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Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry

Admission Information

Prospective graduate students should have an undergraduate degree in any of the Biological, Chemical or Physical sciences. Applicants are recommended to have completed courses in biology, organic chemistry, physics and mathematics. Candidates with deficiencies in any area may be admitted, but such deficiencies may lead to requirements for additional course work during graduate study. An advisory system in the program (see below) will help students in planning their course of study. Prospective students are encouraged to contact program faculty in areas of their research interest.

Students may be admitted to the doctoral program with a bachelor's or master's degree. Students in the master's program can be admitted to the doctoral program via accelerated entry or the master's equivalency option by the recommendation of the faculty and approval of the Graduate School.

All application materials should be submitted to the Program Director. Upon recommendation of the Program Admissions Committee, the application is transmitted to the Graduate School for approval.

The Program requires a grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 (A = 4.0) for admission into the master's program and a GPA of 3.25 in graduate level work for admission into the doctoral program. An excellent record in undergraduate coursework and a strong recommendation of the Program Admissions Committee is required for direct admission to the Doctoral program after a bachelor's degree.

Applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores. Submission of test scores of the GRE advanced (biochemistry, cell and molecular biology or biology or chemistry) examinations is also encouraged.

International students whose native language is not English will be required to obtain at least 80 (internet-based test), 213 (computer-based test) or 550 (paper-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 6.5 will be required for the IELTS test.

Financial Assistance

Fellowships and assistantships are available through the program and the participating departments for qualified applicants.

Advisement and General Requirements

The Program Director or the Departmental Graduate Advisors as designates will assist each incoming student with the initial planning of a program of study and will advise the student until a Research Director is chosen.

Research Director and Graduate committee Selection. Each student should select a Research Director asa soon as possible during the first year. The graduate committee for Master's students shall consist of the Research Director (chair), and two additional graduate faculty members. The doctoral committee shall consist of at least five graduate faculty members to include the Research Director (committee chair), at least three members derived from the program and at least one member from outside the Program. The Program Director, if not otherwise appointed, is an ex-officio (nonvoting) member of every graduate committee.

Graduate Committee Functions. The Graduate committee will:

  • plan and approve the student's program of study.
  • review the student's progress in courses and suggest and approve changes in the program of study.
  • evaluate the student's progress in research and make appropriate recommendations.
  • meet and determine, on an yearly basis whether a student is making satisfactory progress and may continue toward a degree. If continuation is denied, the committee must notify the Program Director, in writing, of the reasons for this denial.
  • administer written and oral preliminary examinations to the doctoral student.
  • read and evaluate the student's thesis or dissertation.
  • conduct the required oral examinations.