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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the minimum GRE score that is accepted?

The Admissions Committee reviews all parts of the application and does not make a decision based on GRE's alone.  However, the stronger candidates will score above the 50th percentile.

Q: can i apply with gre scores that are a few years old?

 Your GRE scores should not be more than 5 years old.

Q: what is the minimum toefl score per section?

The minimum IBT-internet based TOEFL is Writing 22, Speaking 23, Reading 21, Listening 17.   However, your total should be at least 100.

q: do you accept the ielts test?   What is the minimum ielts score that is accepted?

Yes.  An acceptable IELTS score is Bandwith 7.

 q: can i submit my application before submiting scores and other credentials?

Yes.  Once you are assigned an RU id #, you'll be able to return to your online application to upload additional credentials.  Your application can be reviewed by the Admissions Committee only when all of your credentials have been received in a timely manner.

Q: Do you need to secure an advisor before applying?

No.  Admitted students are assigned a temporary academic advisor for the first year. At the end of the first year, after having completed 3 lab rotations, students choose a thesis advisor.

q: do you give preference to applicants who have a masters degree?

Having prior research experience gives you a definite advantage when applying, whether you have a BS or MS degree.

q: i have a 3 year bachelor's degree .  am i eligible to apply to your phd program?

Most applicants with 3 year undergraduate degrees have completed a Masters degree or an additional year's study in a certificate program or the equivalent.  An additional year of study or research experience would strengthen your application for our PhD program.

Q:  If I attach some credentials, can you give me an idea of how likely it is that I will be admitted?

No. We receive hundreds of applications for very few slots, and are unable to do a pre-review of credentials in the absence of a complete application and all credentials.

Q: Do you hold an open house for students to find out about the program?

Our Program sends faculty and student representatives to various admissions fairs throughout the US. A list of these may be found HERE.

Q: How many international students apply and are admitted?

The number of international and domestic applications varies from year to year. Our Admissions Committee selects applicants of highest quality for admission, whether they are US citizens or foreign applicants.

Q: How many years does it take to complete the PhD Program?

Most of our students finish within 5 or 6 years.

Q:  Can I transfer in credits from my MS degree to use toward my PhD?

Students may apply for transfer credit after they have completed the first year of study in our program.

Contact Us

Division of Life Sciences Graduate Program Office
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Nelson Lab-604 Allison Rd
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: 848.445.9517
gradoffice@dls.rutgers.edu