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FAQs

Admission Questions

    1. Hold the equivalent of a 4-year US accredited baccalaureate degree in chemistry or biochemistry (or a closely related field).
    2. Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
    3. For more detailed application requirements, click on the "Admission Criteria" link.
  • Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to major in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, molecular biology, or a similar field. Although, applicants who have a background in chemistry/biochemistry (e.g. minor or double major) may still apply to our program.

    We recommend that students entering the program have a combination of the following classes:

    • One year of general chemistry (with lab)
    • One year of organic chemistry (with lab)
    • One semester of physical chemistry
    • One semester of biochemistry
    • One semester of inorganic chemistry
    • One semester of chemical analysis or analytical chemistry
    • Optional: Cell biology and genetics
  • The Department usually accepts about 25 graduate students per year. While admissions have no demographics requirements, usually about half of the accepted students are domestic and half are international.
  • Admitted students do not join research groups until the end of their first semester. During that first semester, biochemistry students take a lab rotation course to explore potential labs. Chemistry students are not enrolled in a course but are instructed to speak with at least four professors during the first semester to learn about current research, explore their lab, attend lab meetings, etc.

    At the end of the fall semester, they meet with the Department Chair to discuss whom they would like to work with and why. A sincere effort is always made to allow students to join the group of their first choice, but on rare occasions that is not possible.
  • Your next step will be to complete the IERF process.

    Official transcripts and other documentation should be sent as directed to IERF. All documents need to be received and complete before the I-20 process can begin. Expediency in having the official transcripts sent to BYU* upon notice of being recommended for admission is important. Admission will not be complete until official transcripts are received and verified.

    Transcripts should be in the native language and accompanied by an official English translation unless the university issues transcripts in English only. The translation into English must be literal, not interpretive. Transcripts must bear official, not photocopied, signatures, seals, or stamps.

    For an accurate evaluation of your unofficial transcript, it is helpful to have a grading scale with the transcript. The degree must be at least the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree (a four-or five-year degree program) and must be completed before you begin your graduate program.




Application Questions

  • The application deadline for Fall and for those desiring fellowship consideration is January 5.

    While we do review applications submitted after that date, applicants who meet the deadline have a higher possibility of being admitted. Late submissions are considered as we have openings in our programs.
  • The application fee is $50.

    Questions on waiving the application fee are encouraged to contact Amy Royer (amy@chem.byu.edu), Graduate Program Administrator.

    1. Ecclesiastical Endorsement
    2. Undergraduate Transcripts
    3. Standardized Test Scores
      1. GRE general test - recommended
      2. English Proficiency Exams - international students
    4. 3 Letters of Recommendation
    5. Professor and Research
    6. Statement of Intent
    7. Video Interview

    See Admissions Criteria for more details.
  • An ecclesiastical endorsement is a religious recommendation by your religious clergy and the commitment from the student to live the honor code.

    All persons wanting to attend BYU must complete and maintain a valid ecclesiastical endorsement in order to be enrolled at the university. The process can be started at endorse.byu.edu and depending on your situation the process may be different. Below are a few examples of how you can complete this process depending on your individual situation.

    Instructions for applicants who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    • As a member applicant applying for graduate admission (including currently enrolled BYU students), you must obtain a NEW ecclesiastical endorsement which requires an interview with both your local bishop and stake president.  
    • Currently enrolled BYU undergraduate students are instructed NOT to complete the "Continuing/Currently Enrolled" endorsement as this option is not relevant to graduate admissions and will cause you significant delays.

    Instructions for applicants who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    • As a non-member applicant, you may elect to complete an ecclesiastical interview with either your local religious leader or a local bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in your area and then a final interview via phone or email with our on-campus BYU Chaplain.
    • To find the name and phone number of the nearest Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in your area please click here.

    All applicants are encouraged to complete the Ecclesiastical Endorsement process well in advance of their respective graduate program application deadlines to prevent possible delays in being considered for admission.
  • Domestic and International Students:

    GRE: There is no minimum score for the GRE, but the Department's admitted students generally score above 300. This exam is recommended; required for fellowship consideration.

    Subject GRE: There is no minimum score for this exam. This exam is optional.


    International Students:

    English Proficiency Exams: We accept the CAE, E3PT, IELTS, and TOEFL tests. Minimum scores are below:

    • CAE C1 Advanced
      • Minimum score of (180/Grade C) or higher.
    • E3PT
      • Overall minimum score of 79 (with minimum speaking, reading, and listening scores of 21, and a minimum writing score of 16).  
      • Receive a 50% discount by entering the code “GOFORTHTOSERVE
      IELTS            

      • Overall minimum band score of 7.0 (consisting of minimum band scores of 6.0 in each module).
    • TOEFL iBT (internet based test)
      • Minimum subscores of 22 (Speaking) and 21 (Listening, Reading, & Writing respectively) comprising an overall score at least 85.

