Department of Chemistry Biochemistry

How to Apply

Applications are accepted for the Fall Semester only. Applications are made available on September 1 and all application materials are due by January 1 of each year. For study beginning in Fall 2016, the application will be available on September 1, 2015 and will be due on January 1, 2016.

There is a two-part application, consisting of the general application through Graduate Admissions and the supplemental application through the School of Molecular Sciences (SMS). All applications are submitted online and no documents should be mailed to the School of Molecular Sciences. All official documents (transcripts/test scores) should be sent to Graduate Admissions directly.


  • Admission Requirements
    In order to apply, you must meet the following minimum requirements:
    Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a closely related discipline with appropriate coursework
    • Please Note: Due to differences in the educational system, the School of Molecular Sciences at ASU requires all students who have received their education from an institution in India to have completed their Master's degree by the semester in which they want to begin their graduate program.
  • GPA of at least 3.0
  • Have taken the General GRE test within the past 5 years; Subject GRE test preferred, but not required
  • For International Applicants: TOEFL test taken within the past 2 years (minimum accepted score is 80)

While all applications that meet the minimum requirements will be reviewed and applications are considered as a whole, with no hard minimums outside of those set by the University, the most competitive candidates generally meet the following benchmarks

  • GPA of at least 3.4
  • GRE Quantitative score of 155 (60th percentile) or better
    • A good score on the GRE subject test (Chemistry or Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology) can be very beneficial
  • Previous research experience and a letter of recommendation from research supervisor
    • Overall TOEFL score of 100, score of 23 or better on Speaking section (additional requirements for spoken English will be required after admission for speaking scores below 26 as required by the university for employment as a TA)

General Application
The first step to apply is to submit an application through Graduate Admission Services. This is your official application to ASU and the application status will be reflected in your MyASU portal. Once you submit the application, you will receive instructions from the Graduate Admission Services office for activating and accessing your student information.

All applying students, both domestic and international, are required to pay the application fee ($70 – domestic / $90 – international). The application fee will be refunded to all students who are accepted into and agree to join our program.

You will need the following information to complete the general application:

  • The beginning/ending dates and location(s) of your academic degree(s);
  • Grade point average (GPA) calculation - Information for calculating overall and junior-senior undergraduate and graduate GPA can be found on the Graduate Admission FAQ page.
  • Your GRE and TOEFL scores (unofficial scores can be used in your initial application)
  • Arizona Residency information if you are a resident in the state of Arizona (general tax and employment history)

Start your General Application

The complete the General Application, you will be required to provide official transcripts and have GRE and TOEFL (if necessary) scores sent to ASU by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Use institution code 4007. If a department code is required, use 000 for the GRE and 99 for the TOEFL.

Supplemental Application
Once you have submitted your general application, you will need to complete the Supplemental Application. Please allow 24-48 hours for the information from the general application to be pulled into the supplemental application. You will need your ASUrite ID and password, which you should receive within a day of submitting your general application, to access the secure supplemental application.

To complete the Supplemental Application, you will need to have the following information:

  • Areas of research and faculty member interest
  • A brief Personal Statement that includes a narrative concerning your motivations for graduate study in chemistry or biochemistry, a discussion of any long-term career goals, further information on research and potential faculty interests and a list of all honors, awards and scholarships . It is particularly important to describe your research experience and list any publications.
  • Test scores and GPA information
  • Contact information (email address) for three (3) faculty members who will write letters of recommendation for you, and can comment on your suitability for advanced scholarly work. One of these must be your current research supervisor. If you are currently employed full-time, only one of these letters can be from your employer. Faculty member letters are much more important than letters from employers.
  • Electronic copies of your unofficial transcripts.

To expedite the review of applications and extension of offers, the committee will review applications based on the unofficial information submitted within the supplemental application, independent of the official application through Graduate Admission Services. Before an official offer can be extended, a completed official application will be required, but an admission decision can be communicated prior to the completion of the official application. Domestic students who apply by the deadline and are extended an offer of admission will be invited to visit campus during our Visitation Weekend in mid-February.

Start your Supplemental Application

International Applicant Information
The School of Molecular Sciences values a diverse student population and welcomes applications from international students. The University, however, sets additional admission criteria for international students whose native language is not English, or for whom the official language of the country of origin is not English, to ensure English proficiency. In addition to the English proficiency requirements for admission, the University also requires international students who will be employed as TAs to demonstrate additional proficiency in spoken English. In order to ensure the success of admitted students as both students and TAs, the School of Molecular Sciences prefers that applicants demonstrate English proficiency beyond the University required minimums as follows:

  • Overall TOEFL score of 100 with speaking score of 23 or better (students with a speaking score of less than 26 will be required to pass an additional test of spoken English before being assigned a TA position)
  • IELTS overall band score of 7.0 with speaking score of 6.5 or better

Applicants who have achieved one of the following criteria through attendance at a regionally accredited college or university in the US are exempt from the English proficiency requirements for admission:

  • Earned bachelor's degree or higher
  • Completed at least 12 credit hours of graduate course work with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale or higher
  • Completed at least 90 credit hours of undergraduate course work with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 1.00 scale or higher (All 90 hours must be earned in the US)

The test of English proficiency must have been taken within two years of starting the program (i.e. for fall 2016 admission, test must have been taken after August 1, 2014.) If your test results are older than two years, you will need to retake the test. Official scores should be sent by Education Testing Service (ETS) as soon as possible. When ordering a score report from ETS, use institution code 4007 (do not list a department code). Applications will not be considered without valid evidence of English proficiency.

All international academic records must be submitted in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Translations must be literal and complete versions of original records, and the documents must be translated by a university, a government official, or an official translation service. Students who are applying from Indian institutions must send both their Certificate and Mark Sheets.

Students who do not meet the threshold for spoken English proficiency are brought in early and provided assistance to prepare for and take the test of spoken English that is administered by the university.

For additional information, please visit the Graduate Admission Services page dedicated to International Students.

Transfer Students
Students seeking to transfer from another graduate program are accepted only in cases of exceptional circumstances. If you are currently in another graduate program, or if you have already been in another graduate program in chemistry or biochemistry in the United States, then you will need to supply three letters of recommendation from your current institution (i.e. the one that you are transferring from, or the graduate institution that you previously attended). Please do not have any letters sent from earlier (undergraduate) institutions. Specifically, we will need a letter from your current research advisor (or prior graduate research advisor in a U.S. graduate program) stating explicitly why you want to transfer to ASU. If we do not get such a letter from your advisor, we will NOT be able to review your application.