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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!

  • Deadline - December 1
  • Applications received after the deadline will continue to be reviewed until April 30 or until the class has been filled, whichever occurs first.
  • Applications received after April 30 will not be reviewed.

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

  • The application deadline is December 1.
  • All complete applications received by the deadline 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 two-step process:
  1. Complete UNM Graduate Application
  2. Submit Official Documents

Complete the UNM Graduate Application

All applicants: review UNM admission requirements at before beginning your application at

Complete the "Personal Information," "International Information" (if applicable), and "Educational Background" sections.

  • Unofficial transcripts from all institutions of higher learning need to be uploaded with your online application for initial evaluation purposes.
  • Official transcripts will be required after you are offered acceptance into the program. You will not be formally admitted into the program until official transcripts from all institutions are received by UNM.

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!
  • Interest/Second Interest: Select your areas of interest (as applicable)

Upload "Letter of Intent" - This document is required and should include:

  • Intended degree (PhD or MS)
  • Areas of research interest
  • Previous laboratory experience (if any - not required but highly desirable)
  • Objectives in undertaking study in Biomedical Sciences
  • And answer the following questions:
    • How did you learn about the Biomedical Sciences program at the University of New Mexico
    • Have you ever attended the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)? If so, when?
    • Have you ever attended the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference? If so, when?
    • Are you a past UNM HSC Undergraduate Pipeline Network (UPN) participant? If so, when?
  • Please visit for hints that will help you to write a more effective letter of intent.

Upload "CV/Resume" - This document is required and should include academic and/or scientific awards and publications (if any) in addition to relevant work history.

Note additional "Relevant Coursework" - only list courses ("B" or higher) beyond what you report in your competency supplement (pdf version).

Provide Recommendations - Three (3) letters of recommendation are required

  • Your references should be either recent research mentors or faculty members at institutions of higher learning. They should be able to comment on your current ability to perform academically at the graduate level and/or comment on your recent research experience.
  • Let your references know of the deadline you are trying to meet.

Pay the application fee before submitting the application!

Upload Competency Supplement

  • The competency supplement (pdf version) is required and must be uploaded as an addendum to your online UNM Graduate Application. In order to do this, you must first submit your online UNM Graduate Application. Then, log back in to your application and upload the competency supplement as an addendum.

Submit Official Documents Once Accepted

Official Transcripts

  • All applicants must submit official transcripts from each and every college or university attended.
  • Do not send official transcripts to BSGP, they should be sent to UNM admissions (see address below).
  • 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.

 Send transcripts to:

Postal Mail:

Courier Service (UPS, FedEx, DHL):


UNM Admissions
PO Box 4895
Albuquerque, NM 87196-4895

Student Support and Service Center
1155 University Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87131


English Proficiency (international applicants only)

  • International applicants must submit official English Proficiency scores to UNM.
    • Institution Code:  4845
    • Department Code:  45
  • 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 English Language Score requirement.
    • Other exceptions to the English Proficiency Test Requirements can be found on the Global Education Office website.
  • See the Requirements tab below for more information on acceptable tests and required scores.

Complete Application Checklist

The following steps must be completed before your application is reviewed:

  1. Submit UNM Graduate Application, including all required supporting documentation
  2. Pay application fee
  3. Letters of recommendation from at least three (3) references

Note: You will receive notification from the BSGP only once your application is reviewed.

The following steps must be completed upon acceptance:

  1. Official transcripts from all institutions sent to UNM Admissions
  2. Official English Proficiency scores sent to UNM Admissions (international applicants only)

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.

Admissions interviews

Interviews for our Fall 2021 BSGP Cohort will be virtual, dates to be announced. 

  • All qualified applicants who are being considered for admission to the BSGP must commit to an interview!
  • Virtual interviews are scheduled for the week of January 11, 2021 and February 15, 2021. Please note these date on your calendar.
  • All qualified international applicants will be contacted by the end of February to schedule your virtual interview.
  • In extreme circumstances, qualified applicants who are unable to schedule an on-campus interview may be offered a virtual interview.
  • MS applicants may not be required to interview.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us.

Email (preferred): with "BSGP Application - [YOUR FULL NAME]" in the Subject

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 coursework with a grade of “B” or higher, prior to the start of Fall classes.

Applicants who complete only the minimal recommended coursework and/or who lack competency in one of the core knowledge areas often struggle with the first-year BSGP core curriculum. Therefore, if you lack competency in any of the BSGP core knowledge areas outlined in the competency supplement <link to document>, it is to your advantage to seek out opportunities to acquire competency before beginning training in the BSGP.

The University of New Mexico BSGP is proud to use a flexible and holistic admissions process. This means that our final admission decisions are based on a combination of numerical (e.g., grades) and non-numerical information (e.g., presentations, publications, and experience). We encourage applicants to provide as much evidence as possible of their potential to be successful in the BSGP. Non-numerical factors we often consider include but are not limited to:

  • Letters of recommendation
  • Rigor of coursework
  • Interview
  • Demonstrated interest in the BSGP and our faculty
  • Mentor and research interest fit
  • Potential for collegiality and leadership
  • Writing abilities
  • Work and life experiences
  • Professional goals
  • Community activities

In order to enhance our holistic application review process, a complete application requires a typed competency supplement (pdf version).

Applicants must have:

  • Complete online application including: Letter of Intent, CV, three (3) letters of recommendation, all transcripts (unofficial or official) from every college/university attended and competency supplement (pdf version)*.

    *The competency supplement must be uploaded as an addendum to your online UNM Graduate Application. In order to do this, you must first submit your online UNM Graduate Application. Then, log back in to your application and upload the competency supplement as an addendum.

