Department of Chemistry

Frequently Asked Questions Graduate Application Process

What are the minimum requirements for admission consideration?

Decisions are based on your application as a complete package. The information below is provided as guidance only and is not intended to convey hard cutoffs. We understand that individual circumstances vary and that not all applicants take a traditional road to graduate school.

  • A B.A., B.S., M.S., or equivalent degree in chemistry or a degree in a closely related field with appropriate chemistry coursework is expected.
  • Undergraduate research experience is expected.
  • An undergraduate grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or higher is expected, as well as an average of B or higher in chemistry and science courses.
  • Competitive GRE scores
  • For international students, we expect TOEFL scores of at least 100 with a speaking of at least 23, or IELTS of 7.0+, with a speaking of at least 7.0.
I have a low GPA or GRE score. Does that automatically disqualify me?

The applications are reviewed as whole packages. We look for evidence of excellence in past accomplishments and strong promise of success in the future. This evidence can manifest itself in many different ways.

How can I check the status of my application?

Within 48 hours (not including weekends, US or University holidays) of the receipt and processing of your ApplyTexas application the University's Office of Admissions will email an acknowledgement letter with the applicant's UIN and instructions for activating your NetID. With this NetID you can access the Applicant Information System (AIS). It will show submitted materials, but it will not reflect the progress of the review process. (Some email services may send the letter to your SPAM folder.)

I have submitted my complete application. What is its status?

Documents that have been uploaded or received are listed under the "My Documents" tab of your AIS. It may take one business day for the checklist to update. (Please be cognizant of time zone differences.) If your status is "complete" or all required materials have a check mark next to them in the application checklist, then your application is under review. There is not a review status as that is not how we operate. We will contact you once we have made a decision. We appreciate your patience during review of your materials.

When and how will I be notified of the decision?

You will be informed of the admissions committee's decision by email. Most, but not all, offers are made by mid-February. Some offers may be made as late as April. If you are offered admission, your response will be requested by April 15, 2020. You are under no obligation to respond before April 15, but we would appreciate learning of your decision once you have made it. Your decision may influence our late decisions on applications still under consideration.

Why can you not make all the decisions earlier?

We receive hundreds of applications and we work hard to review them in the most expedient fashion, but it takes a significant amount of time. We receive more meritorious applications than we can admit. As well, there is a great deal of uncertainty in how many applicants will accept our offer. Over the last few years, around half of our offers remained unanswered a week before April 15. Because of this, some decisions are made quite late in the process.

I have not heard from you yet, but I have an offer from another school and they require me to respond before April 15. Can you make your decision sooner?

The majority of US schools agreed to a resolution stipulating April 15 as the universal response deadline for graduate school offers. Requiring you to respond before April 15 is a violation of this agreement.

Can you issue a conditional letter of admission for my fellowship application?

No, we cannot.

If I have a fellowship, does that guarantee me admission to the program?

All applications are reviewed on the basis of merit.

Do I need any vaccines to apply?

Proof of vaccination is NOT required for your application to be considered.

What if my question is not answered here?

Please email us at

Whom do you consider domestic and international applicants?

A domestic applicant is a US citizen or a permanent resident of the US. All others are international applicants. If you are a US citizen with an overseas education, in general, you should follow the “domestic” guidelines, but we advise you to contact us at

What is a complete application package?
A complete application package consists of the following items:

  • Graduate Application
  • Statement of Purpose (essay on ApplyTexas application)
  • Transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • GRE scores
  • GRE subject scores, if an international student
  • TOEFL scores, if an international student
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • CV
  • Document Data Sheet (filled out on the Applicant Information System)
What is a Statement of Purpose?
A statement of purpose generally serves to explain why you are interested in and passionate about chemistry and about pursuing graduate studies. The exact content and order of presentation is up to the applicant, but the admissions committee expects to see the following items (in 2 single-spaced pages or less):

  • How your education has led you to advanced studies in chemistry
  • Your anticipated career goals
  • Your past research experience (briefly please provide details about your past projects, the results you obtained, and their significance).
  • Your research interests, and which areas and research groups at Texas A&M are attractive to you
  • How you became interested in attending Texas A&M

Note: You can cut and paste 2 pages of single-spaced text from a text editor to the ApplyTexas essay portion, even though it may say less text.

