Admission to the BSGP

BSGP Application Information

The Application period for the 2017 cohort is now closed.

Application deadlines for the Fall term:

The BSGP admits new students in the Fall term only; Spring or Summer applications will not be considered.

Applying to the program early is strongly encouraged!

  • Priority Deadline -- December 1
  • Final Deadline – March 1
  • The application review process begins in mid-December and continues until early March.
  • Complete applications received by December 1 will be evaluated in the first review sessions.
  • Applications received after December 1 must be completed no later than 5:00 PM MDT, March 1, in order to move forward for review.
    • Please see below for specific interview deadlines.

All applicants:  Please note that the BSGP Admissions Committee begins offering admission to applicants following the January interview session (see below).  Thus, the number of available slots decreases as the admissions season progresses.

Applicants who submit an application later in the admissions season are more likely to be declined or to find themselves on a waiting list.

Domestic US applicants

  • Please start your application early to allow 4 – 6 weeks to process your application before the deadline.

International applicants

  • It may take up to 6 – 8 weeks to process your application.
  • Please start your application early enough to allow sufficient time to process your application before the deadline.

Deadlines to meet for admissions interviews

  • All qualified applicants who are being considered for admission to the BSGP must commit to an interview!
  • On-campus interviews for Fall 2017 admission will be held January 26 – 27 and February 23 – 24, 2017.
    • Applicants who wish to be interviewed in January must have a complete application on file no later than January 4, 2017.
    • Applicants who wish to be interviewed in February must have a complete application on file no later than February 1, 2017.
  • Skype interviews will be held every Tuesday, beginning in mid-January.
    • All qualified international applicants will be interviewed via Skype.
    • Qualified applicants who miss the deadline for the February on-campus interview will be offered a Skype interview.
    • Under certain circumstances, domestic US applicants who meet the interview deadlines may be offered a Skype interview rather than an on-campus interview.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Alec Reber

Email (preferred):  AReber@salud.unm.edu with "BSGP Application" in the Subject

Fax: 505-272-8738

Mail:
BSGP Application
MSC08 4560
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Courier Service (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.):
BSGP Application
915 Camino de Salud
Fitz Hall (BMSB) B61
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

photo: UNM HSC studentsBSGP Admissions Requirements

Admission to the graduate program is competitive and attainment of the minimal requirements does not ensure admission to the program.  The admissions process does allow for consideration of students who may not have attained all of the requirements but have otherwise demonstrated exceptional potential to succeed in graduate study.

If you are lacking any of the requirements, it is to your advantage to make an effort to acquire them.  You may apply for admission while still completing or repeating courses, but you must complete all required coursework prior to the start of Fall semester classes.  If accepted for admission, you must submit official transcripts showing successful completion of the required coursework with a grade of “B” or higher, prior to the start of Fall classes.

In the past, students who have completed only the minimal coursework requirements have struggled with the first-year core curriculum in the graduate program.  Therefore, we encourage applicants to take relevant science coursework beyond the minimum required, particularly at the upper division level.

Applicants must have:

  • BS, BA, or equivalent 4-year degree from an accredited US institution or a recognized foreign institution
  • Overall 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (grades of “B” or higher are expected in all relevant science courses)
  • Pre-requisite coursework, completed with a grade of “B” or higher:
    • Biological Sciences: 2 Semesters
      • “Biological Sciences” include courses such as Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Immunology, and so on. 
      • At least one semester must be an upper division course.
    • General Chemistry: 2 Semesters
    • Organic Chemistry: 2 Semesters
    • Physics: 2 Semesters
    • Biochemistry: 1 Semester
    • Calculus: 1 Semester
  • Official GRE scores
    • Minimum GRE Verbal score of 152
    • Minimum GRE Quantitative score of 147
    • Minimum of 3.5 on the Analytical Writing test
    • Subject scores are not required
      • If you have already taken the Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology GRE Subject Test, the Admissions Committee may consider those scores in your application evaluation.
  • Official TOEFL scores (international students only)
    • Minimum score of 92 iBT
    • IELTS or other English language proficiency tests will not be accepted in lieu of the TOEFL
  • Previous laboratory research experience: not required, but highly desirable
  • Technical Standards Required to Perform the Essential Functions of the BSGP Curriculum:
    • Observation:  The applicant must be able to function effectively in a laboratory setting and must be able to observe and accurately acquire information from numerous sources, including, but not limited to, written documents, images, lectures, and videos.  This requires functional visual, auditory, and somatic sensation.
    • Communication:  The applicant must be able to effectively speak, read, write, and comprehend English in order to communicate his or her discoveries to the scientific community.
    • Motor function and coordination:  The applicant must have sufficient motor function to perform the required laboratory tasks.  This may include both gross and fine motor function, as well as the functional use of touch, vision, and hearing.
    • Intellect:  The applicant must be able to identify, define, and solve problems, with the ability to accurately measure, calculate, reason, integrate, analyze and synthesize data, and to apply these skills in a variety of settings.
    • Professionalism:  The applicant must possess good emotional health and be capable of developing and retaining mature, professional, responsible, and effective relationships, to exercise good judgment, and to demonstrate the degree of honesty and integrity outlined in the Biomedical Research Education Program Code of Professional Conduct (see BSGP Handbook, Section 3).
    • Applicants must be able to meet the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation.
    • In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The University of New Mexico School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program will implement policy and procedures to ensure equal access to educational opportunities for persons with disabilities.

photo: UNM HSC sunscreen researchFinancial Support

PhD Students

Financial support packages are provided by the BSGP to incoming PhD students during the first academic year of the program, mid-August through May 31.

