Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Provost Fellows program, and how can I apply?
The Provost Fellows program is an initiative supported the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has to attract the very best graduate student applicants to TTU. Recipients of this distinctive honor are entitled to a guaranteed 12-month research assistantship stipend at $2000/month, special tuition and fee scholarships, etc. All graduate applicants will be automatically considered for the Provost Fellows program, i.e. no special application is necessary. Applicants who are chosen for the Provost Fellows program will learn of this in their offer letters.
Will you waive the application fee?
No. The application fee is required by the Texas Tech University Office of Graduate Admissions for a graduate application and they will not waive it. However, the departmental application for the chemistry graduate program does not have a fee–you may submit our application (AGFS) free of charge.
Can I pay the application fee after obtaining chemistry admission?
Yes. The departmental Graduate Affairs Committee can and does recommend admission or rejection after reviewing a complete departmental (AGFS) application, whether or not the graduate application is complete. Although Graduate School will make the official notification to you of admission or rejection, in almost all cases they will adhere to the department’s recommendation. Note however, that they require all official documents (including the fee payment), before they will process your paperwork. If you are admitted, the international I-20 and admission documents will come from the Graduate School.
Do I need to apply to both the Graduate School and to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry?
Yes. Application files will not be reviewed unless all required materials have been sent to the department, and if the applicant is given an offer by the department, then applicants cannot gain admission to Texas Tech University without completing an application to the Graduate School. Although in principle you can wait to apply to the Graduate School until after waiting to hear of the department’s decision, it might cause a delay in issuing an I-20.
To submit a graduate application, you will need to send official TOEFL scores, and official transcripts and diplomas to Graduate Admissions, and a $60 application fee for US students/$60 application fee for international students. Graduate School forms and information are available from their web site, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/. We will forward any official materials that we receive to the Graduate Admission’s office for you, i.e. you only need to send these materials once.
What is the minimum acceptable GPA, GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS score?
TTU requires a minimum TOEFL score of 79-80 Internet-based test (IBT) or 550 Paper-based test (PUT), or an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher. There is no minimum GPA or GRE requirement. Note that the department can process your application with unofficial (emailed) GRE/TOEFL scores; however, final graduate school admission requires that official scores be submitted, no more than 5 years old for the GRE, and two years old for the TOEFL.
Are the GRE and TOEFL required?
Yes. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry requires general GRE scores for all graduate applicants, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for all international applicants, except those currently studying within the United States. The subject GRE score is not required, but if you have taken the subject test in either Chemistry, Physics, or Biochemistry Cell & Molecular Biology, please include your score in your application, as this may place you out of the Diagnostic Examination requirement.
What is the Texas Tech University Institution code for ETS? What is the departmental code?
Institution code = 6827
Departmental code = CHEM
Note that you only need submit official scores one time, i.e. you do not have to send official scores to both the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Graduate School.
Does the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry require official copies of transcripts and diplomas?
No. Photocopies of test scores, transcripts, and diplomas will suffice for the departmental application evaluation. However, the Graduate School will require official copies of these documents before you can be officially admitted by them. To prevent delays in processing, please send all official documents to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and we will forward them to the Graduate School for you.
Is the recommendation form required?
Yes and no. The departmental Graduate Affairs Committee prefers to have the form and a written letter. But, if the applicant has already sent letters with no accompanying form, the form is not required. If nothing has been sent yet, please send both. In any case, recommendations from at least three separate individuals (in either letter or recommendation form, or both) are required for the departmental application.
Where should I send my application materials?
Please send application materials to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the following address:
Texas Tech University
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Graduate Programs Office
Memorial Circle and Boston Ave
Lubbock, TX 79409-1061
If your mail carrier requires an alternate address, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will forward application materials to the Graduate School for you.
Will the department accept e-mailed documents instead of mailed documents?
Yes. We will accept materials that have been scanned and e-mailed to email@example.com, for purposes of evaluating your departmental application. But you will want to note that these electronic documents will not be considered as official, and we will not forward these documents to the Graduate School.
Does the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry evaluate applications as they come in, or all at once?
As they come in. The departmental Graduate Affairs Committee meets on a regular basis to evaluate files. For the most part, files are evaluated as they are completed, but sometimes there is a backlog. It is to your advantage to complete and submit application materials well before the deadlines, and to accept offers (if received) well in advance of the April 15 deadline.
Can I transfer graduate course credits from another university?
Yes. Once you enroll here, you may submit a request for the chemistry department to review your previous coursework for transfer credit. A course syllabus of the requested transfer course must be provided for evaluation.
I want to transfer to TTU Chemistry & Biochemistry from another institution without completing my current degree, can I do this?
Yes. We ask that students who want to transfer from another institution without completing their current degree provide a short statement explaining why they want to transfer in addition to all required application materials. We also require that at least one of the letters of recommendation are provided by a professor at the current institution.
Can I apply for financial aid? How do I do so?
Yes. Students who complete the departmental application automatically apply for financial aid in doing so. For this reason, the primary departmental application document is also called the “Application for Graduate Financial Support” (AGFS). All students who receive an offer of admission from the department (including the Provost Fellows) will receive a guaranteed stipend of at least 12 months as part of their assistantship, with formal details explained in the offer letter. Additional financial aid or scholarships can be found by contacting the Financial Aid Office and/or the Graduate School.
What is the length of a TA stipend? What happens after the first year?
12 months. An initial teaching assistantship (TA) stipend offer is guaranteed for 12 months (fall, spring, and summer semesters) for the first year, with Provost Fellows typically receiving a two-year (24-month) research assistantship stipend at a substantially higher level. After that, the majority of graduate students work as Research Assistants (this depends on the professor and the research funding he/she has), although some students continue to work as TAs. The decision is made by the student’s research mentor. Students can generally expect to be supported on either a TA or RA position every semester.
What are the responsibilities of a TA?
Chemistry department TA's teach up to 3 general or organic chemistry laboratories each week, help proctor general or organic chemistry exams, help grade lecture course quizzes and exams, and/or work in the general chemistry help room. Some TA’s also serve as discussion section leaders, though these students are usually not in their first year. TA duties require approximately 12-15 hours per week.
My application file was rejected by the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry for the current semester, and I want to re-apply for a future semester. Can I re-apply?
Yes. If you want to re-apply for a future semester for any reason, we ask that you complete a new Application for Graduate Financial Support. And, we ask that you submit at least one new application document in addition to what has already been submitted. You will need to provide new/better test scores, new transcripts showing additional coursework or completion of a degree, additional peer-reviewed publications, or additional letters of recommendation. A new statement of purpose, resume, curriculum vitae, etc… will not suffice. If 18 months or longer has elapsed before re-applying, we ask that you provide all new application materials.
Do I have to pay income taxes on a TA or RA stipend?
Everyone employed in the U.S. pays federal income tax, but Texas does not have a state income tax.