Information for Prospective Students
The Faculty of Life Sciences offers study programs for a bachelor's degree in the Life Sciences (B.Sc.), a master's degree in the Life Sciences (M.Sc.) and a doctoral degree (Ph.D.).
The Faculty offers several learning frameworks for the bachelor's degree:
- Expanded Life Sciences
- Molecular and medical biology program
- Developmental biology and animal physiology program (will be canceled from the next year).
- Environmental, animal and plant sciences program
- Computational biology (bioinformatics)
Studies for a B.Sc. degree can also be carried out in the Expanded Life Sciences program as an "Expanded Life Sciences" program or as two-program studies:
- Life Sciences major + minor from any study program at the university.
- Life Sciences minor + major from any study program at the university.
2. Conditions for admission to undergraduate studies
Acceptance is dependent on the following conditions:
A. Matriculation certificate grade average (40%)
B. Psychometric grade (40%)
C. Quantitative psychometric exam grade (10%)
D. Mathematics grade in matriculation certificate
- For the Life Science program - priority will be given to those with a psychometric grade of 600 and above.
- For the Biotechnology program - priority will be given to those with a psychometric grade of 650 and above.
- For the Computational Biology (Bioinformatics) program - priority will be given to those with a psychometric grade over 675 and 5 units of mathematics with a grade above 85 or 4 units of mathematics with a grade above 90.
for Acceptance to the Biophysics Program, The minimum requirements are:
- Average Matriculation Certificate Grade of 95
- Psychometric exam grade of 630
- Five units of Mathematics with grade of 80
- Five units of Physics with a grade of 80 (anyone not meeting this requirement will be required to take a summer preparatory course
To estimate your chances of acceptance, please click on "Calculation of Chances of Acceptance" in the Bar-Ilan website.
Structure of the study programs
3. Expanded Life Sciences study program
The study program for first and second year is given as a structured program for all students who are studying Expanded Life Sciences and all are compulsory courses. In the third year studies are according to the student's choice in the following programs:
Molecular, cellular and medical biology study program
Developmental biology and animal physiology study program
Environmental and plant sciences study program
In every third year program there is a cluster of compulsory courses, which is specific for the program, and the remaining courses are elective
4. Biotechnology study program
This program preserved the basic guiding principles of the Expanded Life Sciences study program. It is special in that during the first and second year most of the courses are basic courses, which are common to the Expanded Life Sciences study program, with the addition of a number of courses unique to this program. In their second year the students are exposed to several courses that are designated for the biotechnology students, such as "programming for biotechnologists" or "biotechnology in plants". In the third year the specialization in the field of biotechnology is deepened and expanded.
5. Computational Biology study program
The program includes the basic courses in the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Computer Sciences Department, as well as a cluster of courses that emphasize the interface between the field of biology and the field of computation (computational biology). This is a challenging program that turns to students with high admissions data. About 25 students are admitted to this program every year.
The students in this program study Life Sciences courses in the Faculty of Life Sciences, and mathematical and computational infrastructure courses within the framework of the Computer Sciences Department (which is part of the Faculty of Exact Sciences). In most of the subjects the students study in the regular courses of Life Sciences and Computer Sciences, and there are a small number of courses which they are taught separately. Several designated courses which emphasize the deep connection between Life Sciences and Computer Sciences were also constructed. These courses are offered to students of other study programs of the Faculty as elective courses.
Major in Life Sciences study program
The study program in the first year is identical to that of the Expanded Life Sciences program. In their second year the students learn the diversity of courses similarly to the Life Sciences students, except for two courses in physiology and two in ecology. In their third year the students complete the four missing courses and choose several courses in order to complete their credits for being awarded the degree of "Life Sciences - Major". The remaining courses for completing their credits are taken from their minor subject.
Minor in Life Sciences study program
The study program for a minor in Life Sciences is unique to students who study other subjects for their major, such as a major in psychology, Israel studies, or chemistry. Therefore, the studies are directed such that in the first and second year they study basic compulsory courses in Life Sciences: "biology for minors", "cell biology" and "biochemistry for minors". In their second year they study "physiology" and "genetics" and in their third year all the courses are elective and each student can choose the courses which are compatible with his/her major.
Additional details about the study program can be found in the site - undergraduate studies.
The studies for a master's degree are composed of two parts: research and studies. The specialization fields for the master's degree are determined according to the research topics of the advisor in the specific laboratory, according to one of the following general fields: botany, zoology, microbiology, ecology, human biology and biotechnology. There are also special programs for outstanding students.
Admission conditions: average of at least 80 in the B.Sc.
Additional details can be found in the site - graduate studies.
The studies for a doctoral degree are composed of two parts: research and studies. The research subject of each doctoral student is determined according to the research topics of the advisor in the specific laboratory. The list of elective courses for doctoral students is individually coordinated with the advisor. There are also special programs for outstanding students.
Admission conditions: average of at least 85 in the master's degree and 85 in the master's thesis.
Additional details can be found in the site - graduate studies.
9.1 Direct program - Students whose average grade in the first and second year is at least 90 can be admitted to this program. In the third year of their bachelor's degree they learn 19.5 credits of elective courses of the bachelor's degree as well as 5 credits of courses for the master's degree. They begin their research work for the master's degree already in their third year and submit a research proposal at the end of one year (at the end of their third year). In their fourth year they complete another 7 credits for the master's degree and submit only one seminar paper. Submission of the thesis and the final examination are identical to those studying for the regular master's degree. The students are supposed to finish a bachelor's and master's degree within 4 years.
9.2 "Psagot" program - 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.
