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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Frequently Asked Questions

Acceptance | Application materials | TOEFL | GRE | More Information

Acceptance

Q: Which semester can I be admitted into the Biochemistry program?

A: We generally admit graduate students for the Fall semester.

Q: Do I need to first enroll in the master degree program and later qualify for doctoral program?

Actually, no. All students are initially enrolled in the PhD program unless they are specifically seeking a master degree.

Admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. requires satisfactory performance in the two core biochemistry courses, and, early in the second year, preparation and defense of a research proposal on a topic selected by the student in consultation with their supervisory committee. This defense serves as the preliminary examination for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. Approximately 30 to 40 hours of course work are required for the Ph.D. in addition to research for a satisfactory dissertation.

Q: Do I need to secure/look for a Faculty mentor before I can apply to the program?

A: No, you do not need to contact our professors nor will contacting them improve your chances of acceptance. When students in our M.S. and Ph.D. programs arrive, they have a chance during their first semester to talk to professors and work in some labs to determine where they are best suited. They may select their research advisors from among 27 faculty members of our interdepartmental graduate group representing different areas of molecular biosciences. Mone information on our faculty may be found at: https://www.k-state.edu/bmb/graduate-program/faculty.html.

Q: How many students does the program typically accept?

A: It depends on the number of suitable applicants and the amount of funds available. The total number of admitted students and the number of admitted international students are different every year.

Q: What forms of financial support are available?

A: The primary form of financial aid is a combined teaching/research assistantship within the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. This is a competitive stipend that includes a full tuition waiver.

Additionally, U.S. resident graduate students are eligible for other forms of financial support. Exceptional applicants may be considered for a supplement to the assistantship of up to $5,000 for the first two years of graduate study. Also, several national fellowships are open to U.S. citizens.

Application materials

Q: When is the deadline for applications?
  • A1: International student application deadline for fall admission is January 8. This allows time for the international visa process.
  • A2: Domestic student application deadline for fall admission is also January 8. We do consider domestic applications until July 15, but we strongly encourage applying early to be considered for GTA/GRA financial support.
Q: Can I get an applicationfee waver?

A: We understand how it may be difficult. However, we do not have a budget for application fee waivers.

Q: Do I need to submit the Affidavit of Financial Support if I have no funds?
  • A1: No. If the applicant does not intend to bring dependents (spouse, children) to the U.S. and does not have personal funds available, he/she can select the option “I do not have funds” on the financial support page of the application, as the provided stipend will cover the cost of living and studying at K-State.
  • A2: Yes. If the applicant intends to bring dependents to the U.S., personal funds should be indicated in an Affidavit of Financial Support in the amount specified on the form.
Q: How can my letters of recommendation be submitted?

A: You will be asked to enter information on your recommenders. They will be contacted by email with instructions for providing the recommendation. The Recommendation Form for Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Group is contained within the system and is preferred. There is also an opportunity for uploading a recommendation letter.

Q: Can I submit my unofficial transcript during the application process?

A: An unofficial copy of your transcripts (a scanned student copy or secure PDF) will be requested with the application. IF you are admitted to the program you will receive instructions for submitting your official transcripts.

Q: Can I submit unofficial Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores during the application process?

A: During the application process you will be asked to enter any TOEFL scores. However, If your native language is not English and TOEFL scores are needed, all official or MyBest scores from the TOEFL must be sent directly from ETS before your application will be considered complete. Your application will not be reviewed byt the committee unless it is complete.

Q: Can I submit my application material without the TOEFL scores, and then after I am accepted take the tests?

A: No. If your native language is not English, all official or MyBest scores from the TOEFL must be sent directly from ETS before your application can be considered complete. Your application will not be reviewed by the committee unless it is complete.

Q: Is my TOEFL score high enough?

A: A minimum score of 550 (213 on the computer-based exam or 79 on the iBT) on the TOEFL is required, although a score above 620 (260 computer-based or 105 iBT) is preferred by the Graduate Biochemistry Group. Applicants with lower scores can only be accepted under provisional status by the University, requiring that the student either pass a screening test or enroll in remedial English language courses before beginning graduate study.

Q: I was tested with the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Will you accept that score in place of the TOEFL?

A: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores may be submitted in place of the TOEFL. For regular admission, the minimum IELTS score is 7.0. A scanned copy of the original score sheet should be uploaded with application.

Q: Are GRE scores required?

A: No. GRE scores are not required for admission into the Biochemistry graduate program. If general GRE scores are available they may help your application. Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be sent directly from ETS. GRE verbal and quantitative scores at or above the 80th percentile are preferred by the Graduate Biochemistry Group.

Q: Is my GRE score high enough?

A: GRE scores are not required for admission into the Biochemistry graduate program. GRE verbal and quantitative scores at or above the 80th percentile are preferred by the Graduate Biochemistry Group.

Q: Should I take a subject specific GRE?

A: No, only the general GRE scores will be evaluated, but are optional.

More Information

Q: Where can I find the answers to other questions I might have?

A: You may email us directly at gbiochem@ksu.edu or visit the Graduate School site.