Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Program Application Process

Q. What is the deadline for applying for graduate admission?
A. The deadline for is December 1 for fall admission.

Q. What is your department's institution code for the purpose of sending test scores?
A. The institution code for UMass is 3917.

Q. Do I have to send original copies of transcripts?
A. You should send one official copy of all undergraduate transcripts where you have taken 6 or more credits.

Q. Where should I send my application materials?
A. Application materials must be sent directly to the University of Massachusetts Graduate Admissions Office:

Graduate Admissions
530 Goodell Building
University of Massachusetts
140 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9333

Q. What are the minimum GRE and TOEFL scores?
A. There is no minimum score for GRE. However, the better your score, the more competitive your application will be. The minimum test scores for TOEFL are as follows: computer-based test 213, paper-based test 550, and the internet based test is 80.

Q. What are the options for financial aid in the Microbiology Department?
A. All accepted Ph.D. applicants are considered for financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships. Teaching assistantships come with a tuition waiver and health insurance. The applicant is responsible for all mandatory fees.

Q. How many graduate students are enrolled in your program?
A. The Microbiology Department typically has 35-40 students studying in our graduate program.

Q. How many international students do you admit each year?
A. When our Graduate Admissions Committee meets, they review all applications equally whether they be international or US applicants.  They are looking for good overall students whose research interests fit our program.

Q. What types of teaching opportunities are available to graduate students?
A. Teaching Assistantships give experience in teaching and assisting in laboratory courses.

Q. How long does it take to complete a Master's degree?
A. The master's degree typically takes two years to complete.

Q. How long does it take to complete a Ph.D. degree
A. The typical degree track for a Ph.D. is five years but varies with each student.

Q.  How does a first-semester student obtain exposure to the different labs to determine favored area of research?
A.  Regular first semester student positions start with a teaching assistantship.  For those positions rotations are mandatory for the first two full semesters. A rotation project lasts for one semester.  A third rotation is optional. 

Q. After applying in the November time-frame for the December deadline, what are the next steps?  Is there an interview process?
A. Our Department has a recruitment/retreat weekend in February.  After the Graduate Admissions Committee meets to review all applicants, they decide which potential students to invite to visit our Department.