    For more information on each exam, click here.
  • A credential evaluation is required for all international applicants for transcript and degree verification. BYU accepts reports from International Education Research Foundation (IERF).

    Because of the high expense for this service, if an applicant does not already have a credential evaluation, the Department reviews each application to the graduate program and then makes an initial admission decision. If an applicant is recommended for admission, Graduate Studies instructs the applicant to submit the credential evaluation application, with documentation, to IERF. The Department will pay the cost for the IERF service.

    In order to expedite this process, applicants should maintain complete, up-to-date documentation for their country.
  • No. Upload unofficial copies of all transcripts to your application. Official transcripts will be required after a recommendation for admission.
  • The department graduate studies program usually only admits new students for the fall semester. On rare occasions, students may be accepted for winter, spring, or summer terms.

    In addition, it is possible for newly admitted domestic students to begin paid research early, but their program will not officially begin until the fall. If you wish to be considered for off-cycle admission or early research, please contact the Graduate Program Administrator at amy@chem.byu.edu.

Funding Questions

  • Tuition: All graduate students are provided full tuition support for degree-related coursework at the university required for a master's (MS) degree at 30 hours or doctoral (PhD) degree at 54 hours. Tuition is paid for the program of study course work and research credits as long as the student is making satisfactory progress in his/her degree program.

    Assistantships: For the 2022-2023 academic school year,
    • MS chemistry and biochemistry graduate students- $26,390 for a full year of work (absences greater than two weeks may result in lower compensation).
    • PhD chemistry and biochemistry graduate students - $29,000 for a full year of work (absences greater than two weeks may result in lower compensation). 
      • $1000 signing bonus for PhD students
    • Graduate students making normal progress toward their degrees are guaranteed assistantships for the 2-2.5 years usually needed to complete an MS degree or for the 4-5.5 years usually needed to complete a PhD degree.
  • All admitted chemistry and biochemistry graduate students receive tuition waivers covering tuition for classes required for their degrees. PhD candidates receive a 54-credit tuition waiver and MS students receive a 30-credit waiver. These waivers are usually more than enough to cover the tuition needed to obtain the respective degrees.

Program Questions

  • The graduate program in chemistry and biochemistry at BYU is of intermediate size. There are currently approximately 115 full-time graduate students. The large majority of whom are doctoral students. Since the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry retains about 35 full-time faculty members, graduate students have the opportunity to interact often and closely with faculty.

  • Newly admitted Chemistry graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) must demonstrate proficiency in at least three areas of chemistry (i.e., analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, or physical). Newly admitted Biochemistry graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) must demonstrate proficiency in biochemistry. All graduate students must complete this requirement by the conclusion of their 4th semester. Any graduate student not meeting this requirement may be dismissed from the graduate program.

    There are two ways to demonstrate proficiency in each area:.

    1) Pass standardized, undergraduate level exam at the 50th percentile or higher. Graduate students may take each exam up to three times. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department offers these exams each August, December, and May.

    2) Pass selected courses with a course grade of 'B' or better. A 'B−'or lower does not fulfill this requirement. A list of the approved course(s) can be found on the Department website.

    Completing this requirement demonstrates a functional understanding and knowledge base of chemistry or biochemistry that will aid you throughout your graduate studies and future career.

    More information on proficiency exams can be found here.
  • Yes. Incoming graduate students are supported on teaching assistantships (TAs) in their first year of graduate studies. Usually, after their first year of graduate studies, students may receive research assistantships, allowing them to spend more time on their research rather than in the classroom. As long as they are progressing in their program, all Department graduate students are guaranteed teaching or research assistantships.

    • Students in teaching assistantships participate in teaching-related assignments including teaching a course, overseeing student laboratories, grading coursework, or being responsible for a departmental instrument. Most graduate students are required to take two semesters' worth of teaching responsibilities; most graduate students complete their teaching assistantships during their first two years of graduate school, while they themselves take classes.
    • Students working in labs may take on research assistantships if they wish to carry out degree-related research. Most research assistantships are provided for by faculty members who have received external funding. Graduate students may therefore receive partial or full financial support, depending on the size of the grant. What research assistantships do not financially provide for, teaching assistantships may make up the difference. Some research assistantships are available only via merit.
  • The average time required to complete a postdoctoral (PhD) degree is 5.5 years. Masters (MS) degrees generally require about 2.5 years of study.

  • Yes. The department has an excellent track record for placing graduate students in industry, government, and/or academic positions. (For a partial listing of employment destinations of some of the Department's recent graduates see here for more information.)