Admissions and Getting Started

Q: How soon after I graduate college in May can I start graduate school?
A: Your initial enrollment can begin as early as July 1, which is the first day of UNMC's academic year. New students may arrange to begin doing research rotations during the summer. This can speed up your decision about who will be your adviser, plus having one or two rotations completed before the first semester begins can make it easier to deal with fall coursework. Whether a particular student is able to start on July 1 depends on availability of assistantship funding, but this is not a problem in most cases.

Q: Is it possible to start graduate studies in January or for the spring semester?
A: Only under extraordinary circumstances. This is possible only if assistantship funding can be arranged under special circumstances. Ordinarily, departmental funds would not be available at that time of year, but support can sometimes be provided through grants of the individual laboratories to which you are assigned. Unfortunately, because of the sequential nature of the BRTP first-year courses, a student starting in January would only be able to enroll for Bioc 896 (Research Other than Thesis) and Bioc 970 Seminar/Journal Club). First-year courses would then be available starting in the following fall semester.

Q: How many credit hours should I enroll for each semester?
A: If you are a full-time student, you must have at least 9 credits during the fall and spring semesters and 4 credits for the 8-week summer session and 3 credits for the 5-week summer session. Except in special cases, you must be enrolled continually throughout your graduate training. This is important to maintain your health benefits and funding.

Q: How many credits should I enroll in if I work full-time and am a graduate student only part-time?
A: Full-time employees may register for a maximum of 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. To maintain enrollment, it is important that even part-time students register for at least 1 credit year-round.

Q: Who will be there to help me when I arrive at UNMC?
A: The coordinators of the BMB Graduate Program are Dr. Paul Sorgen who is chairman of the BMB Graduate Committee, Ms. Amy Dodson, departmental administrator, and Ms. Karen Hankins, department staff secretary. Dr. Sorgen will assist you with setting up your rotations and explaining the courses of study; Ms. Dodson and Ms. Hankins will assist with filling out forms and will direct you through the enrollment process and registration for classes. They will also help you with questions about student health and insurance, fees and housing. The UNMC Graduate Student Association and Office of Graduate Studies sponsor new graduate student orientation during the week before classes begin.

Contact Information:

Graduate Committee Chairman
Paul Sorgen, Ph.D.
7013 Durham Research Center (DRC), zip 5870

Amy Dodson, MBA
7005C DRC, zip 5870
FAX 402-559-6650

Karen Hankins
7005A DRC, zip 5870
FAX 402-559-6650

Q: How are the special needs of international students taken care of?
A: Ms. Dodson coordinates the activities of newly arrived international students. She will assign another BMB student as a guide to assist with pick-up at the airport, lodging and initial orientation to the UNMC campus and Omaha area. The guides will also walk new students around the UNMC campus to file forms, turn in documents, purchase supplies and books, etc. one of the most important and immediate needs is to apply for a Social Security number. Questions pertaining to visa status or USCIS paperwork should be addressed to Dan Teet, International Student Advisor, in the Graduate Studies Office.

Contact Information:

Dan Teet, Graduate Studies Associate
International Student Advisor
UNMC Graduate Studies
987810 Nebraska Medical Center
ARS 2004B
Omaha, NE 68198-7810

Q: Is it required that I buy my textbooks from the UNMC bookstore?
A: No - you may buy textbooks from any source (other students, independent bookstores, online, etc.). However, you must use a real textbook if required by your courses. It is a violation of U.S. copyright law to use photocopied versions of textbooks for courses. Both you and the University of Nebraska could be sued or fined if the publishers were to discover such a violation.