Which program should
The UMDNJ Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
has three Divisions, each with its own unique
characteristics and program structure. The
most important factor in choosing the Division
and program should be how well it fits your
particular interests, academic background
and career goals. Review the programs at each
Division and the research interests of the
faculty. Contact the graduate school office
for specific questions and prerequisites for
the program. There are usually subject areas
and skills that you are expected to have learned
as an undergraduate. For example, some programs
may require a background in physical chemistry.
If possible, meet with faculty and students
in the program that interests you. If that
is not possible, address your questions to
the program via e-mail.
Office of Admissions
UMDNJ -Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
185 South Orange Ave., MSB C-696
Newark, NJ 07103
tel: (973) 972-4511
Office of Admissions
UMDNJ-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
675 Hoes Lane, Room R-102
Piscataway, NJ 08854-5635
tel: (732) 235-5016
Office of Admissions
UMDNJ-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
42 E. Laurel Road, UDP, Suite 2200
Stratford, NJ 08084
tel: (609) 566-6282
is involved in a Ph.D. program?
Doctoral programs vary, but in general they
share certain common features. Most programs
involve about two years of course work at
the beginning of the program. During this
phase, the students also rotate through faculty
research laboratories and attend research
seminars. Following the course work (or at
the end of the first year of core courses
in some programs), students take a qualifying
examination to determine whether they have
sufficient understanding of what they have
learned to enter the research phase of their
studies. Students must have at least a B academic
average to take the qualifying examination
and continue in the program.
Prior to beginning the dissertation research,
the student will select a mentor with whom
to work and will write a research proposal.
The mentor, along with an advisory committee,
will guide the student through the research
phase. At the completion of the research project,
the student will write a dissertation describing
the work and will defend it publicly.
long will it take to complete the Ph.D. program?
Doctoral programs generally require about
two years of course work followed by two to
three years of laboratory research. The length
of the research portion will depend on a variety
of factors, such as the time it takes to learn
new techniques, the complexity of the project,
how much effort is put into the project and
the success of obtaining appropriate data.
Prior research experience and graduate course
work may decrease the time to complete the
you offer master's degree programs?
Most programs at the GSBS do not accept students
for the master's degree. The Newark Division
offers a separate multidisciplinary master's
degree program in Biomedical Sciences, and
some programs in the other Divisions will
accept M.S. candidates under special circumstances.
An M.S. in Oral Biology for graduate dentists
and a dual M.S./MBA are available in the Newark
Division. The M.S. degree programs generally
take about two years to complete. For more
detailed information, see the information
for the separate Divisions.
Are Fellowships available?
Yes. Students accepted into doctoral (Ph.D.) programs at GSBS receive a stipend, tuition waiver, and student health insurance. The stipend differs slightly among the three Divisions due to differences in specific benefits, cost of living, and other factors. The current stipend is $26,500. See the specific Division home pages for details.
Is a separate application form required to receive a fellowship?
No. Doctoral fellowships are based on the qualifications of the applicant. In general, all students accepted into the doctoral programs will receive the fellowship package and no additional application is required.
Do I need to do extra work for the fellowship?
No. Fellowships are awarded to aid in the pursuit of your educational goals. They are not teaching or research assistantships and, therefore, there is not a specific hourly work component involved. On the other hand, as part of their training, doctoral students are expected to participate in the teaching responsibilities of their program. This may entail assisting in medical student laboratories, operating the slide projector during seminars, and similar activities. In general, little time is required for these tasks and they help in preparing students for future academic careers should they desire to pursue that career path.
What are the requirements for admission?
Admission is competitive and dependent upon the availability of openings in each department. Candidates for admission are evaluated on the basis of academic achievement, personal interviews, recommendations from former professors, and other data documenting academic performance and experience. Honors, awards, and professional experience in a major field of specialization also are taken into consideration.
An applicant's cumulative academic performance should present convincing evidence of scholarly competence, especially in science and mathematics. A record of at least B level work in the natural sciences is required. The record should be supported with creditable scores on the graduate record examine (GRE) and favorable references, and should indicate that the applicant is capable of performing successfully in the rigorous atmosphere of the graduate school. Applicants should display evidence of seriousness of purpose, strong motivation to achieve a successful career in science, and high standards of personal conduct. Each applicant is evaluated by the program to which the application was made.
Essential/Technical Requirements for Admission
Technical Standards refer to non-academic requirements that are essential for meeting the academic requirements of the program. Within any area of specialization, students must demonstrate competence in those intellectual and physical tasks that together represent the fundamentals of biomedical research in their chosen discipline.
