Frequently Asked Questions

Q: The Graduate School website says I have to apply before November 1st, but the BMSD website says the deadline is January 1st. Which is it?
A: We will review all files that are complete by January 1st whether the applicant is domestic or international. You can ignore the November 1st deadline but ensure that all materials reach us before January 1st. Note that international documents and letters can take a while to reach us.

Q: Must I apply to a specific department in order to be a BMSD student, or do I apply directly to the BMSD program?
A: If you wish to be a BMSD student, you must apply directly to the BMSD program.

Q: Can I apply to more than one program or department at the University of Washington at the same time?
A: Yes. However, you must submit a separate application to each department, and pay a separate fee for each application.

Q: What will the name of my degree be on my diploma?
A: BMSD is not a degree-granting program. Graduating students will receive a PhD from their advisor's department (see Faculty).

Q: Do you accept people into the program with a Master's Degree?
A: Yes. However, you may still be required to take courses specific to the BMSD program, subject to the discretion of the advisors of the program.

Q: Can I obtain a Master's Degree in the BMSD program?
A: No. Only a PhD degree is awarded.

Q: Is it possible for me to be accepted into the BMSD program without a science undergraduate degree?
A: Yes. Your transcripts, GRE scores, personal statement, and letters of recommendation will be closely evaluated by the Admissions Committee to determine the likelihood of your success in the BMSD program in light of your previous program of study.

Q: Is it recommended that I contact individual professors to request their support of my application?
A: No. Your application is first reviewed by members of the Admissions Committee to determine those students to invite for personal interviews with faculty. You will be invited to meet in person with faculty of interest to you if your application receives the recommendation of the Committee.

Q: What financial aid is available?
A: The BMSD program offers full financial support for the first year of a student's graduate career. Beginning mid-September of their second year, students are generally funded by research grants of their permanent PI. Although it is possible that a student may not be able to enter their first choice of permanent lab because of funding issues, so far no student (neither domestic nor international) has ever had to fund their own way through any portion of their graduate school education. Each BMSD faculty member has been training graduate students for many years, and usually has active research grants on which students can be funded. Domestic students may apply for a variety of training grants, and TA positions are also available. International students who are not native English speakers must meet the English proficiency requirements before receiving a TA position as described in Graduate School Memo 15.

Q: Is the satisfaction of the spoken English requirements for international students as described in Graduate School Memo 15 necessary for acceptance into the program?
A: You do not need to meet the requirements until after you are accepted into the program and are here at the University.

Q: Is there a separate Biophysics Department at the University of Washington?
A: No. Although there is also a Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the UW, the BMSD Program is the university's primary Biophysics program and is linked with the Molecular Biophysics Training Grant.

© BMSD 2008-2011