Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Application Process

Who is eligible to apply to the graduate program?

The minimum requirement to apply is a bachelor’s level degree (B.S. or B.A.) in a biomedical or related field. International students must have completed an international degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing. A 3.0 GPA in undergraduate or other graduate work is required.

I won't graduate until May. Can I apply?

Yes. If you are admitted, you will need to supply a final transcript showing completion of a degree program.

How do I complete the application form?

All graduate applications are done online through the Admissions Office and the Graduate School.

Do I need to contact faculty to secure a mentor before applying?

No, students admitted into the program will complete laboratory rotations during their first year to identify a mentor and lab to join.

Do I need to take the GRE test?

Yes. The department requires GRE scores. The department does not require a minimum score; scores are considered as one part of the application package. MCATS can substitute for the GRE in some cases. GRE scores are reported directly to CSU from ETS, it takes at least 2-3 weeks for scores to be delivered. The institution code for CSU is 4075; no department code is needed. No subject test is required.

Notice to International Applicants: We realize that GRE scores may be affected by language and cultural differences for students whose native language is not English. This is taken into consideration when applications are evaluated. The scores are nevertheless required and must be submitted for your application to be complete.

Can copies of GRE scores be sent?

Yes. We can accept a copy of your GRE score report from the ETS website. You can upload a copy of your score report to you application via the application status page once your application has been submitted.

I took the GRE 3 years ago. Can I use these scores?

Yes. Scores cannot be more than 5 years old.

What is the minimum TOEFL score needed for admission?

Paper-based: 550

Computer-based: 213

Internet-based: 80

Is the IELTS test of English proficiency accepted by the University?

Yes. The Minimum IELTS score for admission is 6.5.

When can the English proficiency requirement be waived?

You may be exempted from the English proficiency requirement if the official language of your country is English (check the list of TOEFL/IELTS exempt countries to see if your home country is exempt​) or if you have recently earned a degree at an American university.

Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation?

You should request letters from people best qualified to address your potential for graduate work. Academic references representing your major field and persons who can comment on qualities that will be relevant to academic pursuits, particularly research, are preferred.

Do I need to submit transcripts for every college level class I have taken?

Yes. Even if a class shows up on another transcript, the Admissions Office requires original transcripts. Official transcripts are required from all schools at which college credit was awarded, including credits earned through study abroad programs. The only exception may be if you took concurrent credits during high school.  If you earned college credits during high school please indicate those on application on the ‘College Education’ page, transcripts for those credits may not be required.  If you do not indicate that those credits were taken concurrently during high school, a transcript may be required.

Can I upload copies of my transcripts to the application?

The application system allows you to upload unofficial copies of your transcripts to your application.  However, those unofficial copies will not satisfy the transcript requirement.  Official transcripts must be sent to Graduate Admissions, either electronically or via mail, to complete your application.​

What if my transcripts are not in English?

If the institution does not issue records in English, original language records must be submitted with official English translations.

What should I include in my Statement of Purpose?

There are no strict guidelines for writing your Statement of Purpose – that’s what makes it personal.

However, the Statement of Purpose is a very important part of the application and the following features are typically helpful for the Admissions Committee:

  • Should be your work and reflect you, although it’s fine to get input from others.

  • Should include some description of your research experience. Research experience is a critical component in the admissions decision. If your research experience is not mentioned in your Statement of Purpose and/or your recommendation letters, the Committee won’t know about it.

  • Should address the question: Why are you interested in attending graduate school, and why are you interested in graduate school at Colorado State University specifically.

  • May include your thinking about career plans, although it is early in your scientific training and nothing is set in stone.

  • The Statement of Purpose can be a place to address discrepancies, relative weaknesses, or anything potentially atypical that may arise in viewing your application, e.g., if you had low grades in one particular semester, took time during or after college for another endeavor, are making a change in career direction or scientific field, etc.

Who will review my application?

The Graduate Education Committee​ reviews all applications for the graduate program. The committee consists of the Associate Head for Graduate Education, 4 faculty members, and two current graduate students elected by their peers.

What criteria are used to evaluate students for admission?

  • Perceived ability to do well in a graduate program. From your academic record, we consider courses taken, letters of recommendation, GPA and GRE scores.
  • Research experience. The program does not require but strongly prefers to see evidence of research activity as an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate. Many successful applicants have had some independent laboratory experience indicative of a commitment to a research career.
  • Strong letters of recommendation. Strong statements of support from persons in a position to evaluate an applicant’s potential for success as a graduate student carry significant weight in admission decisions.
  • Strong Statement of Purpose
  • Interests that match available research opportunities​ in the department.​

How many applications do you get each year?

Approximately 100 US applications and 35 International applications.

How many students do you admit each year?

No fixed or numerical criteria are used; composite profiles of the applicants are gleaned from all of the documentation in the application file. The number of students admitted is also dependent on space and resource availability in the department and individual faculty laboratories.

Approximately 3-6 students may be admitted each fall.

How many graduate students are currently in the program?

Masters students: 12

PhD students: 58

Female students: 52

Male students: 18

What if my application is not complete by the deadline?

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the Graduate Education Committee. All materials must be received by the deadline.

Your incomplete application can be considered the following year if you chose to defer your application.

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