Information for prospective graduate students
The Department of Biological Sciences offers Master of Science Degrees in Biology, Biological Informatics, and Microbiology; and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Biology.
To be admitted into our M.S. and Ph.D. graduate programs, you will need to identify a professor in your area of interest who is willing to serve as your Major Advisor. It is your responsibility to make initial contact with prospective Major Advisors. A faculty member who agrees to serve as your Major Advisor must verify this commitment in writing to the departmental Graduate Student Selection Committee before your completed application is evaluated, or else you will not be admitted.
Apply directly to the Graduate School for admission to Texas Tech University as a graduate student. Briefly, this includes submission of official transcripts for all previous college-level study, official GRE score reports, a resume/CV, a list of potential graduate advisors, and a statement of your academic and research goals. International students must also submit official TOEFL scores and a bank statement that indicates sufficient funds to cover the student's education and living expenses. Submit these application materials directly to the Graduate School
Your application will be evaluated by using a combination of the following four criteria:
- your GRE general test scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing);
- your GPA for the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work and/or for formal graduate courses;
- your goals statement (approximately 1 page); and
- Names of three referees who will submit letters of recommendation. You should choose referees who are able to comment on your potential for success in graduate courses and research.
Your goals statement is a very important part of your application. You should indicate how the attainment of the advanced degree is related to your long-term career plans. In addition, the Graduate Student Selection Committee is interested in any other information you can provide to help them evaluate your potential for success in research and graduate course work. Such information might include a brief description of your previous research experience, pertinent communications with your prospective Major Advisor, and ideas about possible research projects that you might work on with your Major Advisor. For Ph.D. applicants with an M.S. degree, the goals statement should contain a general description of the M.S. thesis study and the conceptual and/or technical foundation it may have provided for your future Ph.D. research project.
For international applicants and domestic applicants who wish to be considered for any scholarships or fellowships offered through the Graduate School, application deadlines are January 15 for admission in the next Summer/Fall Semester and June 15 for admission in the next Spring Semester. The application deadlines for domestic students who are not interested in being considered for scholarships or fellowships are March 1 for the next Summer/Fall Semester and October 1 for the next Spring Semester. The application must include all of the materials required by the Graduate School and the Department (described above) before we can consider it. To inquire about the status of your application, you may telephone the Graduate Secretary at (806) 742-2715 or send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Graduate School and the Department provide fellowships or scholarships awarded on a competitive basis. More information can be found at the Graduate Fellowship and Scholarships page.
Teaching assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis from the Department of Biological Sciences. Offers are not made until after admission into the graduate program. All international students for whom English is a second language are required by the State of Texas to attend an English language workshop that is held on campus in July. You must pass an evaluation of ability to speak English before you can teach at any Texas university. Unfortunately, no other scholarship opportunities are available from the Department at this time.
Individual faculty members may be able to offer research assistantships based on the extent of their current research funding. Contact your prospective Major Advisor to inquire about this possibility.
Overview of the Graduate Degree Programs
Requirements for completing the thesis M.S. degree include coursework (30 credit hours), a research thesis, and a final oral examination. A 36-credit hour non-thesis option is also available. The Ph.D. degree requires 60 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate (including formal courses, seminars, and research credits), passage of a comprehensive qualifying exam (written and oral), and completion and oral defense of a dissertation.
During your first semester in the graduate program, you will select the members of your Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee (chaired by your Major Advisor) will meet with you regularly to advise and assist you toward the completion of your degree. The Committee will individually tailor the course plan to your academic background, research interests, and career goals.
An important decision is the choice of a thesis or dissertation topic, one that is both of interest to you and complementary to your Major Advisor's research program. Following discussions with your Major Advisor, you will submit a research proposal to your Advisory Committee for their approval. Typical times for completion of the M.S. degree are 2-3 years and for the Ph.D. degree are 4-5 years.
Intradepartmental organization for research is centered around the areas of animal physiology and biomedical science, ecology, evolutionary biology, microbiology, plant physiology and biotechnology, and quantitative biology. In addition to these departmental research groups, there are several university-wide research centers, institutes, and associated Federal research laboratories that promote and facilitate collaborative research. These include: