What are the requirements for the programs?
Both programs require a B.S. degree, and assume a broad background in the sciences. Admission is contingent upon the availability of a faculty member with the resources, space, time, and funding to support a graduate student. As a graduate degree-granting program, we are subject to the rules and requirements of Colorado State University’s Graduate School. Thus, admission to our program is contingent upon formal acceptance by the Graduate School.
The Graduate School requires:
On occasion, applicants who do not meet the stated requirements have merited special consideration due to unusual individual circumstances. Students who do not meet the minimum GPA standards may be admitted after favorable evaluation of their situation by the admissions committee, and subsequent approval by the graduate school. An applicant does not request special consideration; this is determined by the admissions committee. If an applicant is accepted with a GPA below 3.0, he/she is enrolled on “Academic Probation” status and has one semester to remediate his/her GPA to regain good standing. Please see the CSU Graduate Bulletin for details.
What areas of research are offered within the department?
While research in our department encompasses many areas, it can be reduced to three primary areas: cardiac physiology, animal reproduction, and neurobiology. More detailed descriptions of current research can be found on individual faculty web pages. Biomedical Sciences faculty members are internationally recognized researchers in the following areas:
What is the relationship between BMS, MCIN, CMB, SBME, ARBL, and ERL?
We love our acronyms! Let’s see if we can untangle some of this confusion. Colorado State University is comprised of seven colleges, each of which is comprised of several different departments. Biomedical Sciences (BMS) is a department, which offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, within the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS). The faculty members of the Department of Biomedical Sciences participate in several interdisciplinary programs, which can be quite confusing to applicants. Applicants often don’t understand how these programs relate to each other or whether to apply to these programs directly or apply to these programs indirectly through Biomedical Sciences. As a general rule, while the research in the Department of Biomedical Sciences encompasses many areas, it can be reduced to three primary areas: cardiac physiology, animal reproduction, and neurobiology. Brief explanations and links to affiliated interdisciplinary programs are below:
What courses are required for the MS and PhD programs?
The Master’s program includes at least 30 credit hours while the Ph.D. requires 72 credit hours. Course requirements for both are largely determined by the student, the advisor, and the student’s graduate committee. However, there are core courses required for each program.
MS students must complete the following requirements:
|BMS 500 and/or
|Mammalian Physiology I and/or
Mammalian Physiology II
|BMS 792||Programmatic Seminar||2|
|GRAD 544||Ethical Conduct of Research||1|
PhD students must complete the following requirements:
|BMS 500 and/or
|Mammalian Physiology I and/or
Mammalian Physiology II
|BMS 563 and/or
|Molecular Genetics and/or
Molecular Regulation of Cell Function
|BMS 792 and/or
|Programmatic Seminar and/or
|Ethical Conduct of Research
Supervised College Teaching
How long does it take most students to complete their graduate degrees?
The PhD program typically requires 4 or 5 years after obtaining a BS degree. The first 1-2 years emphasize course work, along with active participation in one or more research projects. After selection of an advisor, emphasis is gradually shifted from course work to research, which becomes a full-time commitment during the latter portion of the doctoral program.
The MS program typically requires 2-3 years, with the first year emphasizing course work and the second and third years emphasizing research. Although the research program for a MS student is less comprehensive than that for a PhD student, each MS student completes a meaningful research project, presents his/her research in a MS thesis, and defends the thesis in public.
What does the program cost?
Most students in our research-based graduate programs are supported by assistantships, training grants from the National Institutes of Health, funds from special endowments established to support graduate education in selected areas, or extramural/intramural research funds, all of which provide a monthly stipend. Direct application to competitive individual fellowships is also encouraged. The majority of our students also receive some portion of tuition coverage from their advisors. However, students are usually responsible for student fees and health insurance. For the most recent estimate of graduate tuition and fees, please visit the Registrar’s website. Financial arrangements are made on an individual basis and the above provisions are guidelines, not guarantees. Please visit the Student Financial Services website for additional financial aid options.
All full-fee paying resident-instruction graduate students are required to carry health insurance, whether you enroll in the CSU student health insurance plan or carry comparable health insurance coverage with another provider. Additionally, all international students, regardless of enrollment status, are required to carry comprehensive health insurance through CSU. More information about the health insurance policy can be found on the Graduate School’s website.
