Chemistry and Biochemistry

Admission FAQ

Application Questions

Program Questions


Admission Questions


Financial Support and Health Insurance

When can applications be submitted?

We accept applications from September 1 to January 15. For full consideration for the top awards, the preferred deadline is January 5; the official deadline is January 15. Late applications are reviewed, but the opportunity for admission for late applicants is reduced considerably.

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Do you admit for winter, spring or summer terms?

We generally only admit for fall semester. On extremely rare occasions we may admit for winter semester (January), but it is off-cycle and more difficult for the student to assimilate. Regarding spring (April) and summer (June) terms, occasionally it is possible for a few newly admitted domestic students to begin doing paid research early, but their program officially begins in fall semester. If you wish to be considered for these possibilities, please contact the assistant graduate coordinator ( in the department office.

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What is the application fee, and do I have to pay it?

The application fee is $50. This fee pays for the processing of your application, and payment of it is also evidence of your sincere interest in attending our graduate program. It is a required fee, but for very rare cases of extreme hardship, we may be able to delay the fee until an initial admission decision is made. If you require such a waiver, please contact the assistant graduate coordinator ( in the department office.

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What is the credential evaluation and is it required?

A credential evaluation is required for all international applicants for transcript and degree verification. BYU accepts reports from International Education Research Foundation (IERF) and World Education Services (WES). Because of the high expense for this service, if an applicant does not already have a credential evaluation, our department reviews each application to our program and then makes an initial admission decision. If an applicant is recommended for admission, we instruct the applicant to submit the credential evaluation application, with documentation, to IERF and we (the department) pay for it. In order to expedite this process, it is important that you have complete documentation required for your country. See here for those requirements.

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If I am not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), how do I get an ecclesiastical endorsement?

You may meet with your own member of the clergy to have your form completed and submitted. If you do not attend an organized religion and live in the United States, you may locate an LDS meetinghouse here and have the bishop or branch president meet with you to complete and submit the form. If preferred, we may be able to ask a bishop who is employed in our college to conduct the initial interview. If you live outside the US, and do not attend an organized religion, you are welcome to have a telephone conversation with our campus chaplain to discuss the BYU honor code. You can schedule that conversation by writing an email request to

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Ecclesiastical Endorsement Form

Online application


What are the admission requirements to the PhD and MS programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry?

  1. Completed and submitted application, including statement of intent
  2. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  3. Credential evaluation (applicants with non-US degrees only)
  4. GRE score (less than 5 years old at time of first semester)
  5. TOEFL or IELTS official score – less than 2 years old at time of first semester. (Not required if you are citizen of or have received a bachelor’s degree from the U.S., U.K., Republic of Ireland, Australia, Canada or New Zealand, then you do not need to take a language skills exam. All other applicants must take the TOEFL or IELTS.)
  6. Three letters of recommendation
  7. Honor Code Commitment (within the application) and Ecclesiastical endorsement
  8. Copy of your Passport
  9. Transfer letter (only those intending to transfer from another graduate program)

Note: Most international applicants to BYU are required to submit a financial statement; however, graduate applicants to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are not. If you are recommended for admission, the department will submit a financial statement to BYU Graduate Studies on your behalf.

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How many students do you generally admit?

We generally have an incoming class of about 25 students. While we don’t have a requirement for demographics, typically approximately half of those students are domestic and half are international.

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What are the minimum test scores for the GRE, TOEFL and IELTS?

GRE: There is no minimum score for the GRE, but our admitted students generally have scores in the 314 range.

Subject GRE: There is no minimum score for this exam.

TOEFL: We require a total score of 85; with 22 in the speaking section, and 21 in the other sections. Occasionally we will petition Graduate Studies to admit an applicant with a slightly lower subscore. The TOEFL must be less than 2 years old on the first day of the first semester.

IELTS: We require a band score of 7.0.

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Do graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at BYU have an opportunity to teach classes? What about research assistantships?

Yes. Our incoming graduate students are supported on teaching assistantships (TAs) their first semester. Students desiring further teaching experience may continue to serve as TAs. Students may also be invited to teach some of our summer laboratory courses. Generally after the first year most students have the opportunity to become research assistants, allowing them to spend more time on their research rather than in the classroom. As long as they are progressing in their program, all of our graduate students are guaranteed teaching or research assistantships.

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Do I select a research professor before I apply or after I am admitted?

Admitted students do not join research groups until the end of their first semester. During that first fall semester they attend our New Graduate Student Seminars at which they learn about the research being conducted in our department. At the end of fall semester they submit a request to our department chair indicating with whom they would like to work, and why. A sincere effort is made to allow a student to join the group of his/her first choice, but on rare occasions that is not possible. Individual professors do not make admission decisions and will refer all admission inquiries to the assistant graduate coordinator.

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How long does it take to complete a graduate degree in chemistry and biochemistry at BYU?

The average time required to complete the PhD is five and one-half years. Masters degrees generally require from two to two and one-half years.

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What is the size of the graduate program in chemistry and biochemistry at BYU?

The graduate program in chemistry and biochemistry at BYU is of intermediate size. There are currently approximately 90 full-time graduate students. The large majority of whom are doctoral students. Since we have 35 full-time faculty members, this means that graduate students have the opportunity to interact closely (and often) with our faculty.

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Does the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at BYU have a good track record for placing their graduate students?

Yes. We have an excellent track record for placing graduate students in industry, government, and/or academic positions. (For a partial listing of employment destinations of some of our recent graduates see here for more information.)

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Who is eligible for financial support?

100% of our graduate students, domestic and international, are financially supported through the annual stipend, tuition waiver, and an additional needs-based scholarship.

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What is the annual stipend for graduate students?

All graduate students in good standing are supported through either research or teaching assistantships for the duration of their program. Assistantships for this academic year are $25,000.  See Financial Information for more information.

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Do chemistry and biochemistry graduate students have to pay tuition at BYU?

No. All admitted chemistry and biochemistry graduate students receive tuition waivers covering tuition for classes required for their degrees. PhD candidates receive a 54 credit tuition waiver, and MS students receive a 30 credit waiver. These waivers are usually more than enough to cover the tuition needed to obtain the respective degrees. 

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Last updated 1 June 2016