Foreign nationals whose native language in not English and who have not attended an English-speaking university must present evidence of proficiency in English by satisfactory completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Written English (TWE), administered in foreign countries by E.T.S. The official results of the TOEFL and the TWE must be sent to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Official score reports must be received for applicants accepting an offer of admission. The TWE is not required for applicants who have taken the computer-based TOEFL. Successful applicants will have achieved a TOEFL score of over 550 and a TWE score of 4.0 or better.
International Applicants FAQs
Q: I am an international applicant, but I received my Bachelors degree from a US School. Should I complete the international application or the domestic application?
A: If an international student has obtained a degree from a US school, that student may submit the domestic application for admission in Fall, Spring, or Summer terms. If the international student is in the process of completing a degree at a US school, that student may submit the domestic application, but the degree must be awarded before the student begins his/her studies with GSBS.
Q: Can I apply for spring semester?
A: International applications are reviewed once each year for admission in the Fall Semester only.
Q:I'm a graduate student earning a Master’s degree at an American university. May I waive the TOEFL requirement?
A: International applicants who have received a diploma from a university at which English is the language of instruction are not required to take the TOEFL exam.
Q: How many international applications do you receive and how many international students are offered admission for the Fall semester?
A: Each year about 600 international students apply for admission and about 10 are offered admission with a Graduate Research Assistantship from GSBS. Another 30-40 are offered admission with financial assistance from departments, programs or individual faculty members.
Q: Does your program prefer applicants who have a Masters degree?
A: Master’s degrees are not required for admission. The best qualification for admission is biomedical research experience, ideally coupled with publications in known scientific journals. International applicants without solid research experience are unlikely to be admitted.
Q: If I have a Masters degree, will I need to start over?
A: If you have obtained an MS degree from GSBS, courses you have taken for your MS program may be applied to your PhD degree. However, research you performed as an MS student can not be used in your PhD dissertation. It is possible to use your MS work as the basis for your PhD work. If you obtained an MS degree from another school, graduate-level courses you have taken may be equivalent to our “area requirements.” If the dean of Academic Affairs judges your previous coursework to be equivalent (based on the syllabi of those courses), you will receive no credit for these courses, but you will be waived of the requirement to re-take them. Prior research may not be utilized in your PhD dissertation, but your MS work may be used as the basis for your PhD dissertation.
Q: What GRE and TOEFL scores are required for admission?
A: There is no minimum score requirement to apply to GSBS. The scores of international applicants offered admission in past years are at least 550 on the TOEFL (213 on the computer-based test and 80 on the internet based test) and 4 on the TWE and an average of 1240 on the GRE (combined verbal and quantitative scores).
Q: What is the GRE/ETS code for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences?
A: The code is 6907.
Q: Are international applicants required to interview?
A: GSBS does not interview international applicants. However, Programs or individual faculty members may choose to interview by phone or in person.
Q: Are international students guaranteed full financial support?
A: We offer financial support to all Ph.D. students who are admitted to GSBS. This award includes a yearly stipend of $29,000 (in the 2013-2014 academic year). In addition, tuition, fees and health benefits are paid.
Q: Is the stipend enough for a normal life?
A: Based on nation-wide comparisons, the stipend offered by GSBS is very competitive. The cost of living in Houston is one of the lowest in the US. Thus, it is certainly possible to live on this stipend. Most of our current students find that they are able to pay for an apartment, groceries and car insurance without the need to take out loans.
Q: I will take the GRE General test in October; however, the score report will be mailed until December. ETS will send the official score report directly to you, but my copies of the report may not be able to meet your deadline. Please advise.
A: GRE scores are required to apply to GSBS. You should not apply unless you can provide scores for the quantitative, verbal and analytical writing sections of the general test. You may provide unofficial scores for the Admissions Committee’s review of your application, but if you are admitted, you will not be permitted to register until official scores are submitted.