I've heard that there are Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) positions available. Is this true?
We have a limited number of GTA positions which are available fall and spring semesters. They will be assigned based on academic background and priority. PhD students receive priority consideration based on degree requirements and/or advisor funding needs. MS-A students may serve as a GTA based on advisor funding needs and position availability. If you are selected as a GTA, you will receive tuition reimbursement (resident portion) for the semester you teach, as well as a monthly stipend. For more information please contact our Graduate Coordinator by e-mail or phone at (970) 491-6188.
Can I schedule an appointment to talk with someone about the program?
Yes. Please contact our Graduate Coordinator by email or phone at (970) 491-6188 to discuss any lingering questions about the program.
When is the application deadline?
We accept applications to our research-based graduate programs for fall, spring and summer terms. The deadlines are as follows:
Fall Admission: all application materials must be received by April 1
Spring Admission: all application materials must be received by September 1
Summer Admission: all application materials must be received by January 1
I'm confused! Where do I send my application materials?
Good question! Aside from completing the online application and requesting that the testing center officially report your GRE, TOEFL and IELTS scores to the Admissions Office, all materials should be sent to the Department (address below). DO NOT send any other application materials to Admissions or the Graduate School.
1680 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1680
How can I check the status of my application?
Due to the number of applications our department receives and the fast and furious nature of the fall application season, we cannot accommodate individual requests to check application status for the fall admission cycle after January 1st (this does not apply to spring or summer admission cycles). However, rest assured that your application WILL NOT be discarded for incompleteness without giving you a chance to provide missing materials. Please submit your online application as soon as possible since we cannot contact you until we’ve received it. At the end of February, we review all applications and email each and every applicant who has submitted his/her online application to let you know the status of your application and give you a chance to supply any missing materials. We do our next round of checks and email all applicants again approximately March 20th. We do our final checks and emails approximately April 2nd and then you will be given a date by which we must receive your missing materials or we will remove your application from consideration. You will receive an email when your file is complete or when your application has been removed from consideration; we will not keep you guessing. Thanks in advance for your patience. This is tough on all of us!
*When you email us any application materials or a recommender emails us a letter, we will always reply with a simple “Got it - thanks” or some variation of that. If you or they do not receive a reply, then we haven’t received the email so please send it again.
May I include my resume?
Yes. A resume is an optional part of the application. There is no place to include it with your online application, so if you would like to submit it, please email it directly to our Graduate Coordinator.
Do I need to submit transcripts for course work which was transferred to another institution and shows up on the other institution's transcripts?
Yes. Our Graduate School requires the original transcripts, even if only one class was taken at that institution.
Why do I need to complete the Supplemental Application?
This helps us direct your application to the appropriate admissions committee for review. With several degree offerings in our department (Professional Master’s Program (MS-B), research-based Master’s program, Equine Reproduction Master’s program, PhD program) and a variety of affiliated multidisciplinary programs, we don’t want to guess which program you are applying to and risk being wrong.
I am an international applicant. Do I still need to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores if I received a degree from a University whose courses were taught in English?
You are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement if you received a degree from an American University OR if English is the official language of your home country.
Are there any special instructions for the personal statement?
Please submit a personal statement describing your research interest(s) and career goals, as this helps us facilitate a match between you and an appropriate faculty advisor. Please limit your statement to two pages (single- or double-spaced). The statement can either be included with the online application or emailed to our Graduate Coordinator.
Also, please don't wait until you complete your personal statement before submitting your online application. You can email your personal statement separately to our Graduate Coordinator. Only after you submit your online application can we contact you regarding application status, so don't delay!
Are there any evaluation forms or special instructions for my letters of recommendation?
No, we don't have forms for your references to complete. We simply ask that your references write a letter: describing how he/she knows you and for how long; evaluating your strengths, intellectual ability, creativity, problem solving skills, work ethic, character and any other relevant information; and indicating how they think you would perform in a rigorous graduate program. We also encourage you to have at least one academic reference (two are preferable).
What makes a good letter of reference?
Detail and specificity! When your recommender writes that “s/he is in an intellectual class by her-/himself,” we want your recommender to substantiate this claim and provide an example(s).
Will you accept electronic/emailed letters of reference?
Yes, we will accept electronic letters of reference if and only if they follow the guidelines below:
The letter must be emailed directly from your recommender to Erin Bisenius.
