Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

George Mason University

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Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is the institutional code for GMU?

A. The institutional code for GMU is 5827. There are no departmental codes for GMU.

Q. What is the deadline for submitting an application?

A. The fall application deadlines are April 15 for domestic applicants, February 1 for international applicants, and those seeking support. The spring application deadlines are November 15 for domestic applicants, and October 1 for international applicants. There is no funding available for those applying for the spring semester. Ph.D. applications are not accepted in the spring semester.

Q. What are the admission requirements for the Ph.D. program?

A. The admission requirements for the Ph.D. program are as follows:
- B.A. or B.S. in biology, computer science, or related science
- Undergraduate courses in molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, calculus, data structures, and probability and statistics
- Experience using a high-level programming language
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.25
- Submit GRE-GEN scores
- A complete application for admission with application fee submitted by the appropriate deadline.

Q. What are the admission requirements for the M.S. program?

A. The admission requirements for the M.S. program are as follows:
- B.A. or B.S. in biology, computer science, or related science
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
- Submit GRE-GEN scores
- Undergraduate courses in molecular biology, computer programming, statistics, and calculus
- A complete application for admission with application fee submitted by the appropriate deadline.

Q. What is the minimum score required for the TOEFL?

A. A TOEFL Score of 88 with a minimum of 20 in each section (Internet-based test), 230 (Computer-based test), 575 (Paper based test), or 6.5 IELS is required for all students who have not attained a degree in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia. A score of 100 (with a minimum score of 23 on all subsections) on the Internet-based test, 600 on the paper-based or 250 on the computer-based test is required for teaching or research assistants.

Q. What are the application requirements?

A. The application requirements for International Applicants are as follows:
- A completed GMU graduate application (http://admissions.gmu.edu/grad/)
- $60 application fee
- Two official transcripts from each college or graduate institution attended
- Current resume
- Expanded goals statement
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official report of scores for GRE-GEN and TOEFL
(The GRE can be waived if the applicant holds a master's degree from a U.S. institution. The TOEFL can be waived if the applicant holds a degree from a U.S. institution)
- Completed International Students Form along with original bank statements and sponsorship letters.
- If currently attending a US institution, please also include a copy of your visa, I-94 card and I-20.

The application requirements for Domestic Applicants are as follows:
- A completed GMU graduate application (http://admissions.gmu.edu/grad/)
- $60 application fee
- Two official transcripts from each college or graduate institution attended
- Current resume
- Expanded goals statement
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official report of scores for GRE-GEN
(The GRE can be waived if the applicant holds a master's degree from a U.S. institution.)

Q. What is required for international students to receive their Visa?

A. To apply for a visa, students should be prepared to show the following documents at the U.S. embassy or consulate overseas:
I-20 or DS2019, passport, letter of admission to George Mason, proof of financial support, and strong evidence of intent to return to their home country after completion of studies. (Visit http://travel.state.gov for more information)

Q. What are the tuition rates?

A. For current graduate tuition rates, please visit http://fiscal.gmu.edu/Resources/tuition_rates.htm

Q. How much funding is available?

A. Financial Support is highly competitive. A limited number of competitive COS graduate research assistantships carrying a tuition waiver and a stipend are available each year for Ph.D. students. Other types of student funding are available in the form of graduate teaching assistantships and faculty-sponsored research grants. Applications for the Ph.D. program must be complete by February 1st to be considered for financial aid. At this time we do not anticipate providing financial support for students in the M.S. program.

Q. Which campus and at what times are the Bioinformatics courses offered?

A. The majority of the Bioinformatics courses are held at the PW Campus. Some electives for both programs can be taken at the Fairfax Campus. There are no Bioinformatics courses offered at the Arlington Campus. Generally courses are offered in the late afternoon and the early evening to accommodate the schedules of those students that work. Occasionally, a course is offered during the day, but these courses are usually offered in the late afternoon and evening as well.

Q. Where can I find the GMU Graduate Application packet?

A. You can go directly to the GMU Admissions site to find the Graduate Application packet located at http://admissions.gmu.edu/grad/. Please note that the GMU graduate application process is now available for online submission.

Q. How long does it typically take to finish the M.S. or Ph.D. program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology?

A. A full time student in the M.S. program should finish in two years. Obviously, if you are a part time student, your time for completion of the program will vary according to the number of credit hours you take on any given semester. A Ph.D. student coming in the program with a previous M.S. degree should plan on three to four years, and a student with no previous M.S. degree should plan on five to six years to complete the program.

Q. How many credit hours can I transfer into the program from a previous institution?

A. For information regarding the restrictions on transfer credits please visit http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/apolicies/graduate.html

Q. Where should I send my application?

A. Please send completed applications to:

Graduate Admission Processing Center
College of Science
George Mason University
Mail Stop 6A3
Science and Technology I, Room 103
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Note. Please include Mail Stop on the address when you submit the application.