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FAQ

Q: How do I apply?

A: The following items are required for a complete official application:

- Graduate Program in Genetics Pre-Application form which may be submitted online

- Texas Common Application (TCA) which may be submitted online (preferably) or on paper

- Statement of Purpose essay (submitted with the TCA or separately)

- Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted directly to the Genetics Program by author of the letter

- Official transcript from all institutions of higher education attended

- Official scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) from a test date within five years of the date that the application reaches the TAMU Office of Admissions and Records

- Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) from within the last two years from applicants whose native language is not English.  Exceptions: applicants that completed all four years of a baccalaureate degree in the United States or that achieved a 400 or greater Verbal GRE score.

Q: What is the deadline for submitting an application?

A: We encourage students to submit their applications as early as possible.   Domestic students wishing to attend our annual recruiting symposium must complete the  pre-application (including GRE scores and statement of purpose essay) by December 20.  For those students, an official application including official transcripts and letters of recommendation must have been received by January 15.  The University admissions office must process transcripts and calculate the GPA for the last 60 hours of coursework before an official application can be reviewed by the Graduate Recruiting Committee.  Priority for Teaching Assistantships is given to prospective doctoral students who have completed their official applications by January 15.  The university deadline for completion of applications for fall enrollment is March 1. 

Q: Do I need to submit all my application materials at the same time?

A: No. All application materials are filed in the Graduate Programs Office until complete.  Once an application is complete it is reviewed by the Genetics Recruiting Committee.  We encourage you to submit your application materials as soon as possible.

Q: Can you make an assessment about my admission to your program based on material I have submitted via email? 

A: We do not make assessments based on material we receive via email.  We make a preliminary assessment based on the Graduate Program in Genetics pre-application and a final assessment is made by the Recruiting Committee once official admission material is submitted.

Q: On what basis are the applications evaluated?

A: Applications for admission are evaluated on the basis of the applicant's undergraduate or graduate record (coursework, laboratory experience and grades), letters of recommendation, and performance on the GRE and TOEFL tests.  Each application is reviewed on an individual basis.

Q. Is the GRE subject test required? 

A: No, only the GRE general test is required (verbal, quantitative, and analytical).

Q: If my native language is not English, should I take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

A: Yes!  Applicants whose native language is not English should take the Test of English as a Foreign Language, unless they completed all four years of a baccalaureate degree in the United States or obtained a minimal verbal GRE score of 400.

Q: What are the required scores for both GRE and TOEFL?

A: Your eligibility for admission into the Graduate Program in Genetics depends on several things.  Applications for admission are evaluated on the basis of the applicant's undergraduate or graduate coursework and grades, letters of recommendation and laboratory experience.  Most of the students we admit have a combined Quantitative and Verbal GRE score of 1100 or higher.

Q. Is an international applicant's GRE verbal score important in the admission process?

A: Yes, an international applicant's GRE verbal score is important in the admission process. If you have a GRE Verbal score of 400 or higher then you are not required by the University to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Q: Are there any special requirements for international applicants?

A: Applicants whose native language is not English should plan to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  International students must also satisfy VISA requirements for INS and be proficient in English.

Q: What are the average GPA, GRE, and TOEFL scores for incoming students?

A: Statistics for the 2013 Genetics graduate student class are as follows:

     Average GPA:  3.73

     Average verbal GRE: 560 (156 on new scale)

     Average quantitative GRE: 710 (155 on new scale)

     Average combined GRE: 1208

Q: My GPA is less than 3.0, can I apply?

A: Yes.  Your eligibility depends on several things.  Applications are evaluated on the basis of the undergraduate or graduate record (coursework, laboratory experience and grades), letters of recommendation, and performance on the GRE and TOEFL tests.  A Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher is preferred.  However, extensive laboratory experience, high GREs and/or strong letters of recommendation can offset a low GPA.

Q: Do I need to submit official transcripts?