The letter must be emailed as an attachment with a signature (the signature may be scanned or digital, but it should look like a signature). The simplest way to achieve this is to have your recommender email a pdf version of the signed original to our Graduate Coordinator.
The attached letter must be on letterhead, if possible.
Can committee letters count as my 3 letters of reference?
No. Committee letters count as a single letter of reference, unless each committee member essentially writes his/her own letter and then all letters are combined into a single document.
When I list my references on the online application, does this mean the admissions committee will contact my references to request a letter?
No. You must contact your references to request that a letter be sent to our Graduate Education Coordinator.
Will you accept letters of reference from Interfolio or a third-party reference letter service?
What is Track I vs. Track II admissions?
Most applicants are considered Track I, even if your GPA is below 3.0. Select Track II if and only if your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 AND you have at least 5 years of professional work experience related to the area of biomedical sciences.
How do I get you my CSU transcripts?
You don't need to do a thing. They can be unofficial, which means Erin can and will download those from our central university-wide database. It also means you get to save a few pennies. Go buy yourself a burrito instead!
How do I officially report my GRE scores?
Request that the testing center send your scores directly to CSU. Please use institution code 4075 to ensure that they arrive at CSU; a departmental code is not necessary. Once they arrive, we will be able to access them on our university-wide database. If you've already submitted your scores to CSU for a different program (vet school or a different grad program), and the test was taken within the last 5 years, you don't need to send them again.
Do I need to take the GRE subject test?
No, the general test will suffice.
What are your Institution & Department codes?
Institution Code: 4075
Department Code: 0299
What is an acceptable GRE score?
The scoring and format of the GRE changed as of August 1, 2011. On the old GRE test, we like to see a score of 1000 or better on the combined verbal and quantitative components and a 4.0 or better on the analytical writing component. On the new GRE test (taken on or after August 1, 2011), we want to see a score of 300 or better on the combined verbal and quantitative components and a 4.0 or better on the written component. These guidelines are a starting point for our admissions committee. Your test scores will be evaluated in conjunction with the rest of your application materials. For more information about how the GRE has changed, please visit the ETS website.
What are the average incoming GRE scores?
Based on statistics from the past few years, the average incoming GRE scores for our admitted MS and PhD students are: 500 (verbal), 615 (quantitative), and 4.1 (written).
What is the average incoming GPA?
Based on statistics from the past few years, the average incoming GPA for our admitted MS and PhD students is 3.5.
How many students do you admit into your program each admission cycle?
Because admission is contingent upon the backing of a faculty member who has the resources to admit a graduate student (lab space, funding, time), we admit students on an individual basis and do not admit a set number of students per cycle. However, we historically admit 3-4 new MS students each fall and 4-5 new PhD students each fall. We typically have far fewer applicants for the spring and summer application cycles, so we admit fewer students for those terms.
How many international students are accepted per admission cycle?
Because admission is contingent upon the backing of a faculty member who has the resources to admit a graduate student (lab space, funding, time), we admit students on an individual basis and do not admit a pre-determined number of international students per cycle.
What if my undergraduate GPA is below 3.0?
If the admissions committee thinks you are a strong candidate despite a low GPA, they can petition the graduate school to waive this requirement. An applicant does not request special consideration; this is determined by the admissions committee. If the graduate school approves our recommendation, you will be placed on "academic probation" your first semester. This means you must maintain a 3.0 GPA your first semester in the program or you will be dismissed by the graduate school. This is explained in further detail in the CSU Graduate Bulletin.
How can I increase my chance of admission?
Because research in the Department of Biomedical Sciences encompasses a wide variety of topics, an applicant’s first step is to identify an area or areas of research interest. We recommend looking through the Faculty Research pages to see if anyone matches your interests. The next step is to contact potential faculty advisors who share your research interests to inquire about the possibility of him/her admitting you as a graduate student. This is the critical piece, for the admissions committee will not accept a student without the backing of a faculty advisor who has the resources (lab space, funding, time) to support a student.
How do I remedy a low undergraduate GPA?
Well, you can't go back and change the past, but you can demonstrate that you're a more focused and mature student now. You demonstrate this by taking additional upper-level science courses and doing well in these courses. You can also re-take science courses in which you received a “C” or below to demonstrate mastery of fundamental concepts.