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Admissions & Financial Support

Admissions Committee
All students in our graduate program must be admitted through the department Admissions Committee by making application through our online process; you to do not apply to a specific professor, but to the departmental program.  Please DO NOT send application materials to individual faculty members. 

Financial Support
Incoming students who do not hold external fellowships will be awarded a Rice University Graduate Fellowship for their first year of study comprised of a full tuition waiver and a stipend to cover living expenses. The annual stipend for the 2013-14 academic year will be $28,000, which is sufficient to live well as a student given Houston's low cost of living.  Applicants DO NOT have to apply separately for financial aid; when you apply to the departmental program, you are applying for the graduate research fellowship.

Stipend levels are reviewed annually and periodically increased to maintain competitiveness with comparable institutions. If externally obtained stipends should fall below the department's stated level, a supplement is provided.  Incoming first-year students usually receive a signing bonus that can be used to assist with relocation or other expenses. Additionally, graduate student campus housing is available.

Minimum Scores
GRE: There is no set minimum score for the GRE. The Graduate Admissions Committee examines GRE scores on a case-by-case basis. The entire application is considered, GRE score, GPA, Letters of recommendation, and research experience. Therefore, a low evaluation in one area can be offset by very strong evaluations in the other three areas. Only the Graduate Admissions Committee can make the evaluation. GRE subject tests are not required, but a high score on a subject test in a relevant field will strengthen your application.
GPA: In general, applicants should have at least a 3.0 (B) grade point average in their undergraduate work.
TOEFL: Minimum TOEFL scores are 90 (iBT), 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based).

International Students
The BCB department seeks diversity in its graduate student body. Our average intake of international students is generally about 1/3 of our incoming doctoral students. Applicants who have independent funding sources are encouraged. See: "How to Apply"


Personal Statement
Submission of a personal statement with your application materials is required; you may upload this document in the "Documents" section of the application in .pdf format. Briefly describe your intended plan of study or the particular sub-division of the major field in which you wish to specialize. Discuss any scholarly research, writing, or similar research that you have done or are currently pursuing. Include other information that may be helpful in evaluating your application. Also, if applicable, briefly describe any additional factors that you would like to have the admissions committee consider in evaluating your application (e.g. personal background, work experience, leadership role).