Frequently Asked Questions | Department of Biological Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the academic requirements for admission?

Students seeking admission to Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology must first meet all admission requirements of the Toulouse Graduate School. Students who do not meet these requirements will not be considered for admission within Biological Sciences.

In addition, students who are required to apply through International Admissions must also meet all requirements set by that office. Students who do not meet these requirements will not be considered for admission within Biological Sciences.

Within Biological Sciences, we require:

  • BA/BS in a biological science with at least 24 hours in biology (including 12 advanced hours) for the MA/MS & PhD in Biology. Some variance to this requirement may be considered for applicants to Biochemistry or Molecular Biology.
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) or 3.2 or higher in last 60 hours. Graduate cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).

These are the minimum requirements to be considered for admission. Due to the competitive nature of our admissions process, meeting minimum requirements is not a guarantee that an applicant will be offered admission.

What if I want to apply to programs in environmental sciences?

The application process for Biology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology is separate from Environmental Science. Applicants who are interested in that program should visit http://www.ias.unt.edu for more information.

What is the status of my application?

If you would like to know the status of your application, please email the following information to BIOLOGY@UNT.EDU:

  • Full name as indicated on application materials (required)
  • UNT application ID (if known)
  • UNT applicant ID (required)
  • Semester to which you are applying (required)
  • Program to which you are applying (required)

Please allow two (2) business days for a response.

NOTE: The application status information provided through the my.unt.edu portal does not reflect an applicant's status within the Department of Biological Sciences. This portal only reflects information from International Admissions and the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and should not be used to determine if your departmental application is complete. The only way to determine the application status within the Department of Biological Sciences is with the email method indicated above.

What is the GRE requirement for admission?

Biological Sciences does not have a specific score requirement. However we do require applicants to submit official scores on all sections of the General Test. GRE scores are included along with the other application materials for a holistic evaluation of the applicant. Subject Test GRE scores are used for diagnostic purposes, not admissions purposes. An application will not be reviewed for an admissions decision until all parts of the application are received. This includes official GRE scores. The UNT GRE school code is 6481.

Is there other important admissions information I should know?

Yes! Admission to the Dept. of Biological Sciences is competitive and we use a holistic admissions process. All components of the application are considered, so presenting a strong overall application is very important. Please feel free to include listings of any published articles so that faculty can gain a stronger understanding of your background. (Do not send copies of publications.) Admission to Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology requires that a faculty member agree to act as your major professor. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty members with research similar to their own interests or background. If you are not accepted by a faculty member willing to be your major professor, your application for admission will be denied. In addition, incomplete applications are not reviewed for an admissions decision. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine if all the required application materials have been submitted.

I have already sent my (application, letters of recommendation) to a specific professor in biological sciences. Do I also have to send them to the admissions staff?

Yes! While it may be helpful to provide copies of materials to faculty members, you must first send required materials to the appropriate office for processing. If you would like a copy to be sent to a specific faculty member, you must include this request with the materials. This allows important papers to be processed in the correct offices in a timely manner.

Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee required to submit your departmental materials to Biological Sciences. However, both the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and International Admissions require an application fee in order to begin processing of an application. This fee is required and we do not provide waivers. Information on the required fees can be found at the websites for each office.

My academic credentials are [X]. What are my chances of admission?

Because admission to the Department of Biological Sciences is competitive, we are unable to comment on your chances because we do not know the credentials of everyone else who might choose to apply. If you are an applicant with a successful research background, a strong GPA, and strong GRE scores, we encourage you to apply. Please be aware that due to the number of applications we receive, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Do you offer conditional admission?

Very rarely. The request to allow conditional admission must come from the faculty member who would like to accept you. It cannot be initiated by the applicant. Applicants who do not meet the admissions requirement to the Department of Biological Sciences may wish to consider applying for a non-degree seeking status option provided by the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies. This option may allow you to raise your GPA or provide you with the appropriate background courses to reapply for admission during a later semester.

How many students are accepted each semester?

There is no predetermined number of applicants admitted for any given semester.

Do international students need to submit mark sheets or a separate credential evaluation?

You should contact International Admissions directly with questions concerning the evaluation of foreign transcripts. The process is handled entirely within that office. The Department of Biological Sciences office is unable to answer these questions.

Does UNT recognize my foreign degree as a bachelors equivalent?

You should contact International Admissions directly with questions concerning the evaluation of foreign transcripts. The process is handled entirely within that office. The Department of Biological Sciences office is unable to answer these questions.