What is a CV?

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is similar to a resume. It should contain information about your educational and professional background and history, list honors and awards, skills, activities, and interests relevant to graduate studies in chemistry. It should also list any published research papers and presentations. Optionally, you may include in the CV file one page dedicated to a brief description of your research accomplishments. We expect the CV to be 1-2 pages in total. Be sure your CV is accurate and complete.

Who should the recommendation letters be from?

At least one letter should be from a research advisor. At least two recommendation letters are expected to be from chemists. We expect 3 letters total.

Can I transfer from another PhD program?

Accepting students who are active in a different PhD program in chemistry is uncommon. In addition to all the regular application materials, a student from another PhD program should clearly explain their current academic standing and research progress, and present cogent reasons for wishing to leave. A letter from the current research advisor or the director of graduate studies at the current institution is required.

I have credits earned at Texas A&M. Do I need to submit an official transcript?

No, you do not.

Can I email my documents rather than upload them?

Do not email your transcripts or any other documentation unless we specifically request you to do so.

What if my question is not answered here?

Please email us at

The application deadline on the Chemistry website is different from those on ApplyTexas or Texas A&M University general website. Which should I follow?

Follow our deadline of December 15, 2019 for Admission for Fall 2020.

Can I apply after the deadline?

You may apply after December 15, 2019. However, please complete your application package as soon as possible.

Should I apply early?

We encourage submitting applications in advance of our deadline (applying before early-/mid-November carries no benefit, however). We give full consideration to all applications submitted by our deadline; however, we continuously review application packages as they are received. Having more applications early may result in an earlier decision for the early applications, but also allows us to get through all of the applications sooner.

Do you accept applications for the Spring semester?

Spring admits are unusual. Applications received for admission in the Spring semester are considered on a case-by-case basis. The complete application package must be received by October 1.

I know which professor I am interested in working with. Should I write to her/him first?

It is certainly alright to contact our faculty directly and express interest in their work. It is a good way to learn about our research efforts directly. However, in order to join any of the chemistry research groups as a PhD student, one first has to apply for admission and be admitted to our graduate program. There is absolutely no requirement to have an agreement with a specific faculty member in order to apply and be admitted, nor do prior contacts with individual faculty guarantee admission.

How do I use the eLOR (electronic Letters of Recommendation) System?

Letters of recommendation are managed via a link within Applicant Information System to the electronic Letters of Recommendation system. After submitting the recommender's information, you must click "Send Email" to notify the recommender that you are requesting a letter of reference. Applicants can check the status of the request as well as send reminder emails if the recommender has not yet viewed the form.

When will I receive my University Identification Number?

An email containing your University Identification Number (UIN) is usually sent within 2 business days after submission of your application to the address you provided on your application. (No processing happens over the weekend or during holidays.) If you still do not have the email after 2 business days, check your SPAM filter before contacting the Office of Admissions at +1-979-845-1060 for further assistance.

Can I email my documents?

No. All supporting materials must be uploaded to the Applicant Information System. We will use the uploaded copy of the transcript for consideration of your application. If admitted the University requires receipt of official transcripts.

Documentation I uploaded to AIS or my ApplyTexas application does not show as received. Why?

There may be a delay of up to 1 business day before your documents show as received. (No processing happens on weekends or during holidays.) The University is closed between December 23 and January 1. We will review your complete application once documentation is routed to us.

Can I apply to more than one department at Texas A&M?

You may only apply to one graduate program at Texas A&M. Applying for graduate studies in disparate disciplines makes it difficult to convey commitment to and passion for advanced studies in chemistry.

Where should I mail my materials?

You should not mail any application materials. If you are admitted to our program and accept the offer we will then explain how to submit official documentation.

What if my question is not answered here?

Please email us at

I am interested in a particular research area in chemistry. Do you have this area represented in your department?

Please take a look at the Research section of the departmental website which presents faculty research areas both by traditional divisions and by interest areas.

What are the major academic milestones in your Ph.D. program?

