Admissions and Application Information

Welcome! Please contact us with any questions about the process. We look forward to receiving your application.

The application process is administered and maintained by the FSU Office of Admissions at www.admissions.fsu.edu/gradapp.  Applicants to the MOB Program will choose one of two tracks: Molecular Biophysics/Structural Biology or Computational Structural Biology.  For more information on these tracks please see the Curriculum page. Please note that applications to Chemistry, Biology, Physics or other departments are separately processed and will not be routed for consideration by the MOB Program. MOB may also have different application deadlines than these other departments.  The application fee is $30 (plus an $8.50 fee if paid by credit card).

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The application window for the next year’s Fall semester opens each August 1. The application deadline is December 15 of the year prior to the Fall for which a student seeks admission. Outstanding applicants may be eligible for additional Fellowships and Awards in addition to a research stipend so early application is important. In some circumstances, applications received after this date will still be reviewed, and offers for admission made, if space is available (please inquire).

We typically invite a number of qualified domestic applicants to visit our campus in February, interview with faculty and tour our research facilities.   Applicants may also be interviewed by phone or video.

The FSU Office of Graduate Studies has produced a Timeline for Prospective Graduate and Professional Students that you may find useful.  Included are tips on writing a personal statement, getting good letters of recommendation and how to approach interviews.

Admission Requirements:

Applications are reviewed by the MOB Admissions Committee. Acceptance will be based on a combination of factors. Admission to our Program is very competitive and the number of positions is limited, so not every qualified applicant can be offered a position.  Note: The FSU Institution Code for submission of GRE and TOEFL scores is 5219. We do not have a Department Code and “Any Department Not Listed” may be used if required to enter a code for the standardized exams.

  • GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for all undergraduate upper division work.
  • GRE: Successful applicants typically score above 153 on the Verbal portion and above 154 on Quantitative portion of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). We do not have a minimum GRE score for admission, but applicants with lower GRE scores need to have strong research backgrounds, a GPA >3.2 on upper division courses, and excellent letters of recommendation. The GRE Subject test is not required. We recommend that applicants take the GRE by November so scores arrive in time to complete application files by December 15.
  • Official English Language Proficiency results are required of all international applicants whose native language is not English. The following are the minimum scores required for admission to the University. The MOB Program generally requires at least a 90 on the IBTOEFL exam.
    • Internet based TOEFL (IBTOEFL): 80
    • Paper based TOEFL (TOEFL): 550
    • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 77
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 6.5

    These scores are considered official only when they are sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the testing agency, and are not valid after two years. The test requirement may be waived if the student has received a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree from a US institution or other institution where English is the required language of instruction.

  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals that attest to your academic ability and research potential.
  • A Statement of Purpose that includes (1) Why biophysics is your chosen field (2) Academic accomplishments, (3) Statements that would attest to your readiness for the MOB program.  This should be no longer than 2 pages. Please also include in this statement the names of three MOB faculty members with whom you share research interests. (Here is an article from the Princeton Review with some tips on preparation of a statement of purpose; note that at FSU we do want to get a full picture of the applicant so inclusion of a short description of your extracurricular interests is fine.)
  • Research Statement (separate from Statement of Purpose): Describe research experience you have had. Include your mentor’s name, period of time, and a description of the projects with which you were involved. Tell us the purpose of the research and your role in it.
  • Resume/CV: Include a concise resume/vitae that shows your timeline of undergraduate and any graduate education as well as professional  and research experience.
  • Copies of official transcripts from all institutions. An unofficial transcript should be uploaded with your online application.
  • For more details on Minimum University Admission Requirements follow this link.

Navigating the online application process  www.admissions.fsu.edu/gradapp

STEP 1. The first part of this online application requests general application information for admission to graduate study. You will be asked to submit to the Office of Admissions official transcripts from each institution you have attended or are attending (Office of Admissions, A2500 University Center, FSU, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400), and official GRE test scores and TOEFL scores (if applicable).  Note: the FSU code for GRE and TOEFL submission is 5219. We do not have a Department Code for these scores.

STEP 2. The second part of the application asks you to upload supporting documents (CV, Statement of Purpose, Research Statement, Unofficial Transcripts). Documents can be uploaded in these formats: Word (.doc),  Rich Text Format (.rtf), Text (.txt), or Portable File Document (.pdf). If your file is too large to upload a legible copy, please contact us so you can send the document by email attachment. This problem sometimes happens with transcripts.

Also upload GRE and TOEFL score reports or screen shots, if they are available. This is especially important if you have taken the GRE or TOEFL in the recent past and it will be some time before ETS releases the official scores.

STEP 3. The third and last part of the online application process will require you to arrange for letters of recommendation to be submitted on your behalf. Recommendations will be submitted online. When prompted, enter the email addresses of the three or four people who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you. An e-mail will be sent to your letter writer directing them to the web site to complete a recommendation form. He or she will first fill out a brief questionnaire about your abilities and potential as a graduate student and they will have the opportunity to enter text or upload a letter to provide additional information about you. Ask your recommenders to let you know if they have any problems with uploading, so you can contact the MOB Program for assistance.

After you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation via e-mail that your application has been received. Be sure to check the status of your application, which will tell you if your application is complete. You will be able to tell if your recommenders have submitted so you can remind them if necessary. Applications will not be reviewed until they are complete.

MOB Links

HongLi - CopyMOB Graduate Program Director
Dr. Hong Li
Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

For more information contact:
MOB Graduate Program Coordinator
  mob@sb.fsu.edu