Graduate Admissions

Prospective WFSC Student Letter

Prospective WFSC DE Student Letter

Application Deadlines

International: February 1 for Fall, September 1 for Spring
Domestic: May 1 for Fall, September 1 for Spring

Admissions consideration cannot be made for any applicant until a complete application is on file with both the University and Department, then a WFSC faculty member must agree to serve as your advisor.

Students interested in being eligible for nomination to a fellowship program must apply no later than December 1. Fellowship nominations are made by the faculty using a completed application.

If interested in a fellowship please let your potential faculty advisor know and send an unofficial copy of your complete application packet (transcripts, application, essays, letters, etc.) to them no later than December 15. Make sure to include the name(s) of the professor(s) you are interested in working with. Fellowship recipients will know of admissions and selection as early as possible and will have until April 15 to make a decision on accepting any fellowship offers unless otherwise noted.

Admissions decisions will be made for international students by February for Fall and by September for Spring.

Admissions decisions for domestic students will be made in May for Fall and October for Spring.

The admissions process is ongoing. Most applicants will be informed by May; others as will be informed as soon as a decision is made by their faculty advisor and contacted by the department for official admissions. The earlier an application is received and a faculty member agrees to work with an applicant, the sooner an admissions decision will be made.

International students should apply early and contact faculty members about admissions as soon as they are interested in the program.

Applications will not be available to the department for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months after submissions. Please contact Adrea Dottavio after this time to check on the status of your application.

faculty member must agree to serve as advisor before the student is accepted. If no advisor can be found, the application will be rejected, regardless of qualifications, unless you indicate you would like to be considered in the next year’s application pool.

Application Procedure

  1. Talk to professors about working with them and funding opportunities
  2. Application & Statement of Purpose (http://www.applytexas.org)
  3. Application Fee (Admissions)
  4. GRE Scores (General Exam only)
  5. Official final transcripts from all the schools you have attended (sent to Admissions)
    • If you still are completing a degree you will need to submit an additional transcript once it is complete
  6. Three letters of recommendation (submitted at http://applicant.tamu.edu)

Applications are completely electronic. Everything should be sent to admissions.

If you have any questions about the procedure contact:

Adrea Dottavio

216 Heep Laboratory Building (HLB)

979-845-5768

adottavio@tamu.edu

Map to Heep Laboratory Building (HLB)

Selection of an Advisor

Admission into the graduate program requires agreement on the part of a member of the graduate faculty in WFSC to serve as the student’s advisor. It is the applicant’s responsibility to find a faculty advisor and inform graduate advisor if accepted. A student’s choice of advisor is made largely on the basis of mutual professional interests developed through contacts and informal discussions. It is therefore best if the prospective student makes contact with potential faculty advisors before applying to the program. When first contacting a potential advisor please include, in email, a copy of your CV, transcripts and GRE scores. A list of on- and off-campus Graduate Faculty and Visiting Graduate Faculty, along with their academic backgrounds and research interests, may be found in the department’s Graduate Faculty and Programs brochure or by viewing http://wfscnet.tamu.edu.

Requirements

MWS, MNRD & M.S. Requirements: The general qualifications for admission to the Master degree programs are at least a 3.0 GPA and competitive GRE scores (at least 1000 on general exam or 297 on the new version). International students must have achieved a TOEFL of at least 550 (paper-based), TOFLC of at least 213 (computer-based), or TOFI of at least 80 (internet-based), and no more than two years old. Three letters of recommendation are required.

Ph.D. Requirements: Applicants for the doctoral program must have a degree with at least a 3.0 GPA and competitive GRE scores (at least 1000 on general exam). International students must have achieved a TOEFL of at least 550 (paper-based), TOFLC of at least 213 (computer-based), or TOFI of at least 80 (internet-based), and no more than two years old. Three letters of recommendation are required.

Changing from a Master’s to Ph.D.: Successful completion of a M.S., MWS, or MNRD program in WFSC does not imply automatic admission to a doctoral program. After completing 30 hours, a student wishing to continue should notify the advisor and have an evaluation.

Financial Support

The department recognizes the personal financial burdens that graduate work can impose on students. In most cases, some financial support in the form of an assistantship or fellowship will be needed by the student to give them personal financial security and the resources necessary to successfully complete a graduate program. For these reasons, the department encourages advisors to accept only those students for whom there is sufficient financial support available to guarantee that the student will have a quality graduate experience in the department.

