Graduate Studies - General Information

Head of Department: Prof. Yaron Shav-Tal

Administrative Deputy: Dr. Yedida Sharabi

Secretary: Ms. Drora Snitkov

Scholarships coordinator: Ms. Riqui Ben-Dayan


1. Specializations

2. Eligibility

3. Regulation for Graduate Students


4. Eligibility for M.Sc. degree

5. Scholarships

6. The research work for an M.Sc. degree

7. The Direct M.Sc. Program

8. Research proposal and awarding of degree to students completing the direct M.Sc. program


 9.   Eligibility for Ph.D. degree

10. The Direct Ph.D. Program

11. The research work for a Ph.D. degree

12. The Integrated Ph.D. Program


13. Thinking about a postdoc?

14. The essence of the supplementary course program

15.  Additional details


1. Specializations
Each M.Sc. and Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Life Sciences must conduct a research project in one of the laboratories under the supervision of one of the faculty's researchers.

The approved courses of study for degree are:  

(*) Students who select Biotechnology, Biophysics, Computational Biology or Human Biology will take a required, specialized academic program.

The research can specialize in one of the following research fields:

* Immunology  * Biochemistry  * Biotechnology (various topics)  * Environmental Biology (including Hydrobiology and Desert Biology)  * Cell Biology (including malignant cells)  * Clinical Biology  * Molecular Biology  * Genetics and Genetic Engineering  * General Microbiology  * Medical Microbiology and Chemotherapeutics  * Molecular Parasitology  * Virology  *  Neurobiology  * Animal Physiology  *  Plant Physiology (including plant diseases)  * Biophysics  * Botany  * Zoology  * Ecology  * Marine Biology  * Animal and Human Fertility  * Computational Biology (Bioinformatics)  * System Biology  *  Structural Biology  * Pharmacology  * Photobiology  * The biology of aging

For more information regarding the research fields and its supervisors, Check out The research fields and each field supervisors.


2. Eligibility

A. The final decision to accept a candidate is made by the university's M.Sc. or Ph.D. Committee.
The Faculty of Life Sciences accepts candidates with B.Sc. or M.Sc. degrees issued by the Faculty of Life Sciences of Bar-Ilan University, as well as Biology graduates from other recognized institutions of higher education. In addition, students who have earned degrees in related fields, such as Chemistry or Physics, are also eligible for acceptance, but must take supplementary courses to be proposed by the committee in conjunction with the prospective supervisor. Students minoring in Life Sciences (and majoring in Land of Israel Studies, Psychology, Geography, Chemistry, or Computer Sciences) will be required to take a full year-long supplementary program in order to be accepted as a full-fledged student.

During the year of supplementary study, the student must achieve a grade average of 80% in the supplementary courses. The supplementary courses are not included as part of the requirements for an advanced degree, and should not all be taken in one semester. To the detailed core courses of the supplementary program.

B. Students coming from the field of Computer Sciences or related fields who are interested in a degree in Biological Computation, are invited to visit The Faculty of Life Science website: To Computational Biology, or request the relevant information from the Secretariat of the Faculty of Life Sciences.

Acceptance of students who register late and who meet the criteria, will be possible only if there are available places.


3. Regulations for Graduate Students
Graduate students are obligated tThe Regulations for graduate students


4. Eligibility for an M.Sc. degree

A. M.Sc. study begins in the fall semester.

B. Minimum grade average 80 in the Bachelor studies.

C. All students applying for an M.Sc. degree must pass an entrance exam which will test his understanding of a scientific article.The candidate must register for the exam in the Student Secretarial Office (Ms. Drora Snitkov).
B.Sc Honors students who got an exemption from this exam must register to the M.Sc during the time frame they were told.
For additional details on the exam check out The  news at the faculty website, The Secretarial Announcements For Students Forum at the Synapse and also the bulletin boards in the Life Sciences Building (212) on the first floor, and next to the Secretariat on the second floor.

D. In parallel to registering and taking the exam, the candidate must look for a supervisor.
Check detailed information regarding The research fields and each field supervisors.

E. In order for your application to be considered, you should register for an M.Sc. degree using forms that can be purchased in Academon or Steimatsky or via the web at the M.Sc. registration page, where you can fill the registration form and pay the appeal fees.

F. It is impossible to be involved in research without dedicating a significant amount of time to getting constantly updated on the latest innovations on the subject of the research, and this beyond the actual work and the courses. The significance of this requirement is that the student must invest 100% of his time to his research work and studies. It is almost impossible to meet these requirements and at the same time, hold another job.

G. The M.Sc. studies must be finished within two years, including the research work and thesis-writing. If the student had been required to take a year of supplementary study, it is not included in this two-year period. To the detailed core courses of the supplementary program.

For additional information, please call Prof. Yaron Shav-Tal.


5. Scholarships
The Scholarship is ranked and based on the student achievement (according to an overall grade made up of the grades of the B.Sc. and the acceptance exam).
Outstanding students who are eligible for enlarged scholarship are ensured a post as Assistant Instructor.
Granting of a scholarship for the second year to students who received one the first year is on the condition that the student fulfills the academic requirements of the Faculty. Preference will be given to those who register on time.
For further scholarships, please see The Student Scholarships.


