How to Apply

The deadline for applications to the Graduate Program is March 31st each year, though early submission of applications is strongly encouraged. Competitive candidates will be invited to attend one of several on-campus interview days. Students unable to come to on-campus interviews will be interviewed via a video call. Matriculation into the program is limited to the beginning of the Fall term. Information regarding the application process and the program can be obtained by contacting the Office of Research Education and Training by phone (251) 460-6153 or email  

Apply for Fall 2024

Minimum Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. For internationals, the bachelor’s
    degree must have a US equivalent to be considered.
  • Satisfactory standing at the last educational institution attended.
  • Any international student who has not previously attended at university within the United
    States must complete an English proficiency test.
  • Two semesters or three quarters of undergraduate coursework are recommended in each of the
    following areas: Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, English Composition,
    and Mathematics (including Calculus and Statistics).

Required Application Materials

Applications will not be considered for review by the Graduate Admissions Committee until all of the following materials have been received:

  • A completed application
  • Receipt of transcripts
  • Personal Statement (maximum of 2 pages)
  • Three letters of recommendation (requested through the application system)


▼   Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need a master’s degree to apply?
No, a master’s degree is not required.

Is research experience required?
While research experience is not required, it is highly recommended.

Do you offer application fee waivers?
We do not offer application fee waivers.

Is the GRE required for admission?
Beginning in Fall 2022 admissions, we no longer require GRE test scores for admission.

Do I need to find a mentor/PI/major professor before joining the program?
No, our students complete three rotations within the first year in order to find a mentor and laboratory to complete their dissertation research.

How do I apply for funding/scholarships?
All admitted students receive an annual stipend ($27,000), single-coverage paid health insurance, and full paid tuition from the College of Medicine. Additional financial aid may be available. For more information, please visit the Office of Financial Aid.


Can I have a waiver for the English proficiency test score?
We do not offer a waiver for the English proficiency score. Any international student who has not previously attended a university/college within the United States is required to submit an English proficiency score.

What are the required English proficiency scores for admissions?
Below are the scores we recommend for each of the accepted English proficiency tests:

TOEFL – 100
iTEP – 4.5
PTE – 68
Duolingo – 100

For TOEFL scores, what is the institution code for the University of South Alabama?
Our institution code is 1880. There is no department code.

When will I find out the decision on my application?
The Admissions Committee generally reviews applications November through April. You will receive an email when a decision has been made. After interviews, offers of admissions generally go out two to three weeks after the interview date.

Can I submit unofficial transcripts for the application review?
Yes, we will accept unofficial transcripts for the application review process. However, if accepted, you will be required to submit official transcripts.


My letter of recommendation writer never received an email from the application system to upload their letter. What should I do?
Have them email the letter with your name directly to