A: Yes, we need an official transcript from each of the senior-level post-secondary institutions attended.  An official statement of the award of the degree or diploma is required for each degree completed.  The registrar, controller of examinations or president of the university issuing the document must sign transcripts from a university outside the United States.  Official records are to be in the language of instruction, accompanied by official translation in English, if necessary.  Translations sent directly from the institution attended or from a recognized translator are considered official.  Photocopies or other duplications of a transcript, such as notarized copies and faxes are not considered official.

Q: Do I need to submit official GRE and TOEFL test scores?

A: Official test scores should be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to Texas A&M University (Code 6003) and be from a test date within five years of the date the application form reached the Office of Admissions and Records and/or the Genetics Program office.

Q: Are there any restrictions regarding age?

A: No.  There are no age restrictions.

Q: Does the program require a one year residency in College Station?

A: No, the program does not require a one year residency in College Station.  Out-of-state tuition fees are waived for all students receiving graduate stipends.

Q: Does the program require an applicant to have a Master degree before pursuing a Ph.D.?

A: No.  However, for international applicants priority is given to applicants that hold a Master degree or equivalent research experience that is documented by publications.

Q: Do you admit students who are only interested in getting a Master degree?

A: Our committee admits applicants primarily for the Ph.D. program. If an applicant is interested in a Masters degree, they will be offered admission only when a current faculty member has agreed to act as an advisor and to provide financial support to the prospective student. If you are interested in a Masters degree, we encourage you to contact faculty-of-interest as a potential advisor to determine if they could accept you into their lab and support your training.

Q: I have not taken the GRE and/or TOEFL, should I still apply?

A: You must have all application materials, including Texas Common Application, statement of purpose essay, letters of recommendation, test scores, and transcripts in by the deadline to be considered to admission.  Submit as much as you can, as soon as possible.  Submit the remainder when you can, but before the deadline.

Q: Do I need to send my test scores with my application?

A: Yes.  Your official application cannot be considered by the Genetics Recruiting Committee without test scores.

Q: Do you accept applications for the spring semester?

A: Typically no.  Because of the structure of our first-year graduate curriculum, the Graduate Program in Genetics only accepts applications in the fall semester.  Exceptions are made on a case by case basis.  We do not specifically reserve some of our Teaching Assistantships for spring semester applications.

Q: Can I apply via the Internet?

A: Yes, you can complete a free pre-application at http://indicus.tamu.edu/recruit/application.cgi. This will allow the Genetics Program Recruiting Committee to make a preliminary assessment of your suitability for enrollment in the program.  Then an official application can be completed via the internet by visiting http://www.tamu.edu/admissions/.

Q: How many graduate students are you going to accept next fall? 

A: We do not accept a specific number of graduate students into the program each fall. Typically, we accept 12-15 students into the program each year with funding for Teaching Assistantships and Regents Fellowships.  In 2014, we accepted 7 students into the program.

Q: How many applications do you receive each year?

A: We receive 50-75 applications in a typical year.  In general, two thirds of the applications are from domestic applicants and the remainder are from overseas applicants.

Q: Can the application fee be waived for International students wishing to enter the Genetics Graduate program?

A: Waiver of the $75 international application fee is not available.  Our University Admissions Office will not complete the processing of your application unless this fee is paid.  The $50 fee required of US citizens or permanent residents will be waived by the Genetics Graduate Program if you submit your application by January 15.

Q: Who makes the decisions as to who is admitted?

A: The Graduate Recruiting Committee makes admissions decisions.

Q: Can an application be transferred from the fall term of one year to the next fall term?

A: No. Applicants must re-apply using the Texas Common Application available at www.tamu.edu/admissions.  Recommendation letters and transcripts do stay on file for one year.  Applications do not transfer into the next academic year. 

Q: Do I need to submit a separate financial assistance application? 

A: No, it is not necessary to submit a separate application for financial assistance.  Applicants will automatically be considered for all possible sources of financing available to the genetics program (i.e. graduate assistantship, research assistantship, other fellowships).

