Chemistry and Biochemistry

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Questions

Program Questions


Admission Questions


Aid Questions

Q. When can applications be submitted?

A. The Department accepts 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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Q. Do you admit for winter, spring or summer terms?

A. The Department graduate studies program usually only admits new students for fall semester. On rare occasions students may be accepted for winter, spring, and summer terms. Sometimes it is even possible for newly admitted domestic students to begin paid research early, but their program will usually officially only begin in the fall. If you wish to be considered for off-cycle admission or early research, please contact the assistant graduate coordinator at in the department office.

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

A. The application fee is $50. This fee eliminates insincere applicants as well as pays for the processing of your application.  In rare cases of extreme hardship, the Deparmtnet may  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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Q. What is the credential evaluation and is it required?

A. 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, the Department reviews each application to the graduate program and then makes an initial admission decision. If an applicant is recommended for admission, the Department instructs the applicant to submit the credential evaluation application, with documentation, to IERF (with the Department paying the cost of submission). In order to expedite this process, applicants should maintain complete, up-to-date documentation for their country.

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

A. You may meet with a member of the clergy of your own church 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 you wish, the Department may be able to ask a bishop who employed by the university 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 the BYU chaplain to discuss the BYU honor code. You can schedule that conversation by writing an email request to

Click here for the ecclesiastical endorsement application form.

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

A. Click here to view admissions requirements.

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Q. How many students do you usually admit?

A. The Department usually accepts about 25 graduate students per year. While admissions have no demographics requirements, usually about half of accepted students are domestic and half are international.

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

A. GRE: There is no minimum score for the GRE, but the Department's admitted students generally score above 300.

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

TOEFL: The Department requires a total score of 85 with at least 22 in the speaking section and 21 in other sections. Occasionally the Department 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: The Department require a band score of 7.0.

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

A. Yes. 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 the Department's summer laboratory courses. Usually, after their first year of graduate studies, students may receive research assistantships, allowing them to spend more time on their research rather than in the classroom. As long as they are progressing in their program, all Department graduate students are guaranteed teaching or research assistantships.

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

A. Admitted students do not join research groups until the end of their first semester. During that first semester they attend Department seminars and speak with professors to learn about current Department research. At the end of fall semester they submit a request to the Department chair indicating with whom they would like to work and why. A sincere effort is always made to allow students to join the group of their 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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Q. How long does it take to complete a graduate degree in chemistry and biochemistry at BYU?

A. The average time required to complete a postdoctoral (PhD) degree is 5.5 years. Masters (MS) degrees generally require about 2.5 years of study.

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

A. 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 the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry retains about 35 full-time faculty members, graduate students have the opportunity to interact often and closely with faculty.

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

A. Yes. The Department has 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 the Department's recent graduates see here for more information.)

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Q. Who is eligible for financial support?

A. 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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Q. What is the annual stipend for graduate students?

A. 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 the Apply Now tab for more information.

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

A. 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