Admission Requirements

You may choose to apply to either the Master of Science degree program or the Doctor of Philosophy degree program.

Bachelor's degree in Science
For admission to the departmental graduate program, the applicant must have at least a Bachelor's degree in science with a broad background in biological sciences that also include courses in organic and quantitative (physical) chemistry, biochemistry, calculus, and physics. To be acceptable, the record and background must include the following or their equivalent:

  • Baccalaureate degree with a major in biological or physical sciences. It is strongly recommended that the applicant's grade point average be at the level of B or higher.
  • One academic year of general physics.
  • Two academic years of chemistry, including organic chemistry.
  • Twelve semester credit hours in biological sciences.
  • Three semester credit hours of calculus.

Graduate Record Exam
Applicants to the Ph.D. program are required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and score at or above the 40th percentile in both the Verbal and Quantitative components. It is suggested that candidates take one of the special topic GRE examinations as well, and score above the 40th percentile. For applicants with highly competitive undergraduate transcripts and strong letters of recommendation, waivers of the GRE score minima may be granted in consideration of additional academic or research accomplishments. Examples of accomplishments for which waivers have been granted include satisfactory completion of graduate coursework (e.g. strong performance in UNMC BRTP courses 821-824; completion of Masters degree in a scientific or technical discipline), or significant participation in research for which results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Other achievements at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level may justify a waiver of the GRE requirements and will be considered if requested in writing.


All application materials required by the Graduate Studies Office at the University of Nebraska Medical Center must be supplied before action can be taken on a candidate's application. All applications materials are received via online application system. Mailing address for Graduate Studies office is:

UNMC Graduate Studies
987810 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-7810

Graduate Record Exam
If you are applying for the Ph.D. program, you will need to take and submit the results of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as part of your application package. Although not necessary for the M.S. program, an applicant's score on the GRE constitute a desirable credential to submit in applying for admission. Arrangements to take the Graduate Record Examination may be made through the Educational Testing Service, CN6000, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541-6000. The institution code for GRE is 6896 (departmental code is not needed).

Official transcripts of all college work, undergraduate and graduate, from each school you have attended must be sent directly to UNMC Graduate Studies Office. "Issued to Student" transcripts are not acceptable. The transcripts and all other materials submitted in support of an application become the permanent property of UNMC and will not be returned or forwarded to another individual, college, or agency.

Other Documentation
Written letters of recommendation, as well as personal motivation as judged by the student's own personal statement, significantly influence the evaluation of the potential of the applicant to complete a rigorous course of advanced and original studies in a field of modern biology.

Test of English as a Foreign Language
Foreign applicants must present their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and their scores on the Graduate Record Examination. A score of at least 550 on paper-based and 90 on Internet-based test on the TOEFL is required. Scores on the General Test and any appropriate Advanced Test of the Graduate Record Examination must reach the Graduate Studies Office before the application can be considered. Institution code for TOEFL reports is 6896 (departmental code is not needed). Foreign students admitted for graduate study on the basis of undergraduate work completed in a college or university in which instruction is in a language other than English will be required to demonstrate acceptable proficiency in English before they will be eligible for admission to candidacy for a Master's degree or for approval of their program of studies for the Ph.D. degree.

Evaluation of Application
The applicant must present both an academic record and background that are acceptable to the departmental graduate committee. If it is considered appropriate and necessary to the evaluative process, the applicant will be invited for an interview with members of the departmental graduate committee.

Application Deadlines for both U.S. and foreign applicants
March 1 - Fall Semester (open applications)
October 1 - Spring Semester (director's approval only)