Please see the Degree Programs section of the departmental website.

Is there an M.S. degree program?

No. Our graduate program is aimed at students interested in a obtaining a Ph.D. degree. Exceptions may be made only for students on active duty in the U.S. military.

What is the financial support offered to graduate students?

Our graduate stipend is $2,150/month or $25,800 annually. This support may come in the form of a research assistantship or a teaching assistantship. This base stipend level is the same for all graduate students in the department. In addition, tuition and mandatory fees are paid by the department or the research advisor. Support is guaranteed for 5 years for students maintaining good academic standing. Students are also eligible for reduced-rate health benefits.

Do you offer additional fellowships and awards?

There are indeed fellowships and awards reserved for graduate applicants. All domestic applicants are automatically reviewed for their eligibility and no action beyond a submitting a complete application on time is needed to be considered. International students can apply for fellowships and awards once they have established a GPA. Students selected for a fellowship or an award, you will be notified by email. For the awards available to our resident graduate students, please consult

What about external fellowships and awards?

We highly recommend all applicants consider applying for appropriate external fellowships. Consult our list of External Awards and the OGAPS Externally Funded Fellowships list. If you have been awarded an external fellowship that will provide support for your graduate studies, please mention it explicitly in your statement of purpose or contact us later at

Can you issue an admission letter early so that I can apply for an external fellowship that is conditional on guaranteed admission?

We can only make a decision on an application after it is complete and has been reviewed in the context of our pool of applicants. We do not issue conditional letters of admission.

What if my question is not answered here?

Please email us at

Where do I send my GRE and/or TOEFL scores?

Self-reported scores should be entered in the ApplyTexas application and in the Departmental Data Sheet. A screen-shot or scan of your GRE and/or TOEFL report can be uploaded in your Applicant Information System (AIS). If you are accepted into the program, an official score report must be submitted to the TAMU Office of Admissions before registering for classes.

I plan to take GRE or TOEFL in December. May I submit my scores late?

You may submit your scores late. However, we cannot review your application until it is complete.

My GRE or TOEFL scores were lower than I would like. If I retake the test and do better, will you consider the new scores?

Yes, we will consider the new scores. We do not mix-and-match scores from different testing dates. Information received after the deadline may not be fully taken into consideration.

Are the GRE Chemistry scores required?

GRE Chemistry scores are required for all applicants with undergraduate degrees from non-US institutions, You must submit the score even if you have a MS and an international undergraduate degree. We strongly recommend the GRE Chemistry for all applicants.

Why are GRE Chemistry scores "strongly recommended" for domestic applicants?

The GRE Chemistry score is viewed as a component which can augment the strength of an application. We particularly encourage submission of the Chemistry GRE scores for any applicant who feels that their undergraduate record or the General GRE scores may not reflect the true level of academic preparation and aptitude for studies in chemistry.

What are the expected TOEFL and IELTS scores for evidence of English proficiency?

The Department of Chemistry expects a TOEFL iBT of at least 100 with a speaking score of at least 23, preferably 26 or higher; or an IELTS band score of at least 7.0, with a speaking of at least 7.0, preferably 8.0 or higher. All admitted international applicants who join our program must pass the oral portion of the TAMU English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) before they can be employed as teaching assistants. See the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies' English Language Proficiency page for the explanation of the policiy.

Note that the TOEFL/IELTS expectations of the Chemistry Department are higher than the minimum requirements listed on the University site.

Do all international students have to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?

All international students are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores and are expected to pass the ELPE exam before their first semester unless you:

  • attended all 4 undergraduate years at and were awarded a baccalaureate degree from an accredited US college or university, OR
  • are a native speaker of English from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, Nigeria or other countries listed as exempt by the Office of Admissions
I am an international student with a Master’s degree from a U.S. institution. Do I need to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?

If you received your Master's degree from an accredited US college or university you may request waiver of the TOEFL or IELTS if your scores meet our minimum expectations and your GRE Verbal meets the University's minimum of 146. Please email your request and supporting documentation to If admitted to the program you may still be required to pass the University's English Language Proficiency Exam as required by the State of Texas.

What if my question is not answered here?

Please email us at