Q: Is there full financial aid for first year students pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Genetics?

A: Graduate students who are admitted to the Genetics Program are supported for the first nine months as a teaching assistant. By the end of the first school year, it is expected that graduate students will have identified a research laboratory to join. Compensation for the graduate program in genetics is $24,500 per year. This support includes a stipend plus medical insurance benefits and eligibility for in-state tuition.  There is usually no need for additional financial assistance under normal circumstances.

Q: Is there a need for additional financial assistance?

A: In exceptional circumstances, some students find it necessary to apply for additional financial aid (e.g. a short-term loan).  Information on financial aid is available at https://financialaid.tamu.edu/.

Q: Do you offer financial assistance to students pursuing a Master degree?

A: In general, our Master's candidates join a research lab directly.  Priority for teaching assistantships is given to Ph.D. candidates.

Q: Is it possible to contact faculty before applying?

A: Members of the genetics faculty enjoy hearing from students interested in their research.  A full listing of genetics faculty is available at http://genetics.tamu.edu/faculty. 

Q: Is it possible to contact current genetics students?

A: A listing of current students and the research labs they are affiliated with is available at http://genetics.tamu.edu/faculty/grad-students.  We encourage you to contact them.

Q: Are genetics students given the opportunity to present and publish their research?

A: 83% of PhD students have at least one poster or oral presentation  at a regional or national research conference and have two peer-reviewed publications by the time of their thesis defense. 95% of M.S. students have at least one poster or oral presentation at a regional or national research conference and/or a peer-reviewed publication by the time of their thesis defense. 

Q: Where can I find information about Texas A&M University and Bryan-College Station?

A: Texas A&M was dedicated Oct. 4, 1876 and was Texas' first public higher education institution.  The 5,200-acre campus is among the largest in nation, with more than 100 buildings plus a 324-acre research park.  Texas A&M is a conservative campus with long-standing traditions, many of which center around the student bodyВ’s passion for Big XII sporting activities.  There are about 45,000 students enrolled annually; women account for almost half of total enrollment; African American and Hispanic students account for approximately 11 percent of the student body.  Texas A&M consistently ranks among the top 10 nationally in the number of science and engineering doctoral degrees conferred each year.  The university also ranks among leaders nationally in the number of doctoral degrees awarded to minority students.

The twin cities of Bryan-College Station have a combined population of over 133,000.  Bryan-College Station is located within easy driving distance of four major Texas cities (95 miles north of Houston, 169 miles south of Dallas, 166 miles northeast of San Antonio and 104 miles east of Austin).  Noted for its low crime rate, low cost-of-living, high employment rate and community spirit, Bryan-College Station is a pleasant place to live, work or study.

The following links provide additional information on life in Bryan-College Station:

    http://www.bryan-collegestation.org/

    http://www.bcschamber.org/

    http://www.b-cs.com/

 Other useful links for prospective graduate students are available at: http://www.tamu.edu/home/prospectstdts/.

Q: Is there an opportunity to visit the Texas A&M campus?

A: Domestic students who have completed their pre-application, including GRE scores and statement of purpose essay, by December 20 are eligible to be considered for an invitation to attend the graduate program in genetics annual recruiting symposium.  The symposium provides opportunities for you to meet faculty and students in the program, tour our modern research facilities and discover first-hand the wide range of research opportunities available.  Prospective graduate students from all over the country will be in attendance, so you will also have a chance to get acquainted with your potential colleagues.  The program provides most meals, lodging and round trip airfare for your visit to College Station.

Q: If I should have additional questions, whom do I contact?

A: If you have any questions that were not answered above, please contact the Graduate Programs Office via email at genesec@tamu.edu or call the Genetics Graduate Program's Academic Advisor, (979) 458-2284.

Q: What is the Graduate Program in Genetics mailing address?

A:     Genetics Graduate Advisor

        The Genetics Graduate Program

        Texas A&M University

        2128 TAMU

        College Station, TX 77843-2128
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