The Ph.D. programs at the UMDNJ Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences require a laboratory-based research dissertation. Granting of this degree implies that the recipient has demonstrated a base of knowledge in the field and the ability to independently apply that knowledge to solve a particular problem by forming hypotheses, designing and conducting experiments, interpreting the experimental results, and communicating the results and their interpretation to the scientific community. Thus, a doctoral candidate 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 in many situations in that a candidate's judgment will be based on someone else's power of selection and observation.
The candidate must be able to acquire knowledge by direct observation of demonstrations, experiments, and experiences within the laboratory and instructional setting. Examples are physiological or pharmacological responses in animals, studies of microbiological cultures and organisms, identification of normal and abnormal cells or tissues through a microscope, and interpretation of results obtained on various instrumentation.
The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, analyze, reason, integrate and synthesize information to solve problems.
The candidate must posses motor skills necessary to perform procedures required for experimentation within the chosen discipline. These skills may include, but are not limited to, surgery in animals, handling of animals, transfer of microorganisms to various mediums, preparing chemical and often toxic materials and solutions, preparation of anatomical specimens for microscopic examination, manipulating electronic and other complex equipment. Such actions require coordination of muscular movements and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
The candidate must be able to communicate and discuss his or her experimental hypotheses and results to the scientific community, both in scientific journals or directly at scientific meetings, seminars, or in the laboratory to the research team.
||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 laboratory, the ability to function under the stress inherent in biomedical research, and the ability to understand and comply with ethical standards for the conduct of research.
How do I apply?
Before a request for matriculation can be considered, the following materials must be on file with the Graduate School Office:
A completed application form.
Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records.
Graduate Record Examination results. (General test is required of all applicants for matriculated status except those holding degrees of M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., D.Sc., or D.O. from accredited institutions in the United States.) The medical college admission test (MCAT) can be substituted for the GRE for applicants to the M.S. Program in Biomedical Sciences.
Recommendations from three individuals, preferably academic instructors, who have direct knowledge of the applicant's academic abilities in science-related fields.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required of all foreign applicants. Deadline for receipt of applications and supporting documents for doctoral programs is February 1.
Will you evaluate photocopies of official documents?
Yes. We will evaluate photocopies of official transcripts and test scores, but official documents will be required prior to registration. The latter must be sent by the examining organization (e.g., ETS) or the university from which you are submitting the transcript.
Do you accept students for part - time study?
Sometimes. Prospective students who initially are unable to devote full time to graduate study may apply for matriculation as part-time students. Entrance requirements for such applicants are identical to those of full-time, matriculated students. Part-time matriculated students must register for at least six credits per semester and must maintain the same academic standards required of full-time students. Doctoral students must be enrolled full-time for at least one year following the Qualifying Examination.
Do you accept non-degree students?
On a limited basis. Students with baccalaureate degrees may request permission to enroll in a limited number of courses as non-matriculated students. Permission to take courses is contingent upon fulfillment of the specific course prerequisites and availability of facilities to accommodate the applicant. Preference is given to teachers or professional workers in neighboring industries and hospitals who are seeking to further their knowledge of biomedical sciences or striving to advance their careers through continuing education. Foreign applicants outside the USA are not eligible for non-matriculated status. Requirements for admission are the same as those for matriculated status except that GRE scores are not necessary. Acceptance is granted for one year; students must request permission to take additional courses in future years. Non-matriculated students may take a maximum of 10-15 credits.
What if I have a handicap?
UMDNJ policy provides that no program or activity administered by the University shall exclude from participation, admission, treatment or employment, or deny benefits to, or subject to discrimination any qualified individual solely by reason of his or her physical handicap. Qualified individuals are those persons who, with reasonable accommodation, are capable of performing the essential function of the position in question in accordance with University policy, applicable laws and regulations. Certain skills and abilities generally are necessary for completion of the program, as described under the section Essential/Technical Requirements for Admission.
What are the minimum GRE scores and GPA for admission?
In general, we look for at least a B undergraduate average, but the overall record is of primary importance. Individual programs may be interested in how an applicant did in specific courses, whether the undergraduate background course work was adequate for the program, and whether the applicant showed a pattern of improvement during undergraduate study. There is no specific cut-off for the GRE. Although we look for above average scores, results of the GRE are placed in context with the overall record.
What is important for the Personal Statement?
The Statement of Purpose gives the faculty and admissions committee the opportunity to see you as an individual. They are interested in your motivation to pursue the degree, the reasons for your choice of program, your intellectual skills, writing ability, understanding of what will be required to complete the program, and suitability for their particular program. Prior research experience is a valuable asset and should be discussed. Other types of work experience also may be of significance. Grades and scores on standardized tests are only two of the many factors that are considered by an admissions committee. Ultimately, you and the program must work as a team for several years, and it is important that you fit well together.