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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I send my transcripts and other supporting materials?

Transcripts should be sent to:
  Florida State University
  Office of Graduate Admissions
  282 Champions Way
  PO Box 3062400
  Tallahassee FL 32306-2400

All other supporting materials should be uploaded into your online application.

What is the school code for GRE scores?

The school code for having your GRE (and TOEFL) scores sent to FSU is - 5219

Do you admit students for the spring semester?

No, admissions are only for the fall semester.  Applications may be submitted beginning in September for admission into fall semester of the next year.

I am not taking the GRE until after the December 1st application deadline, will this affect my chances for admission?

Yes.  By December 1st we are already evaluating applications and GRE scores are an essential component of an application.  If you are taking the GRE late you should report your unofficial GRE scores to us as soon as you have taken the test and have the Educational Testing Service send your official scores to us right away.  We can work with your self-reported GRE scores initially but we cannot admit a student without official GRE scores and it can take from 4-6 weeks for your official scores to reach us after you take the test.

Do you accept international students?

Yes.  However we can take only a small number of international students each year, so competition is tight.  International applicants should contact program faculty as part of the application process and explore the fit between their research interests and the work being done by specific members of our faculty.

How do my GRE or GPA scores relate to my chances for admission?

Admission decisions are complex and based on multiple criteria including GRE and GPA.  The average entering graduate student has a verbal GRE score of 156/72%,  (550 on the old GRE), and a quantitative score of 154/67% , (690 on the old GRE).  The department does not have a specific minimum GRE score for admission, but applicants with GRE scores below 153 (500) verbal and 146 (550) quantitative need to have strong research backgrounds, a GPA >3.2 on upper division courses, and excellent letters of recommendation.  For the most up to date information, see the Graduate Admissions page for the Department of Biological Science ( ).

I am interested in a masters rather than a PhD, will this affect my admission?

It may.  We do take students interested in a master degree only but we prefer to admit students who want to go directly for the PhD.  We realize students are sometimes uncertain of which degree is better for them until they have been in the program for a while, and if you are uncertain you probably should say so in your application.  Once in the program some students switch (from MS to PhD or vice versa), our program is flexible and can accommodate that.

I have uploaded my transcripts into the application website, do I still need to send an official copy of my transcripts?

Yes, official transcripts are required for admission.  Uploaded copies of all your transcripts are required for the Departmental review process.  Official transcripts are sent directly from your prior institution(s) to:
Florida State University
Office of Admissions
282 Champions Way
PO Box 3062400
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400

Will I have to do lab rotations?

Yes, Cell and Molecular Biology students pursuing the PhD are expected to rotate through three laboratories becoming familiar with the research and learning new techniques.  Master's degree students are not required to do rotations, however, Master's students that switch to the PhD program later will be required to do rotations at that time.

If I am interested in a particular research area, should I contact faculty members with similar research interest during the application process?

Yes, individual faculty members can describe their ongoing projects and ability to accept additional students.  It also helps the admissions committee predict student assistantship needs, because some faculty members can support their students on research grants. However, an individual faculty member alone does not make admission decisions, that is done by the graduate area faculty.


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