Tuition Waivers - All students are required to pay tuition to Texas A&M during their tenure as a graduate student. This tuition will either be at a resident rate or a much higher non-resident rate, depending on the student’s classification. Texas residents obviously pay the resident rate, while students who are not state residents can have out-of­-state tuition waived (i.e., they pay the resident rate) only if they are employed at least half-time by the university. Such graduate student employment is typically as a GAT (Graduate Assistant, Teaching), GANT (Graduate Assistant, Non­-Teaching), or GAR (Graduate Assistant, Research). Certain fellowships provided by the University also qualify for a waiver. Be sure that you understand your status relative to tuition classification before you agree to any type of funding (or lack of funding!) for your program. Out-of-state tuition is extremely expensive, which is another burden on the unsupported student that causes the department to discourage unsupported admission to the graduate program.

Teaching Assistantships

Departmental Assistantships - The department selects a very limited number of students each semester for the few state-funded assistantships controlled by the department. Selections for these assistantships primarily are made based on how to best fulfill the teaching responsibilities of the department, and not based strictly on financial needs of various graduate students. Teaching assistants (GATs) normally are selected by the professor teaching the course in question. All students who will serve as GATs must fulfill all requirements of the TAMU Teaching Assistant Training and Evaluation Program (TATEP). Additionally, foreign students must score at least an 80 on the English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) before they can be considered for GATs. A few non-teaching graduate assistantships (GANTs) and research assistantships (GARs) also are assigned to support departmental needs. Departmental assistantships typically can support only a small fraction (<10%) of departmental students, so these assistantships should not be viewed as a likely source of funding for most students’ programs.

Research Assistantships - The vast majority of departmental students are supported by research assistantships (GARs) provided by research grant and contract funds secured by the student’s advisor. Individual faculty members are in complete control of their grant and contract funds, and make all decisions as to who is employed with these funds. Incoming students should realize that this type of funding is likely to be the only type available to support their program, so the student should get a clear statement of funding intentions from their advisor(s) before they enter the graduate program.

TAMU Fellowships - The University provides certain fellowships (Regents, Merit) to a very limited number of the most highly qualified graduate applicants. Applicants for these fellowships must be nominated by their prospective advisor(s) before deadlines each semester by the Office of Graduate Studies. In most cases, these fellowships are awarded only for the first year of graduate study. The student and their advisor(s) then are responsible for securing funding for the balance of the student’s academic and research program.

Other Fellowships - Students in the final stages of their research program may qualify for a Tom Slick fellowship, administered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; see your advisor(s) for details. Certain other research fellowships may be available from agencies and foundations outside of the University. These programs require that the student prepare a research proposal in conjunction with their prospective advisor(s). Contact your advisor(s) for guidelines on submission.

Health Insurance - State-mandated health insurance is provided for state-supported graduate students (and their families) that meet certain qualifications. The student must be employed as a GAT, GANT, or GAR for at least 4.5 months of the fiscal year in question. In general, fellowship recipients do not qualify for this coverage, although other types of limited coverage may be available. Be sure you understand your insurance situation before you agree to any type of funding support.

International Students - Admitted students who are not on Texas A&M funding or who have not submitted official letters of scholarship from an agency in good standing with Texas A&M University are asked to submit an advance deposit of $2,000 (U.S.) or $1,000 if the student is transferring from a college or university in the U.S. The estimated cost for international students (tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, room and board and living expenses) for the nine-month academic year is approximately $14,574 (U.S.). There is no guarantee that students who are self-supported will receive a TAMU or extramural assistantship, regardless of academic success.

Retention

Once admitted you will have until your 2nd semester for Master’s students and 4th semester for Ph.D. students to form a committee and submit a degree plan. If you fail to meet these deadlines you will be blocked from registration by the Office of Graduate Studies until they have been met. The degree plan must be approved by committee, department and OGS before it is considered completed.

Once accepted, all students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. If a student falls below a 3.0, the student will have one semester to bring his/her grades up or face dismissal.

Language Requirements

All students are required to possess a competent command of English. The department does not require a foreign language for any of its degrees. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper-based), TOFLC of at least 213 (computer-based), or TOFI of at least 80 (internet-based), and no more than two years old. Students who score below 550 or who will have teaching assignments will be required to complete ELPE before registering for classes. To complete the ELPE Certification Process, the student may be required to register in one or more courses in the English Language Institute.

Useful Links

Office of Graduate Studies
International Student Services

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