Graduate students are selected on the basis of prior academic achievement, as well as on degree of motivation and future promise for careers in scientific research and teaching. Students entering the program enroll in an academically rigorous degree plan, tailored to their individual backgrounds and interests, with strong emphasis on independent laboratory research. Students and faculty alike participate in research seminars and journal clubs to keep abreast of current developments in their fields. These small group meetings, as well as small class sizes, provide opportunities for students to relate to faculty members on a one-to-one basis. These features provide ample opportunity for the honing of critical thinking and the development of teaching and communications skills.
1. The Program Admissions Committee evaluates each application on its own merits on a case-by-case fashion.
2. Official transcripts must be submitted as evidence of satisfactory completion of:
a. A Baccalaureate degree with a strong background in physics, a biological science or chemistry at an accredited university, college or institution. Laboratory course work in biology or chemistry is required. Equivalent degrees and training will also be considered.
b. Appropriate prerequisite undergraduate course work with a grade point average no less than 3.0 (on a scale of 1-4, 4.0 being the highest). The grade point average of science and other courses required for acceptance into the Program should be no less than 3.2. For students from education systems employing different grading systems, the Dean's office will evaluate each individual's record of academic performance.
c. Completion of the prerequisite course work, which includes: mathematics, general physics, general chemistry with laboratory experience, organic chemistry with laboratory experience, biology and English (all applicants must be proficient in written and spoken English). Applicants should have completed at least one years' work in advanced science courses pertinent to his/her proposed area of interest. Examples of possible areas for such advanced work include advanced biology, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, computer science, genetics, cell biology, molecular biology, engineering, physiological psychology, etc.
a. The applicant must submit official scores for the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the past 5 years.
b. A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 213 on the computer-based TOEFL is required for applicants whose native language is not English.
c. All students applying for admission to the Program, including foreign students, are required to take the GRE and to have official scores sent to the Graduate School, although the Program may evaluate the applicant without an official score. GRE scores will be used on a case-by-case fashion and further analysis of scores will be carried out as needed. Applicants are strongly advised to take the advanced GRE in either biology or chemistry.
4. Letters of Reference
Three letters of reference should be sent by individuals who can evaluate the integrity, accomplishments, academic potential and capabilities of the applicant.
5. Personal Statement
The applicant is asked to provide a personal statement in support of their application. The following points should be addressed in this statement:
Applicants who are recognized as top candidates, will be contacted for an interview and may be invited to visit the campus and Galveston Island.