Students whose thesis grade is at least 95 and whose master's thesis comprises a solid basis for writing a research proposal for the doctorate are admitted to this program. In this program, the results that were obtained during the master's studies can be used for writing the doctoral thesis, on condition that this is an on-going subject. At the end of two years of studies for the master's degree, the students submit their master's thesis as well as a plan for the continuation of their research for their doctoral studies.
A combined program can last between 3 and 4 years for the doctoral studies.
The Faculty encourages outstanding students to continue in the combined program.
Students after one year of studies for the master's degree with an average grade of at least 90 are admitted to this program. These students are required to demonstrate sufficient data for a research proposal for a doctoral degree at the end of one year of work. The doctorate is achieved within 4 years (total of 5 years). Contrary to the combined program, these students are not required to submit a master's thesis, and do not receive a master's degree.
Additional details can be found in the site - graduate studies.
- Can simple mathematical rules describe how the immune system "remembers" the infections to which it was exposed many years ago? What computational models may predict the outbreak of an epidemic, such as AIDS? Is it possible to predict what proteins from among the tens of thousands of proteins active in the living cell are the "soldiers" that perform one function, and which are the "overseers" that are connected through regulation and control connections to many other proteins? If such questions kindle your imagination, you are apparently interested in computational biology (bioinformatics).
- Can the one-dimensional sequence of the amino acids from which a protein is built predict the three-dimensional structure of the chain after its folding? What does the active site of an enzyme "look like" and how does it change following "signaling" received from the environment? Structural biology tries to decipher the structure of the tiny molecular "machines" of which every living organism is composed.
- How does the bacterial, plant or animal cell build thousands of different materials from simple materials? How do the reaction centers in the leaf tissue convert light energy into chemical energy, with unimaginable efficiency? How does the photosynthetic system, which includes hundreds of proteins and pigments which are aligned in perfect order in space, exhibit flexibility and respond to changes in light intensity and color? How does nerve conduction take place? These (and a multitude of other biology infrastructure topics) are studied in biophysics, biochemistry and physiology courses.
- What is more important, genetics or the environment (nature vs. nurture)? Did you know that rat pups that received "motherly" care will not be anxious when they mature? This care is "recorded" in epigenetic signs on the DNA, and will turn them into mature and self confident rats. What gene causes anorexia? Is there a molecular relation between controlled starvation and the aging mechanisms of the living organism? There are just "samples" of questions dealt with by molecular genetics.
- Can a fly be caused to grow legs on its head instead of antennae, and what can be learned from this about the wonder of our differentiation into organs and tissues? Is it possible to create a flower in which more and more circles of petals are formed instead of stamens and ovaries? What is up and what is down, at which stage after fertilization does the embryo "know" which part is the "head" and which is the "tail"? Will we soon be able to obtain replacement organs (skin, lung, liver…) that will be grown in test tubes from stem cells that have eternal renewal ability? If you must know the answer, turn to developmental biology and your curiosity will be satisfied.
- Will our children know sand dunes, mangrove groves, rain forests? What causes the fear of distinction of the wonderful and diverse life forms on land and sea? How do climatic changes cause the coral and the microscopic algae that have been living symbiosis with each other for millions of years suddenly "divorce", thus sentencing the reef to a slow death? If these issues burn in your bones, ecology studies are the spiritual food for you.
- How do primeval and stubborn bacteria survive in springs of boiling hot acid? Will we witness the comeback of antibiotic resistant strains of the plague, leprosy and smallpox? How can viruses be "domesticated" and exploited for gene therapy of humans? How are more and more strains of bacteria that neutralize toxins in industrial wastes developed? Viruses and bacteria are foe but also friend and microbiology is the science that studies their lifestyles.
- How is a sweeter tomato or a more fragrant rose cultivated? How does the plant defend itself against its enemies – fungi, insects and soil worms? Did you know that the plant can use volatile compounds to signal to friendly insects that they should come and prey on its enemies, the vegetarian insects? What factor limits the growth of the plant, the yield it will give, its protein content? What force enables water to ascend up high in the trunk of trees? If this interests you, "the root of your soul" is in botany (plant sciences).
- Why are a billion sperm cells necessary for a single fertilization? How can "lazy" sperm cells be identified and selected under a microscope to treat problems of sterility? Do boxer shorts really improve and smoking really harm fertility? In our Faculty, lively research on fertility and reproductive physiology is performed, which is interlinked to a modern clinic.
- How do we learn and when are we confused? What will be remembered and what will be forgotten in a second? Where is our "hardware" and where does the "software" come from, and how can research help people suffering from depression, schizophrenia or drug addicts? Neurobiology undoubtedly deals in the most complex system in the human (and animal) body.
- Most of the time we touch, inhale and swallow millions of bacteria and viruses and do not become ill! How does our body recognize and differentiate between disease agents? When are the mechanisms suppressed and weakened? How is an immense and diverse repertoire of antibodies created in our body which can recognize almost anything? What are the diseases that cause the body to "attack itself" and attack its own cells? In the immunology courses you will learn about one of the most interesting systems which is critical for our health.
- How are commercial amounts of insulin produced for treatment of diabetes? How can a drug be developed and produced that will cause the death of cancer cells but will not harm normal cells, or a drug that will prevent the formation of blood vessels that feed the cancerous tumor? How is biological pest control grown and marketed as an alternative to chemical pest control? Biotechnology deals in exploitation of the knowledge acquired by investigation of biological systems for the production of products with an applicative potential in diverse fields (medicine, agriculture, quality of the environment, etc.).