At the end of the first academic year, beginning June 1, PhD students are funded by their dissertation mentor (advisor), and/or training grants, and/or the advisor’s department.

This package includes:

  • Annual stipend of $25,000 (2016-17 amount)
  • Full tuition support (excludes some mandatory student fees)
  • Payment of student health insurance

Note: Eligibility to receive financial support throughout the program is contingent on the student remaining in good standing according to BSGP and UNM Office of Graduate Studies standards and policies.

  • Good academic standing includes maintaining a 3.0 GPA, with no grade lower than a B-, and maintaining progress toward the research component of the program.
  • Students must also comply with the BSGP and UNM HSC Codes of Professional Conduct and follow UNM values and guidelines with regard to responsible conduct of research (RCR), professional ethics, and academic integrity.

The BSGP is an intensive research-based PhD program; therefore, students who fail to identify a research mentor and secure financial support beyond the first academic year of the program will be unable to continue in the BSGP.

  • The program provides guidance and a variety of opportunities during the first academic year of the program for students to successfully identify research mentors.
  • However, the task of finding a long-term fit within a research lab is the personal responsibility of each individual student.

MS Students

The BSGP does not provide financial support to MS students.

  • MS students may find financial support from the thesis advisor after the end of the first academic year, but this is not guaranteed.
  • Other financial opportunities are available to graduate students, including scholarships, and the BSGP may provide assistance to MS students to help them secure these other financial resources.

photo: UNM HSC Leukemia research doctorsBSGP Application Instructions

NOTE:  Please review the Admissions Requirements before beginning your application.

The BSGP admits new students in the Fall term only; Spring or Summer applications will not be considered.

  • The final deadline is March 1
  • All complete applications received by March 1 will be given full consideration for admission.
  • Space is limited; applying to the program early is strongly encouraged.
  • Applying for admission to the BSGP is currently a three-step process:
    • UNM Graduate Application,
    • Submit Documents, and
    • BSGP Supplemental Application

Step One

Complete the UNM Graduate Application

All applicants: begin with an application to UNM at http://grad.unm.edu/prospective-students/admissions-criteria.html.

On the “Program of Interest” page, select the following:

  • College/School:  Health Sciences Center (non-MD)
  • Department:  Biomedical Sciences
  • Program/Major:  Biomedical Sciences
  • If you are interested in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Toxicology, DO NOT apply for admission to the College of Pharmacy! 

Pay the application fee before submitting the application!

Step Two

Submit Documents

Official Transcripts

All applicants must submit official transcripts from each and every college or university attended.

International applicants must submit official transcripts, diplomas, and certificates of graduation in both the original language and official English translation, bearing the stamps or seals of the appropriate authority.

All Applicants:

  • Do not send official transcripts to both UNM and the BSGP.
    • The BSGP will process your transcripts for this office and then deliver them to UNM Admissions for you.

 Send transcripts to:

Postal Mail:

Courier Service (UPS, FedEx, DHL):

BSGP Application
MSC08 4560
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

BSGP Application
915 Camino de Salud
Fitz Hall, Room B61
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

 
GRE Scores

All applicants must submit official GRE scores to UNM from ETS:  http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/send/.

  • Institution Code: 4845
  • Department Code: 0609 (“medical sciences”)
  • GRE scores are valid for 5 years from the test date.
  • Free GRE preparatory material can be found at

http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare?WT.ac=rx46

  • HINT:  Download and use the POWERPREP® II software found the GRE preparation web page!

TOEFL Scores (for international applicants only)

  • International applicants must submit official TOEFL scores to UNM from ETS: http://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/scores/send/.
    • Institution Code:  4845
    • Department Code:  45
    • TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years from the test date.
    • Free TOEFL preparatory material can be found at 
      • http://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/prepare?WT.ac=toeflhome_prepare_121127 (scroll down the page to find the free test preparation).
      • TOEFL waiver:  International applicants who have been awarded a 4-year bachelor’s degree or 2-year master’s degree from an accredited college or university in the US, English-speaking provinces of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand will be exempted from the TOEFL requirement.
      • IELTS or other English language proficiency tests will not be accepted by the BSGP in lieu of the TOEFL.

Step Three

Complete the BSGP Supplemental Application

All applicants: 

  • After you select Biomedical Sciences as the department and major in the UNM Graduate Application, you will see a “CAS Required” link in the menu on the left side of the page in the application.
  • On the “CAS Required” page, click the link provided in the Biomedical Sciences section to access the BSGP Supplemental Application.

