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Interdepartmental Genetics

Frequently Asked Questions

Offered Programs:

1. Do you have an MS program that is only based on coursework?
No. Both our MS and PhD programs are centered on planning and executing research projects under the guidance of one or more faculty advisors. However, we do offer a new Graduate Certificate in Genetics, Genomics, and Biotechnology.


1. My grades and test scores are excellent, but I was still denied admission to a K-State Genetics program. Why?
Achieving acceptance into a K-State Genetics program is difficult, largely due to issues of funding. With very few exceptions, the funds used to cover graduate students' stipends and tuition comes from their advisor's research grants. Often, our admissions committee will highly recommend that an applicant be admitted, but no faculty member has BOTH interest in the applicant AND the research grant support for them. In this case, the program is forced to deny admissions to the applicant. To increase your chances of acceptance, contact a few potential advisors before applying to find out if they will be accepting students soon and if your interests, research experiences, and transcripts make you a strong candidate to work with that advisor.
2. I have an award/scholarship from my country, does this guarantee admission into your program?
No. Both MS and PhD programs are research-based and require that the student works closely with a faculty advisor. Students are not accepted when no faculty member agrees to serve as advisor, with the exception of the KSU  Genetics Doctoral Fellowship Program, where the advisor may not be identified until the end of the student's first year in the program.

The Application Process:

1. Do I need to apply officially to be considered?
Yes. Your application will not be reviewed and no formal offers of admission can be made without a completed application, including payment of application fees. However, before your application is completed you may want to contact a few potential advisors to express your interest and inquire about whether they are accepting students.
2. I cannot find the Interdepartmental Genetics Program in the list of Kansas State University graduate programs in the online applications site. Where is it?
Interdepartmental Genetics is listed under College of Agriculture, even though it includes faculty members from the Colleges of Agriculture (e.g., Agronomy and Plant Pathology) AND Arts and Sciences (e.g., Biochemistry and Biology). At the beginning of the online application process, you must choose the MANHATTAN campus, as the Genetics program is not offered on any other Kansas State University campuses.
3. If I apply to other programs besides the Genetics program, do I have to pay the application multiple times?
Yes, multiple applications require multiple payments. Therefore, you are encouraged to talk with potential advisors about which program is best suited for you - you may decide to apply to a single program only.
4. How much are application fees, and where do I send my payment?
The current fees are $75 for international applications and $50 for domestic applications. Fees can be paid by credit card online or by mailing a check or money order to the Genetics Program address (as found on the Applications page). In certain circumstances, undergraduate or graduate students currently at Kansas State University that wish to enroll in the Genetics PhD Program can waive the fee. Please contact the Graduate School to see if this applies to you. 
5. Do I need GRE test results sent to the department?
They are only required if you are applying for the KSU Genetics Doctoral Fellowship Program, though they may increase your chances of acceptance regardless. If you have taken the GRE, you should arrange for the test scores to be sent to the Kansas State University Graduate School from ETS directly. The institution code for Kansas State University is 6334 and the department code for Genetics is 0210.
6. One or more of my English proficiency test scores is below the minimum set by the KSU Graduate School. Can I still apply and be admitted?
Yes. If you read the requirements for English proficiency, you will see that applicants not meeting the minimum scores can still be accepted into a graduate program but must take language exams or additional language training here at KSU. This may affect the willingness of advisors to agree to sponsor you and therefore can affect your chances of admission.
7. I cannot afford to fund my graduate education on my own. Should I still apply?
Yes. Genetics graduate students can be funded by being chosen for new Doctoral Fellowships or appointed as a graduate research assistant (GRA) or graduate teaching assistant (GTA). However, if you are bringing a scholarship or fellowship with you to graduate school, you may have more flexibility on your choice of advisors. External scholarships still do not guarantee admission into the Genetics program.
8. Do I need to fill out a financial affidavit to include in my application?
If you are an international applicant, yes. This affidavit is required even if you do not have funds (personal, scholarship, governmental) that you can apply towards your graduate education. All applicants must complete Section 1 of the form, and check one of two options at the top of the second page of the form. If you check the first option, "I do not have personal funds available to me for the period of study at Kansas State University," you do not need to fill in sections 2 or 3. If you check the second option, "I have the following funds (in U.S. dollars) available to me per year for the period of study at Kansas State University," you will need to fill out Sections 2 and/or 3 or attach additional letters in your application that document your scholarship/fellowship or other source of support.
9. How much per year do I need to show on the financial affidavit?
If you do have funds, you need to demonstrate that you have $29,598/year for the expected duration of your graduate program.
10. I am a Chinese student and want to apply for a China Scholarship Council scholarship. How do I apply?
China Scholarship Council applications must go through the Kansas State University Graduate School, not the Interdepartmental Genetics Program. Consult the Graduate School site on the China Scholarship Council for information about eligibility requirements, criteria for admissions to KSU, and special application requirements that pertain to this program.
11. I am currently an international student at another U.S. university. Which application deadlines and requirements pertain to me, those for U.S. or international applicants?
The deadlines for international applicants. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are treated separately from all other international applications, regardless of whether an applicant is currently in the U.S. Only in some special circumstances can international applications from those living in the U.S. be considered when received after the appropriate deadline. You should plan ahead when applying to the Interdepartmental Genetics Program and start the application process well ahead of the posted deadline in case there are any problems in submitting any portion of your application.