GSBS Admissions FAQs
What factors are considered in admissions decisions?
The GSBS Admissions Committee considers the following factors in evaluating applicants for admission and financial assistance: previous research experience and accomplishments including, but not limited to, enrollment in laboratory and research-based courses, and involvement in research projects and publications; expressed commitment to a career involving biomedical research; success in undergraduate courses in the biological and physical sciences and mathematics as evidenced in your grade point average; degree of difficulty of undergraduate academic program; previous graduate-level study; honors and awards for academic achievement; performance on the Graduate Record Examinations (and, for international applicants, the Test of English as a Foreign Language); and success in overcoming socioeconomic and educational disadvantages (optional).
If I have a master's degree, will I need to start over?
If you have obtained an M.S. degree from GSBS, courses you have taken for your M.S. program may be applied to your Ph.D. degree. However, research you performed as an M.S. student cannot be used in your Ph.D. dissertation. It is possible to use your M.S. work as the basis for your Ph.D. work.
If you obtained an M.S. degree from another school, graduate-level courses you have taken may be equivalent to our “area requirements.” Students may petition for approval of a graduate-level course taken at another institution to satisfy an area requirement by providing documentation that the course is equivalent to a GSBS course that satisfies the requirement. Approval must be awarded by the Academic Standards Committee. Prior research may not be utilized in your Ph.D. dissertation, but your M.S. work may be used as the basis for your Ph.D. dissertation.
What are the prerequisite courses required to apply?
Your undergraduate coursework should provide you with a strong background in the area related to your research interests. These courses are recommended not required to apply.
Is the stipend enough to cover my living expenses?
Based on nation-wide comparisons, the stipend offered by GSBS is very competitive. The cost of living in Houston is one of the lowest in the US. Thus, it is certainly possible to live on this stipend. Most of our current students find that they are able to pay for an apartment, groceries and car insurance without needing to take out loans.
Do you have a minimum GPA requirement?
Applicants are expected to have a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 on all undergraduate and graduate level work taken previously (particularly in the suggested prerequisite courses).
What are the minimum GRE scores required?
Although there is no minimum score required, a competitive score for the combined Verbal and Quantitative is 1250 on the old scoring scale and 310 on the new scoring scale. A competitive score for the Analytical Writing section is 4.5.
How long are my GRE scores valid?
GRE scores are valid for 5 years.
What is the GSBS ETS institution code to send TOEFL and GRE scores?
The institution code for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) is 6907; no department code is necessary.
If the GRE Subject test is not taken, will this have a negative effect on the chance of admittance?
GSBS requires only the GRE General Test, not subject tests. The Admissions Committee does not expect an applicant to take a subject test.
Do you admit new students every semester?
Applications are reviewed once a year for admission with enrollment in the Fall semester only.
Can I transfer into your graduate school from the graduate school I currently attend?
No, we do not accept transfer students. You will need to apply for our degree programs in order to be considered for admission.
What are the application deadlines?
The domestic application deadline (for Ph.D. & Specialized M.S. applications) is December 1 for priority consideration. The final deadline for domestic Ph.D. and S.M.S. applicants is January 5. The deadline for applicants for the M.S. degree program in Biomedical Sciences is April 1. All international applicants have a deadline of November 15.
How can I get an assistantship?
All students admitted who are seeking a Ph.D. degree receive a graduate research assistantship. Nearly all first year Ph.D. students receive GSBS funding to cover their assistantship for their first two years of study. Some students will receive their funding directly from a program, faculty member or training grant. The standard GSBS assistantship is $29,000 per annum for students at all levels of study. GSBS assistantships qualify students for resident (in-state) tuition.
How can I get an assistantship if I am seeking a M.S. degree?
Students admitted to our M.S. degree program are not guaranteed an assistantship and should prepare to be self-funded throughout their education. Students can find a faculty member who is willing to support them financially through their education. It is the responsibility of the student to find a funding source. Students may ask for a faculty member to cover their tuition, fees and provide a stipend of up to $29,000 per annum.
Do you require interviews?
Yes, personal interviews are arranged at the discretion of the Admissions Committee prior to a final admissions decision for Ph.D. and S.M.S. applicants.
What type of payments do you accept for application fee?
You can pay by credit or debit card through our online application system. If you do not have a credit or debit card, please contact the admissions office.
What is your application fee waiver policy?
To be eligible for an application fee waiver, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Fee waivers are provided in cases of documented financial need, participation in a GSBS affiliated summer program, or participation one of the following organizations:
• Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minorities Students (ABRCMS)
• Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar
• McNair Scholars Program
• Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellows Program
• Minority Access Research Careers (MARC)
• Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (RISE)
• National Association of African American Honors Programs (NAAAHP)
• Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
Please contact the Office of Admissions to request a fee waiver or if you have any questions regarding the policy.
Do you have a part-time Ph.D. Program?
No, we do not offer a part time-Ph.D. program.
I am an international applicant, but I received my bachelor’s degree (or a master’s degree) from a university in the United States. Should I complete my application by the international or domestic deadline?
All international application materials, including letters of recommendation, are due by November 15.
How many international applications do you receive and how many international students are offered admission for the Fall semester?
Each year about 500 international students apply for admission and about 10 are offered admission with a Graduate Research Assistantship from GSBS. Many others are offered admission with financial assistance from departments, programs or individual faculty members.
Does GSBS prefer international applicants who have a master's degree?
Master’s degrees are not required for admission. The best qualification for admission is biomedical research experience, ideally coupled with publications in known scientific journals. International applicants without solid research experience are unlikely to be admitted.
What are the minimum GRE and TOEFL scores required for international applicants?
There are no minimum score requirements to apply to GSBS. TOEFL scores of international applicants offered admission in past years are at least 90 on the internet-based test (550 on the paper-based test). A competitive GRE score for the combined Verbal and Quantitative is 1290.
Are international students guaranteed full financial support?
We offer financial support to all Ph.D. students who are admitted to GSBS. This award includes a yearly stipend of $29,000 (in the 2012-2013 academic year). In addition, tuition, fees and health benefits are covered.
How long are my TOEFL scores valid?
TOEFL scores are valid for two years.
Will you accept the IELTS instead of the TOEFL?
No, the TOEFL test is required for international applicants.
Under what circumstances may I waive the TOEFL requirement?
International applicants who have received a diploma from a university at which English is the language of instruction are not required to take the TOEFL exam. If this school is outside of an English-speaking country evidence that indicates the language of instruction will need to be provided with your application.
How will my I-20 be processed?
The I-20 form, required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is prepared by the Office of International Affairs and issued to qualified non-immigrant applicants who have been admitted and who have demonstrated financial ability to support their education. Upon acceptance, the nonimmigrant student will be asked to provide financial and visa information so that the I-20 form may be completed. The student must submit the completed form to the American Embassy in his/her country of origin in order to receive a student visa, or must otherwise be eligible for F-1 status in the U.S. Please contact the Office of International Affairs for information on I-20 forms or contact the international admissions contact at GSBS at GSBS.Admissions@uth.tmc.edu
I attended a foreign university, how should I report my grades?
Scores and grades do not need to be converted but please provide a transcript key if one is available.