  • 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)
  • Demonstrated competency in core knowledge areas. Evidence of competency in a core knowledge area includes grades of “B” or better in recommended pre-requisite courses (upper-division or graduate-level preferred), relevant scientific presentations and/or publications, relevant research experience, GRE or other standardized test scores, relevant teaching or work experience, etc. If you received below a “B” in a recommended pre-requisite course within these core knowledge areas, you need to provide evidence to demonstrate that you have successfully remediated this core knowledge area. See competency supplement (pdf version)for more information.

Advanced Biological Sciences Recommended minimum: 2 semesters upper-division
Examples: Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Immunology, Physiology, Neuroscience, relevant research, teaching, publications, employment, etc.
Biochemistry/Chemistry Recommended minimum: 2 semesters upper-division
Examples: Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, relevant research, teaching, publications, employment, etc.
Quantitative & Analytical Reasoning Recommended minimum: 2 semesters
Examples: Calculus, Statistics, Physics, Analytical Chemistry, 147 or higher on GRE Quantitative Reasoning, relevant teaching, etc.
Writing Recommended minimum: 1 semester upper-division
Examples: upper-division writing courses, 3.5 or higher on GRE Analytical Writing, significant writing role on relevant publication, relevant teaching, etc.
  • GRE scores (optional)
    • As of 2020, GRE scores are optional and should only be submitted if they strengthen your application package.
    • GRE Verbal scores ranged from 145 to 167 and averaged 154 for BSGP cohorts admitted in 2018 and 2019, with a recommended minimum of 152.
    • GRE Quantitative scores range from 143 to 160 and averaged 153 for BSGP cohorts admitted in 2018 and 2019, with a recommended minimum of 147.
    • GRE Analytical Writing scores range from 3 to 5 and averaged 4 for BSGP cohorts admitted in 2018 and 2019, with a recommended minimum of 3.5.
    • Scores on the Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology GRE Subject Test may be relevant to your application package.
  • English Proficiency, International Students Only (Any listed test)
    • To demonstrate English proficiency, students may take; the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Duolingo English Test, Pearson Test of English (Academic), or Cambridge CPE or CAE. Official test results must be sent directly to The University of New Mexico. (The ETS school code for The University of New Mexico is 4845)
      Exam Minimum Score Required
      TOEFL (internet-based) 79
      TOEFL (paper-based) 550
      IELTS 6.5
      PTE Academic 53
      Duolingo English Test 105
      Cambridge C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency    180
    • Exceptions to the English Proficiency Test Requirements (only one exception required):
      • Completion of four years of U.S. high school with a 2.5 GPA or better.
      • Bachelor's or graduate degree from a recognized institution in English-speaking Canada, the United Kingsom, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand.
      • 1 year of full-time study (minimum 18 credit hours) at a regionally-accredited US college or university with a 3.0 GPA or higher completed within the last two years.
      • Completion of two semesters of freshman English composition (English 110 and 120 equivalent) with a grade of C or better at a regionally-accreditted U.S. college or university. (These courses must be completed on an A-F grade scale.)
      • Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. college or university.
      • Attendance in the Center for English Language and American Culture (CELAC) program at UNM with successful completion of full-time studies in the Academic Bridge level of English instruction (2.5 GPA or better), good standing, and approval of the academic graduate department.
      • If you are from one of the following English-Speaking Countries (Click here to check Countries).
  • Participate in admission interviews
  • Previous laboratory research experience: not required, but highly desirable; Students offered admission to the BSGP PhD program have 1 year of wet laboratory research experience (on average) with 2 strong letters of recommendation from research mentors.
  • 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).
    • 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.
  • Equipment Required: personal computer capable of running the latest release of SAS University Edition
  • NOTE: For students who feel that they do not meet criteria for a PhD application, the MS degree may provide the opportunity to excel in graduate-level biomedical science courses, gain research experience, and obtain powerful letters of recommendation to support an application to the PhD program. Many MS students in the BSGP accelerate to the PhD track after demonstrating success in our coursework and research.

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
  • 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 as well as completion of mandatory UNM and HSC trainings.

  • 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.

What to Expect After You Submit Your Application

I filled out the UNM graduate application, is my application complete?

  • The UNM Office of Admission requires the following items to consider your application complete (The BSGP cannot see your application until UNM Admissions considers your application complete):
    • Submission of the UNM graduate application, including electronic signature and all supporting documentation.
    • Payment of the application fee.
    • Submission of transcripts, unoficial or official, from each and every institution you’ve attended. 
    • International applicants must submit additional documents:
      • Transcripts, diploma, and certificate of graduation, in both the original language and official English translation.
      • English Proficiency Scores
  • The BSGP requires the following from all applicants:
    • Complete UNM application as described above.
    • Competency supplement (pdf version) attached as an addendum to UNM Graduate Application.
    • Letters of recommendation from all references.

When will my application be reviewed?

  • Your application will be reviewed once it is complete. We cannot tell you the exact date your application will be reviewed.
  • Applications are reviewed as they are received to offer interview visits and acceptances. 
  • 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.
  • You will receive a notification after your application has been 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 interview dates are published on the Application Information tab.
    • If you cannot attend during one of these session, please include that information in your Letter of Intent.
  • Virtual interviews will begin once applications are reviewed.
    • All qualified international applicants will be interviewed virtually.
    • Qualified applicants who are unable to attend an on-campus interview may be offered a virtual interview.
    • The Admissions Committee may, at their discretion, choose to interview domestic US applicants virtually rather than on-campus.

When will I get a decision regarding my application?

  • An email will be sent within two business days of the Admissions Committee’s decision.
    • 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.