Texas Tech University

Frequently Asked Questions


Where do I apply to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry?

All applications and document submissions go through the Texas Tech Grad Application Site.



What documents need to be ready to be downloaded?

  • Transcripts from any university or college you attended.
  • GRE score sheet (no older than 5 years)
  • International – TOEFL, IELTS or other approved English test score sheet
  • Statement of Purpose or Intent
  • Resume or CV (see below)
  • Email addresses for at least 3 reference people (these need to be professors, research mentors or people who have worked with you in Chemistry or related field)

What things are you looking for on the CV/Resume?

Since we no longer have a departmental application, it becomes more important to have certain things on your CV or resume. So the following would be a good way to list your achievements.

  • GPA's for each degree you have obtained and current GPA for any current degree
  • Publication list
  • Presentation or poster list
  • Experience related to the field of chemistry and/or biochemistry
  • Honors or awards
  • Membership in professional societies

There are some things I'm not sure if I need to submit information for on the application?

There is no need to submit anything about immunization records. If you are admitted, I will give you some information then. Military service is for US military service only. So you don't need to answer those if you are international or have not been in the military.

The main questions you need to answer are the departmental questions about what areas of chemistry you are interested in and if you have any special remarks to make.

Why are the Graduate School's Deadlines different from the Department of Chemistry deadlines?


The deadlines for the Graduate School are early for visa reasons. In some countries it can take 6 months or more to obtain the visa. Others take one month. So to insure that all accepted applicants will be able to come on time, they have very early deadlines.

Another reason is to give as many top applicants as possible a chance for the many fellowships that are being offered. Deadlines for nominations from departments are usually February 15th, so applying early gives top applicants a chance for being nominated. Considering the time it takes to receive the documents and recommendation letters, the review and nomination process times, January 15th is an appropriate deadline.

Even though the Graduate school deadline is past, you can still apply up until the departmental deadline but there is no way to guarantee that you will get a visa in time if you are an international student.

Semester Graduate School Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Fall January 15th March 1st
Spring June 15th September 1st

How much is the cost of the application?

The application costs $60

Will you waive the application fee?

You will need to contact the Graduate Admissions in the Graduate School who requires the application fee.

 

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. 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 placement examination requirements.

 

What is the minimum acceptable GPA, GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS score?

Texas Tech University 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 graduate school can process your application with score sheets for GRE/TOEFL scores; however, final graduate school admission requires that official scores be submitted through ETS, no more than 5 years old for the GRE, and no more than two years old for the TOEFL at the time of acceptance. (Note that if your scores are about to expire before you accept an offer, you should have the scores sent through ETS at least 2 months before they expire or they will not be accepted.)

 

What is the Texas Tech University Institution code for ETS? What is the departmental code?

Institution code = 6827
Departmental code = CHEM (C27), Biochemistry (B22)

Note that you only need submit official scores one time. All scores reported from ETS go to the Graduate School, not the department. This is why we ask for a copy of your score sheet.

 

What are the countries that exempt me from TOEFL or IELTS?

The list can be accessed at this website: Scroll down to the list (Click here)

Also if you have attended a US higher education institution for 2 consecutive years or more, you are exempt from English entrance tests.

 

Does the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry accept ELS Educational Services Level 112 to satisfy English Proficiency requirements?

Because of the great need for advanced English skills within the Department, we have not found that the ELS Level 12 is a good indication of proficiency for our needs. We therefore require the TOEFL or IELTS scores. We are one of the departments who does not have conditional admissions.

 

How is the recommendation letter received?

The Graduate School will send out a request by email to each of your reference people. They will then upload them to the graduate school.

 

I'm in a country that has sporadic internet and need to mail documents. Is that all right?

Yes, we realize that in very rare cases, internet is not available for all. In that case only mail the documents to:

        Texas Tech University
        The Graduate School
        Attn: Graduate Admission
        Lubbock, TX 79409-1030

Do Not Mail Documents except in this case! Please scan and attach to e-mails if at all possible. Mailing will greatly delay your application.

 

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 so be sure you obtain one. Each division decides on the acceptance of courses.

 

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 is provided by a professor at the current institution.

 

Can I apply for financial aid? How do I do so?

Yes. All PhD students who receive an offer of admission from the department will receive a guaranteed stipend of at least 48 months as part of their assistantship, with formal details explained in the offer letter. All MS students who receive an offer of admission from the department will receive a guaranteed stipend of at least 12 months. Additional financial aid or scholarships can be found by contacting the Financial Aid Office and/or the Graduate School.

 

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. You will need to contact the Graduate School to find out what you need to submit.

We ask that you submit at least one new application document in addition to what has already been submitted before. 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.

 

Do I have to pay income taxes on a TA or RA stipend?

Yes. Everyone employed in the U.S. pays federal income tax, but Texas has no state income tax. 

 

What is the length of a TA stipend? What happens after the first year?

For PhD – 48 months as long as you maintain good academic performance, teaching performance and overall good standing with the university. An initial teaching assistantship (TA) stipend offer for the PhD is guaranteed for 48 months (fall, spring, and summer semesters) for the 4 years, with Provost Fellows typically receiving a one-year (12-month) stipend at a substantially higher level.

For MS – 12 month stipend is offered initially. After that, graduate students may work as Research Assistants (this depends on the professor and the research funding he/she has), or 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 in the fall, spring and possibly summer after their contract time has expired.

 

What are the responsibilities of a TA?


Chemistry department TA's teach up to 3 general chemistry or 2 organic chemistry laboratories each week, help proctor general or organic chemistry exams, help grade lecture course quizzes and exams, and have help session hours. TA duties require approximately 20 plus hours per week.

 

What are the estimated costs of tuition & fees per semester?


For academic year 2016-17 - 9 hours enrollment required for assistantship
With Assistantship International (non-resident) (9 hours) Domestic (9 hours)
Master's degree $ 1300 (Down from $ 8460) $ 1200 (down from $ 4588.50)
Doctoral degree $ 675 (Down from $ 8460) $ 600 (down from $ 4588.50)

 

Do I choose a research professor before I come?

No, research professors/mentors are chosen in the first semester that a new student is here. For the majority of professors, they do not want to be contacted by applicants and will just refer you to our assistant to the Graduate Advisor to send you information about how to apply. A committee of professors from each division chooses which applicants will come here according to the needs of the department.

 

Can I continue the research I'm doing in my country in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry?

A graduate student does the research that his research mentor wants him to do. You need to be very flexible about the research you expect to do when you come to any university. Look to see if any of the professors are doing something similar or look for several professors whose research interests you. A graduate student conforms to his mentor's wishes, not the other way around.

 

I have a question that has not been answered by the information posted above.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our graduate office by e-mail to chemgrad@ttu.edu