Biomathematics Admissions: Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to many commonly-asked questions about our Graduate School’s admissions procedures (e.g. submitting scores, TOEFL requirements, and many others) can be found via the Graduate School’s online help system. (For example, type “GRE” or “TOEFL” in the question box on that page.)
Many program-specific admissions questions are answered below. If your question isn’t answered there, please feel free to email us.
What are your minimum requirements for GRE and GPA scores?
We do not have minimum requirements for GPA and GRE. Particularly because our curriculum is interdisciplinary, we look at the entire application package. Different members of our admissions committee put different weights on different aspects of the application: for some, letters of recommendation and personal statements are the most important component, for others, test scores are key.
Our most competitive applicants have a reasonably high quantitative score (>75%), a good verbal score (>50%), and a gpa above 3.3 or so. We do sometimes make offers to students with lower scores, but they would need to have some compelling point in their favor.
The personal viewpoint of the author of this page is that, while strong scores are a positive feature, it’s more the case that low scores are a negative feature.
How do I report my GRE scores? What is the departmental code for biomath?
You can visit the Education Testing Service (ETS) at www.ets.org and submit a request to have your GRE score report sent to NC State. The institutional code number for North Carolina State University is 5496. There is no need to provide a departmental code on the request form. ETS will report the scores to NCSU electronically. Please note that it can take a little while for the scores to arrive and to be matched to your application.
What are your requirements for TOEFL or IELTS scores for non-US citizens?
The Graduate School’s English proficiency requirements, which apply to all non-US citizens are explained in detail in Section O on this page (you will need to scroll down to find the relevant part of the page).
Note that students who have successfully completed one year or more of full-time study in a degree program at a four-year US college or university, or who are a citizen of a country where English is the official language and the language of instruction in higher education, do not need to take TOEFL or IELTS language tests.
If the admissions committee has any concerns over an applicant’s language skills, we may choose to explore this further. This would usually take the form of a phone interview.
Do I need to submit transcripts from every institution that I have attended?
We do not need to see official transcripts at the application stage, but we would like to see (at least) unofficial transcripts from each institution attended. (Uploads of a printout of a web-based transcript are fine.)
We might consider making an exception if one transcript would be difficult to get hold of and if that transcript would be relatively uninformative for us (for instance, a summer school course in a subject not directly related to bio or math). But we need to see grades in all relevant coursework.
What is the timeline of your admissions process?
We have a two-step process: we first make admissions decisions (i.e. an offer of a place in our program) and then make funding decisions (i.e. an offer of financial support). We begin reviewing applications in mid to late January and our first admissions decisions are made in early to mid February.
We invite a group of applicants to visit campus: in 2016, this will take place on Monday March 14th (arrive afternoon Sunday March 13th, depart Tuesday March 15th). We provide travel support for this visit. Initial funding decisions will be made shortly after this event. Space constraints mean we can only invite a small group to visit—fewer than we would like. It should be kept in mind that we often make offers of funded places to students beyond this group.
The nationally-agreed deadline for deciding on offers of places at graduate schools is April 15th (see this page for information on this agreement). Admissions and funding decisions continue to be made up to and beyond this date, depending on the availability of places and/or funding.
Can I visit the program and the NC State campus?
Yes! As mentioned above, we have a visitation event for a group of applicants. Space on that day is, however, limited to a smaller group than we would like. We can arrange to meet, in a less formal manner, other applicants or prospective students. We are usually able to arrange meetings with one or more faculty members and current graduate students.