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 do I need to apply? 

  • Transcripts from any university or college you attended.
  • GRE score sheet (optional, no older than 5 years)*
  • International – TOEFL, IELTS or other approved English test score sheet. (no older than 2 years)
  • Statement of Purpose or Intent
  • Resume or CV (see below for content)
  • 2 Letters of Reference

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

  • College, degrees, degree date and 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


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 ensure 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 cost of the application is determined by the Graduate School.


Will you waive the application fee?

The department rarely issues fee waivers. If you have economic constraints that you wish to be considered, you may contact the Graduate School directly.


Are the GRE and TOEFL required?

The GRE scores are optional, but international applicants must have TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores, unless they are from an exempt country. 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 Internet-based test (IBT) or 550 Paper-based test (PUT), an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher, or a Duolingo score of 100 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.


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 to 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)

Note that if you were instructed in English in your university in a country that is not listed, you will still be required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. There is no exception to this as it is a university requirement.

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 112 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?

You will include contact information for your letter writer in your application. They will be emailed information on how to upload their recommendation.


Does the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry evaluate applications as they come in, or all at once?

As they come in. The application must be in the "Completed" status in the application process before an application will be reviewed. 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 and it may take several weeks after completion to review the files. 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. After the contract period, support usually continues for a reasonable time until the degree is completed. 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. If you have already applied under the old system (before Fall 2018), then you will need to submit a whole new application at the graduate school. If you are applying fall 2018, or after, then you will be able to use your materials except for quadrant four:

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 contract period?

For PhD – 48 months as long as you maintain good academic performance, teaching performance and overall good standing within the university. After the contract period, support usually continues for a reasonable time until the degree is completed.

For MS – 12 month stipend is offered initially. After that, graduate students may work as research assistants (this depends on the research professor and the research funding he/she has), or continue to work as a TA. The decision is made by the student's research mentor/professor.


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 cost of tuition & fees per semester?

Doctoral degree students with a Teaching Assistantship can expect to pay $1,025 as an international student, or $950 as a domestic student, in tuition and fees per semester (updated for Spring '24). All graduate students are encouraged to use the tuition estimator to assess their tuition and fees per semester.


What about Health Insurance – is it required?

For international students: All international students must have health insurance through the Office of International Affairs. The good news is that it is billed through student business services where you pay your tuition so you can spread it out over several months.

For domestic students: There is health insurance offered to you through the human resources at Texas Tech or you can get your own according to federal laws.


Does Texas Tech University or the Department cover the cost of health insurance?

No, the university does not pay the premiums for health insurance and the department has recently raised stipend amounts to help with the high cost of insurance in the US.


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. 


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

Graduate students conduct research based on the projects of their Research Advisor.


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


Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

  • Address

    1204 Boston Avenue, Lubbock, TX 79409-1061
  • Phone