functions and activities are expected in order to earn and retain teaching assistantships.

External Grants and Awards

Students with competitive GRE scores and undergraduate academic records are encouraged to apply to private organizations as well as agencies of the federal government for academic grants and traineeships (e.g. Howard Hughes Research Institute, NIH, NSF, Department of Defense, etc). Such applications are usually prepared in consultation with, and with the blessings of, specific faculty mentors. Many organizations will accept applications prior to initiation of graduate studies or within the first year of graduate work.

Faculty Research Grants

Most faculty members of the Biology Department are Principle Investigators on externally supported grants. Faculty members can, and frequently do, support graduate students through research grants. However, it is unusual for incoming students to find such support immediately.

International Students

US government-funded scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial support are restricted to United States citizens or resident aliens. Graduate students who are not citizens are eligible for university-funded aid, department-funded aid, or fellowships from some private organizations such as the Howard Hughes Research Institute. However, such funds are extremely limited.

All foreign students must be prepared to meet the costs of education and living expenses in the US. The university will not issue the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or, where appropriate, DSP-66) simply on the basis of admission to the Biology Graduate Program. The University will need satisfactory evidence that the student will have adequate financial resources.

Application Procedure

Please fill out an on-line application form (Application Form) If you do not have access to the on-line application you can print application forms from the attachments below. Financial aid is awarded on a competitive basis based on the merits of the application. There is no separate financial aid application form; once your application materials have been reviewed you will be contacted about your need and the availability of financial aid. Your GRE scores and confidential letters of recommendation must accompany your application for consideration for financial aid. GRE scores should be electronically submitted to the Catholic University of America by ETS. Arrange to send in your GRE and TOEFL scores and three confidential letters of recommendation to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
The Catholic University of America
110 McMahon Hall
Washington, D.C. 20064

An application fee of fifty dollars will be charged. You will hear back from the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, Dr. Hanna Marks, within about 2 months. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at 202-319-5271. My very best wishes as you begin to plan your graduate career.

Sincerely yours,

Venigalla Rao, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Chair, Graduate Admissions
Rao@CUA.edu