6. The research work for an M.Sc. degree
The student will hand in to the Faculty Committee for Graduate Degrees a research program proposal after it has been approved by the supervisor, at the end of the spring semester of the first year of his work in the proposed research. The research proposal should include: an introduction to the research subject, definition of the objectives of the research and its significance, a detailed research plan, presentation of preliminary results, and a discussion of their significance. The Faculty Committee for Graduate Degrees will ask two lecturers of the Faculty to evaluate the research proposal. After correction of the proposal according to the comments of these two lecturers, and after it is approved by the Faculty Committee for Graduate Degrees, it will be submitted to the M.Sc. Committee.

B. Upon completion of the research and after receiving the supervisor’s approval, a written thesis will be submitted to the Faculty Committee for Graduate Degrees. This committee will recommend a group of examiners for the thesis exam.


7. The Direct M.Sc. Program - "Psagot"

For outstanding BSc students who have completed their first three semesters at the Faculty of Life Sciences. The program enables students to complete a bachelor's and master's degree within 4 years, while getting benefits and scholarships during the BSc study. Click on "Psagot" for detailed information. 



8. Research proposal and awarding of degree to students completing the direct M.Sc. program

A. The student in the direct program will hand in his research proposal at the end of the 3rd year of study (i.e., before July 1st).
B. The student must submit his thesis and defend it at the end of the 4th year.
C. The student will be awarded a B.Sc. degree upon the successful completion of the third year.D. The student will be awarded an M.Sc. degree at the end of the 4th year after completing his M.Sc. course requirements and defending his thesis.




9. Eligibility for a Ph.D. degreeBefore being accepted to the Faculty of Life Sciences, the Ph.D. candidate must register, have a personal interview conducted by the Faculty Committee for Graduate Degrees, and select a supervisor. Selection of the supervisor can be done before or after the personal interview.


The prospective supervisor can be present at the interview but only as an observer. The Ph.D. candidate must have earned a grade average of at least 85% for his M.Sc. studies and 85% for his M.Sc. thesis.



10. The Direct Ph.D. ProgramCandidates are eligible for the direct Ph.D. program if they meet the following requirements:




A. The candidate must have completed one year of study in the ordinary M.Sc. program, during which time he took at least three graduate courses of at least 4.5 credits as well as an M.Sc. seminar, and earned a grade average of at least 90%.

B. The candidate must hand in a complete research proposal for a Ph.D. thesis and he will be tested on it by a follow-up committee to be appointed by the Faculty Committee for Graduate Degrees. The scope of this test will be broader than the accepted format and will include questions that extend beyond the direct subject of the research.



Upon approval by the follow-up committee, and subject to the approval of the Ph.D. Committee, the candidate will be accepted as a full-fledged Ph.D. student.


11. The research work for a Ph.D. degree
At the end of the first year of study, the student will hand in a proposal of the program for Ph.D. work. This proposal should include preliminary results obtained during that year and which reinforce the hypotheses in the research proposal.

The student will be given an oral exam on his proposal and on the relevant research areas, by a two-member follow-up committee to be appointed by the Faculty Committee for Graduate Degrees. In this exam, the student will be tested on his knowledge of the areas relevant to his research, as well as the research methods necessary for the work. According to the outcome of this exam, the follow-up committee can recommend supplementary study during the Ph.D. study period. Only after the follow-up committee approves the proposed program, the proposal will be sent to the Ph.D. Committee for approval. If the student is not examined on his research proposal by the end of his second year of study, his study will be terminated, and he will not be allowed to register for the third year.

B. The follow-up committee will follow the student’s progress during the period of his Ph.D. study. Once a year, the student must hand in a progress report approved by his supervisor. The follow-up committee will summon the student and determine his rate of progress.

C. Upon completion of his research work, the student will hand in a summary report to the follow-up committee. After the report is approved by the follow-up committee, the student can begin writing his doctoral thesis.



12. The Integrated Ph.D. ProgramIn this program, students are accepted to the regular or direct M.Sc. program, as described above. If the student has excellent achievements after two years, he will be allowed to write an extensive Ph.D. research proposal (in a format similar to a thesis including a work plan for the continuation of the research), be tested on it as on an M.Sc. thesis, and then continue directly towards a doctoral degree. The years of research towards the M.Sc. degree will be considered part of the Ph.D. study so that after an additional two, three, maximum four years, he can complete the doctorate. The grade received for the test on the Ph.D. research proposal will be considered the grade for the M.Sc. thesis



13. Thinking about a postdoc? - Tips on why and how to do a postdoc


14. The essence of the supplementary course program

Course no.                      Name of course                                                        Credits

80-201-01 + 02              Biochemistry (A)                                                          2.5

80-202-01 + 02              Biochemistry (B)                                                          2.5

80-203-01                       General Microbiology                                                  1.0

80-210-01                       Introduction to Immunology                                       1.0

80-208-01 + 02              General Genetics                                                         2.0

80-204-01                       Introduction to Virology                                                0.5

80-103-01                       The Biology Of The Cell                                              1.0

80-242-01 + 02              Molecular Biology (A)                                                   2.0

                                                                                                                       Total 16 credits

15. Additional details:
For more information regarding M.Sc. degree, check out The Master's Degree Admissions Committee Site.

For more information regarding Ph.D. degree, check out The PhD Admission Committee Site.

For more information regarding graduate studies, check out The Timetable Book - Introduction (scroll down to its end, to the gradute studies chapter).

For detailed information regarding the Faculty's courses, check out THe Timetable Book - Courses.

For detailed information regarding a specific course, check out The Timetable Site - Course Search (by course number, by course Name...)