School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences

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Admission | Technical Standards

Admission to the School of Graduate Studies

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS - Selection of applicants is made on a competitive basis, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, or veteran status. A student with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution may apply for study in areas in which competence has been demonstrated by scholastic performance.

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the Office of Enrollment Management through Workday, BiomedCAS (PhD programs), or CSDCAS (AuD program).  Application links may be found on the SGSHS website.  This application must include official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) institutions attended.  All non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated on a course-by-course report from World Education Services (WES) at Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).  All transcripts and documents submitted to the Office of Enrollment Management in support of an application become the property of UMMC and will not be returned to an applicant or forwarded to another school or individual.  The application may include an official statement of scores (verbal, quantitative and analytical) received on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), or Dental Admission Test (DAT); letters of recommendation; and/or a personal statement.  Those applicants for whom the initial evaluation indicates the scholastic competence necessary to successfully pursue a graduate degree may be further evaluated by personal interview.  
Additional prerequisites may be required by individual programs, and can be found in the program specific section of this document.

Conditional Acceptance.  Acceptance to the SSGHS is conditional; the school may rescind an offer of acceptance at any time before matriculation if an applicant fails to maintain the expectations upon which the acceptance was based.  Examples include, but are not limited to, a significant decline in academic performance, failure to complete prerequisites or other course work and degrees in progress, patterns of unprofessional behavior and incidents discovered in a criminal background check.

Students who meet or exceed the minimum scores may be granted full admission to the SGSHS. Students who fail to meet minimum requirements may be considered for conditional admission based on the recommendation of the program director. To be removed from conditional status, the student must, within three academic semesters of admission, meet or exceed the requirements on which the conditional admission is based.  Conditional students who fail to meet the criteria on which they were admitted will be dismissed from the school.  Notwithstanding the above, individual programs may set higher minimum standards than those required by the SGSHS.

A range of circumstances and conditions determines the number of admissions to the various graduate programs. Therefore, students interested in a particular program of study are strongly urged to contact the director of that program prior to completing an application to determine whether openings exist for the current academic year and to ascertain specific program requirements.

English Language Proficiency.  Applicants whose native language is not English and/or who have completed their tertiary education primarily outside of the USA must submit official scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE-A) as evidence of English language proficiency.

  • TOEFL-Internet Based Test (IBT): 79 or higher
  • TOEFL-Paper Based Test (PBT): 550 or higher
  • IELTS: 6.5 overall band score or higher
  • PTE-A: 53 or higher

However, this requirement may be waived for students who are currently enrolled at a college or university in the United States and/or who demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English following a personal interview.   
Criminal Background Checks (CBCs) – All students are required to complete a criminal history background check. Any preadmission agreement executed by the health care program with a student shall be void if there is a disqualifying incident or pattern of unprofessional behavior in the CBC before enrollment.  With the exception of the Post-Baccalaureate program in Biochemistry, all accepted applicants are required to complete a fingerprint-based background check.

DEADLINES FOR APPLICATIONS - The SGSHS accepts applications throughout the calendar year. However, applications for a specific academic term must be received by the Office of Enrollment Management by the deadlines below:

  • PhD programs: June 1
    • All PhD programs begin in the fall semester.
    • Prospective PhD students who wish to attend the Graduate School Spring Recruitment Day must have applications submitted by December 15.
    • Students wishing to be considered for a graduate stipend for the upcoming fall semester should apply for admission prior to April 1.
  • MS Programs: June 1
  • Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Biochemistry
    • Summer: May 1
    • Fall: July 17
    • Spring: December 18

APPLICATION FEE - A nonrefundable fee of $25 must accompany the initial application. Additional processing fees will apply for students submitting applications through BioMedCAS (PhD programs) or CSDCAS (AuD program). Students should refer to those CAS sites for more detailed information.

NON-DEGREE SEEKING STUDENTS - UMMC employees who wish to take graduate courses but are not members of a SGSHS degree program may apply as non-degree seeking students. Applicants must first complete an approval to register form. The form and instructions for the non-degree student are located on the Graduate School website. Non-degree students may not earn more than 9 semester hours.  Furthermore, successful completion of courses taken does not in itself qualify the individual for subsequent admission to a graduate program.

Technical Standards for Admission

Technical Standards are non-academic requirements essential for meeting the academic requirements of the programs in the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences. Within any area of specialization, students must demonstrate competence in those intellectual and physical tasks that together represent the fundamentals of research in their chosen discipline.

Degree programs may require a dissertation, thesis, or capstone project based on independent research. Granting of those degrees implies the recipient has demonstrated a base of knowledge in their chosen field of study and the ability to independently apply that knowledge to form hypotheses, design and conduct experiments, interpret experimental results, and communicate these findings to the scientific community.  Thus, a candidate for the PhD or MS degree in the health sciences must possess abilities and skills that allow for observation, intellectual and conceptual reasoning, motor coordination, and communication. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable.

The following technical skills are required of a successful student in the SGSHS:

Observation - The candidate must be able to acquire knowledge by direct observation of demonstrations, experiments, and experiences within the research and instructional setting.

Intellectual/ Conceptual Abilities - The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, analyze, reason, integrate and synthesize information to solve problems.

Motor Skills - The candidate must possess motor skills necessary to perform procedures required for experimentation within the chosen discipline. Those individuals with physical challenges are encouraged to contact the appropriate administration to determine their educational options within the chosen discipline.

Communication - The candidate must be able to communicate and discuss his or her experimental hypotheses and results to the scientific community.

Behavioral and Social Attributes - The candidate must possess the emotional and mental health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities inherent in managing a scientific setting, the ability to function under the stress inherent in research, and the ability to understand and comply with ethical standards for the conduct of research.