Admissions & Application Process
When are applications available?
Applications for the following Fall admission are generally opened around mid-October and due January 1st. Please see the Graduate School website for more information: https://gradschool.umbc.edu/.
The Applied Molecular Biology (AMB) Master’s program has a preferred deadline of March 1st, with applications accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full. Students may still apply to the AMB program after March 1st.
When will my application be reviewed?
The Graduate Committee begins meeting at the end of January/early February. Applications will not be reviewed until all required documents are uploaded.
The Applied Molecular Biology Master’s program reviews applications on a rolling basis.
Are GREs Required?
GRE scores are waived for all students applying for Fall 2022 admission. Students may submit their GRE scores if they wish.
What are the average GRE scores for accepted applicants?
The averages of our current students are:
What is the TOEFL code for UMBC?
UMBC TOEFL code is 5835.
What is the GRE code for UMBC?
UMBC GRE code is 5835.
Are TOEFLs or IELTS required for international students?
Yes, TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students.
What are the recommended TOEFL or IELTS scores?
Our programs generally require a TOEFL score of at least 80 and an IELTS score of at least 6.5.
Does the Department of Biological Sciences admit students in the Spring semester?
No. Our programs admit only in the Fall semester.
Do I need a Master’s degree to apply to the Ph.D. programs?
No, a Master’s degree is not required to apply for any of our Ph.D. programs. In fact, many students can work towards a Master’s degree while pursing their Ph.D. We call this a “Master’s along the way.”
Non-degree students do need to apply and be accepted by the department in order to take courses. Submitting an application does not automatically allow a student to enroll in a graduate-level course.
Do I need to find a lab or research mentor before applying?
No! It does help to have a research focus in mind, but it is not required to have a mentor when applying. All students complete rotations in 2-3 labs before finding a mentor.
Being a graduation student is a full-time job. Students should expect to work about 40 hours a week on their course work, research, and teaching/research assistant duties.
Life at UMBC
Do I need a car?
How do I find a place to live?
The Graduate Student Association has some recommendations on their website, including on-campus accommodations at Walker Avenue Apartments. UMBC’s Off-Campus Housing offers tips for finding housing on-campus and for housing off-campus close to UMBC.
You should also talk to other graduate students in the department. They can tell you which areas are desirable.
Are there any unexpected expenses I need to know about?
Most incoming students are unaware of the student fees. To find the latest information about student fees, visit the Costs & Funding section of the UMBC Graduate School website.
What is the average length of time to obtain a Ph.D.?
The average time from matriculation to graduation for a Ph.D. student is 5–6 years. We have had students graduate in 3 ½ years, and some are here longer than 7 years.
Do graduate students interact with each other outside the lab?
Most definitely. You can have as much or as little interaction as you choose to have with other graduate students. Activities range from getting together for dinner and drinks every week, to playing in pick up soccer games, to attending local cultural and sporting events. Some students in the department enjoy biking at the Patapsco State Park near the University, others like traveling to Pennsylvania for camping and whitewater rafting. You can find out more about activities and local destinations by visiting the Life at UMBC section.