In the BSGP Supplemental Application, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Your intended degree (PhD or MS)
  • Your areas of research interest
  • Pre-requisite coursework details
  • Details of additional relevant science courses
  • Your most recent GRE scores
  • Previous laboratory research experience, if any (not required, but highly desirable)
  • Publications, if any (not required, but highly desirable)
  • Academic and/or scientific awards, if any (not required, but highly desirable)
  • The names and official contact information for 3 references
    • You must provide professional contact information for your references.
      • We must be able to independently verify the contact information, either through a university web site or corporate web site.
  • The BSGP will contact your references and provide a link where each one will provide an evaluation and letter or recommendation.
  • Please advise your references that they will be receiving an email from the BSGP with a link to a BSGP-specific evaluation site.
  • Let your references know of the deadline you are trying to meet!
  • Your letter of intent
    • Please visit http://ogs.unm.edu/resources/gs-forms/letter-of-intent.html for hints that will help you to write a more effective letter of intent.
    • You may prepare a letter of intent, limited to 5,000 characters, in Word or another word processing program, and then copy and paste into the text field in the supplemental application.
      • Please note that the character count includes spaces.
  • Because this letter is embedded in a form that already has your name and address, it’s not necessary to include a formal heading in the letter.

Complete Application Checklist

Complete Application Checklist

The following steps must be completed, and all documents must be received by the BSGP office, no later than the final deadline:

  • UNM Graduate Application, with application fee payment, submitted
  • Official transcripts sent to BSGP
  • Official GRE scores sent to UNM
  • Official TOEFL scores sent to UNM (international applicants only)
  • BSGP Supplemental Application submitted
  • Online letters of recommendation and BSGP-specific evaluations from 3 references received by BSGP

photo: UNM HSC sunscreen researchWhat to Expect After You Submit Your Application

The application review process

 I filled out the UNM graduate application and I filled out the BSGP supplemental application. Is my application complete?

  • The UNM Office of Admission requires the following items to consider your application complete:
    • Submission of the UNM graduate application, including electronic signature.
    • Payment of the $50 application fee.
    • Submission of official transcripts from each and every institution you’ve attended.
    • International applicants must submit additional documents:
      • Official transcripts, diploma, and certificate of graduation, in both the original language and official English translation.
      • Official TOEFL scores.
  • The BSGP requires the following from all applicants:
    • Complete UNM application as described above.
      • Please send your official transcripts to the BSGP address shown in Step Two in the Instructions tab.
    • Submission of the BSGP online application, including electronic signature.
    • Official GRE scores.
    • Online evaluation and letter of recommendation from all 3 references.
      • Please do not enter the names and contact information of your references in the UNM graduate application.
  • The BSGP Admissions Committee will not review any application unless it is complete as of the deadline.
    • This policy ensures that each application is being fairly evaluated.

When will my application be reviewed?

  • Complete applications are placed in the queue for review beginning in mid-December, based on the order in which the applications are completed.
  • In some cases, a decision is not made after the initial evaluation, and the application is moved to a later date for reconsideration.
    • This is not a bad thing – it means your application is still under evaluation.
  • We’re sorry, but we can’t tell you the exact date your application will be reviewed. 

Admissions Interviews

  • The BSGP Admissions Committee will interview qualified applicants prior to making the decision to offer admission.
  • All qualified applicants who are being considered for admission to the BSGP must commit to an interview!
  • On-campus interviews for Fall 2016 admission will be held January 26 – 27 and February 23 – 24, 2017.
    • Applicants who wish to be interviewed in January must have a complete application on file no later than January 4, 2017.
    • Applicants who wish to be interviewed in February must have a complete application on file no later than February 1, 2017.
  • Skype interviews will be held every Tuesday, beginning in mid-January.
    • All qualified international applicants will be interviewed via Skype.
    • All qualified applicants who miss the deadline for the February on-campus interview will be offered a Skype interview.
    • Under certain circumstances, the Admissions Committee may, at their discretion, choose to interview domestic US applicants via Skype rather than on-campus.

When will I get a decision regarding my application?

  • We try to send an email within a few days of the Admissions Committee’s decision, and usually the same day if you are selected for an interview or if an offer of admission is made after an interview.
    • Applicants selected for an interview will be sent an email invitation with a request for additional information.
  • Final decision letters are sent via email and/or postal mail to applicants residing in the US.
    • Applicants residing outside the US will receive a final decision letter via email.

April 15 Response Deadline

  • PhD applicants who are offered admission with financial support are asked to accept or decline our offer in writing at their earliest convenience, but no later than 5:00 PM, April 15.
  • The BSGP admissions process complies with the conditions set by the Council of Graduate Schools April 15 Resolution:  

PhD applicants who have been made an offer of admission with financial support are not required to respond before April 15.  After April 15, funded PhD slots will no longer be guaranteed to those students who have not responded to the BSGP in writing.

  • Additionally, the Council of Graduate Studies Resolution indicates that students have an obligation of commitment to the institution whose offer they accept
  • Acceptance of an offer of admission that is maintained after April 15 is a considered binding agreement that will be honored by both the student and the institution.