Do I have to submit transcripts from a school even if I did not earn a degree at that school?

YES. You must submit transcripts from every university/college attended. Failure to do so will significantly delay processing of your application and in some cases may cause a revocation of admission. Send all transcripts directly to the office handling your transcript evaluation (i.e. Toulouse School of Graduate Studies or International Admissions). Transcripts that are sent to the Department of Biological Sciences are not forwarded to other offices unless specifically requested by the applicant.

Do you accept graduate transfer students?

We review completed applications from students seeking a transfer. However, you must clearly explain the reasons for seeking a transfer in your letter of intent. You must submit a transcript for your current school to UNT. Please Note: The number of credits allowed in transfer is very limited and any use of those credits on a graduate degree plan is at the discretion of both the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and the Department of Biological Sciences.

I am currently a non-degree seeking student at UNT who would like to change to a degree in biological sciences, what should I do?

First, contact the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and complete a "Change of Major/Status" form indicating the degree within Biological Sciences for which you are applying. The rest of your application process is the same as other applicants. Current status as a Non-Degree Seeking Student does not guarantee admission.

NOTE: The Toulouse School of Graduate Studies limits the number of hours that a Non-Degree Seeking Student can transfer to a degree program. In addition, any use of those hours on a graduate degree plan is at the discretion of The Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and the Department of Biological Sciences. It is strongly suggested that students planning this option should speak with the appropriate graduate advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences before entering the Non-Degree Seeking path.

How do I contact faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences?

The department webpage has a separate section listing faculty. Many have links with information about their current research and the qualifications they look for in applicants. It is not advisable to send out mass emails to all faculty within the department as your message may get caught in spam filters and will go unanswered.

How will I know when I have been admitted?

In most cases, applicants are in contact with the faculty member who has agreed to be their major professor, and they will be told informally by the faculty member. The Department of Biological Sciences will also prepare a letter of acceptance for you. However, the ONLY OFFICIAL notification is sent through the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies. Any other notification, verbal or written, should be considered unofficial until you receive the Toulouse letter.

NOTE: For this reason it is essential to make sure your current mailing address is on file with your application. Otherwise there will be a substantial delay in receiving admissions notification. For international applicants, this will delay obtaining a visa. If your mailing address changes during the application process, update it immediately with all offices handling your admissions paperwork.

Why does Biological Sciences need my email address?

A current email address is necessary so we can contact you about your admissions process in a timely manner.

I met all the minimum requirements for admission. Why was I not admitted?

Admission into the Department of Biological Sciences is competitive and there are more applicants than we are able to admit. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

>My application was previously denied. I would like to reapply for a different semester. How do I do this?

The first step in updating your application for a new semester is to contact the admissions office to which you applied (Toulouse or International Admissions), and complete their requirements for an update. Usually you are required to pay another application fee. You must also contact the Department of Biological Sciences. You should use the same process described for learning the status of your application. Please make sure to indicate the exact date you made the request for the update through the appropriate admissions office. Failure to contact Biological Sciences will delay processing of your application. Acceptance after a previous denial is uncommon. While your application materials are retained for 3 years, we request that you submit new materials reflecting a substantial change from your previous application. It is not enough to merely reapply. Without new information, a different outcome is unlikely.

I have been admitted. Will the Department of Biological Sciences help me arrange my housing or travel to UNT?

Students are responsible for arranging their own housing while attending UNT, as well as arranging their own travel to and arrival at UNT before the beginning of classes and the appropriate orientations. UNT does offer some on-campus housing options, which should be arranged several months in advance through the Housing Office. Off-campus housing can be found by searching online, checking online listings for local newspapers and asking for recommendations from those you may know currently living in the area.

How can I allow my relative/friend access to information about my application status?

Some international applicants do request that a local representative be allowed to have access to information about the status of their application. Federal Law prohibits staff from releasing this information without a written, signed statement from the applicant giving this permission to a specific person. If you anticipate that you will be in this situation, please make sure to include written statement stating:

  • Your Full Name
  • Your UNT ID Number or UNT Application ID Number
  • Your Date of Birth
  • Full Name of Authorized Individual

The statement must explicitly state that you are authorizing the individual to be given information concerning the status of your application to Biological Sciences. The statement must be dated and have your signature. Photocopies are not accepted. Please be aware that this is authorization for Biological Sciences only and is not valid in other offices on the UNT campus, including International Admissions and the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies.

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