Applying to the BBSC

About thirty students are accepted into each graduate class. Consequently, competition for positions is intense. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their application early. However, completed applications will be accepted until the entering class is filled. There are no separate forms or special application for assistant-ships. All students who are admitted to the BBSC are fully supported by a graduate assistant-ship. Applicants may be invited to visit the campus at our expense to meet faculty and students.

Steps for Applying to the BBSC

For a condensed version on how to apply, please click on the link below:

U.S. and International Students Application

Applying to the BBSC

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early. An application is considered complete once the Office of Enrollment Services receives the following official documents:

  • Application for Admission and application fee
  • Official transcript(s) from ALL colleges, graduate or professional schools attended. Transcripts from foreign universities must be accompanied by an official translation of the transcript.
  • Official Reports of Exam Scores:
  • Letters of References (3)
  • Personal Statement

The Application for Admission to the GSBS must be completed on-line. All information mailed to:

UTMB Office of Enrollment Services
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, TX 77555-1305

The application fee cannot be waived or application will not be forwarded for consideration. Checks should be made payable to UTMB.

To receive the most favorable consideration for admission and stipend support, applications and supporting materials should be received by the dates indicated below. Applications from non-US residents must be received early to allow sufficient time for the prospective student to obtain a US visa.

Fee Application Review Begins
US Residents and International $80 November 1

Normally, applications are only considered for Fall enrollment.

Acceptable performance on examinations is required to be considered for admission. It is strongly encouraged that exam(s) be taken several months prior to the application deadline.

Official scores must be received directly from the Educational Testing Center, as well as TOEFL or IELTS Information Center (if applicable). Photocopies mailed by the applicant may be considered for purposes of initial review, but the receipt of official documents is required prior to admission.

All Applicants:

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

All applicants must take the verbal, quantitative, and writing sections of the GRE. There is no minimum score requirement. A GRE subject test is not required; however, they are useful during admission deliberations and should be included if taken. Information pertaining to the GRE can be found at The institution and department code to use is 6887-0299 (UT Galveston; Biomedical Sciences--Other).

Graduates of Non-U.S. Institutions:

In addition to the GRE, applicants who graduated from a non-U.S. school must take either the TOEFL or IELTS. The two testing proficiency centers applicants may consider are explained below.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The minimum requirement on the TOEFL is 550 or greater on the paper-based test, or 81 or greater on the internet-based test. Further information about this test can be found at The institution and department code to use is 6887-45 (U of Texas Med Branch Galveston; Biomedical Sciences).

-- OR --

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
The minimum band score on the Academic Test version is 6.5. Further information about this test can be found at Specify UTMB-GSBS for the institution and department code.

On page five of the GSBS application for admission, the applicant is asked to provide a personal statement in support of their application. The following points should be addressed in this statement:

  • Motivational factors leading to the decision to attend graduate school
  • Short- and long-term career goals
  • Summary of past research experience, publications or related comments
  • Self evaluation of past academic performance
  • Additional information supporting your application

Appended to the GSBS basic requirements for admissions, official documentation is also required to substantiate the following:

  • A baccalaureate (or equivalent) degree from an accredited university or college. Documents (i.e., transcripts, certifications, diplomas) must be sent directly by the university attended to the Office of Enrollment Services;
  • Satisfactory performance in appropriate prerequisite course work; and
  • An undergraduate major or extensive coursework in Behavioral Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, or another of the Life Sciences.

It is also highly recommended that students take the following courses:

  • Biochemistry, biostatistics, calculus, cell biology, chemistry, molecular biology, and physics.

The BBSC Admissions Committee of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) coordinates applications for admission to the Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum.

Admission is contingent upon the applicant's qualifications, which are assessed by consideration of scores on entrance examinations, undergraduate preparation, previous research experience, and letters of recommendation. Acceptance is based upon a balanced consideration of all of these parameters. All students are interviewed, either in person or by telephone, prior to acceptance.

All admissions must conform to the requirements of at least one participating graduate program, the BBSC Admissions Committee, and the GSBS and are subject to the approval of the GSBS Dean. Each applicant will receive written notification from the Graduate Dean concerning the decision on admissions to the GSBS. Notification will be mailed as soon as possible after the receipt of a completed application.

Several BBSC Scholarships are available for students of exceptional promise and ability. These are one-time scholarships that are in addition to the BBSC stipend. Scholarships are awarded based on the same criteria as admissions to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. There is no application procedure for the scholarships.

Matriculating students will be assigned a faculty advisor to assist with coursework schedules and a student guide to provide guidance with the transition to Galveston. Travel arrangements to Galveston and to the University of Texas Medical Branch will be the responsibility of the student (refer to the New Student Information Booklet).

Further correspondence will be sent about registration, the orientation schedule, and other activities early August prior to enrollment.

Certain criteria are used during the assessment of applications. The following are considered in the review process:

  • Undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate academic performance, including overall, upper division, and graduate grade point averages and the appropriateness of the curriculum as preparation for graduate study
  • Entrance exam scores
  • Research experience
  • Recommendations from professors and mentors
  • Background for and a commitment to a career in research
  • Unique educational, career, or life experiences
  • Personal statement
  • Socioeconomic background and ethnicity
  • Ability to communicate in English
  • Personal interviews