Tips and Guidelines on Applying for MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences in U.S.A
- Best time to start
- Finding Universities
- Low GRE/TOEFL scroe universities
- Application Requirements
- Related Articles
- GRE Tips
- TOEFL Tips
Having given the official GRE and TOEFL, it is still more important to shortlist universities according to the preference. This preference depends on many factors like the GRE and TOEFL scores, individual inclination towards the discipline of interest, a favour towards the region of the university, the past research experience and still many other options. However, the guidelines stated under must just be referred to as 'just' guidelines and there is no hard and fast rule that these are the only points to be considered while seeking an admit in universities for MS. Also, the guidelines might vary depending upon individual choices and personal factors.
1. Ideal time to start:-
Most of the good universities and almost all of the state universities of United States offer admission to the international students only for the fall semester. Very rarely is the admission offered to the international students for the spring semester. The ideal time to start the application procedure for a university depends on the priority deadline it lays down for the international students. Usually this deadline might be as early as December 15th and might be as late as April 15th. Priority deadline is a important since it favours the chance of getting scholarship (although, it is not imperative that a student applying before the priority deadline would get an admission and a scholarship for sure). Hence, it is always better to send the application packet to each of the aspired university by courier 2 months prior to the deadline specified (because the application packet itself takes about 1-2 weeks to be delivered by the courier). Hence, it is better to start preparing the required documents nearly 2 months before the date when it is desired to dispatch the application packet since preparing few documents like bank statement really takes time and other documents like Statement of Purpose/Personal statement etc. need a careful preparation and hence requires time because they play a good role in prioritizing a candidate for getting the admission in a university.
2. Finding Universities and Related Information:
Though the counseling services that aid in applying for universities abroad take the pain of short-listing the universities for the student, it is generally advisable to carry out a self-research on the universities given by them. Additionally, it is also advisable for an applicant to short-list universities themselves because the applicants can best know about their interest and the discipline they want to be engaged in during their post-graduation.
It is very important to know if the university the applicant wants to apply for is a ranked or not and if ranked, then knowing its rank can bring a lot of help. Here is a list of sites; each link is a ranking list by different independent reliable sources.
1. National Ranking in US:
2. World Ranking:
Suggested Universities for Major Research Areas:
1.1. State University of New York at Buffalo
1.2. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
2. Molecular Pharmacology-
2.1. University of Georgia (Athens)
2.1. Purdue University (West Lafayette)
3.1. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
3.2. University of Florida (Gainesville)
4. Immunology and Infectious Diseases-
4.1. John Hopkins University
4.2. Washington University (St. Loius)
4.3. University of California (Berkeley)
4.4. University of California (Los Angeles)
5. Clinical Pharmacology-
5.1. University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)
6. Medicinal Chemistry-
6.1. Purdue University (West Lafayette)
6.2. Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey (New Brunswick)
6.3. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
7.1. University of Maryland (Baltimore)
7.2. Ohio State University (Columbus)
Universities accepting Low GRE/TOEFL Candidates
Universities accepting candidates with GRE score 1000-1100
1. University of Houston, Clear Lake (Biological Sciences, Biotechnology)
2. University of Texas at El Paso (Biological Sciences)
3. New Mexico state university (Molecular Biology)
4. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (Pharmacology and Neuroscience)
While selecting the universities, it is not always a compulsion that only the top universities ought to be selected since the higher the rank of the universities, more stringent would be their recommendation principles. The highly ranked universities offer very low acceptance rates mainly due to the high competition among the students world-wide and a strong qualification requirement by the applicants.
After selecting the universities based on ranking, it is still more important to check the disciplines they offer in the Pharmaceutical Sciences. Not all universities offer research studies in all subjects like pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology etc. Hence, it is a prior step to select only those universities among the short-listed options which offer the discipline of the applicant's interest.
Another important fact that has to be kept in mind is the availability of suitable research group in the university aspired. This can be found by navigating the 'Research' option available on most of the homepage of the desired department of the university. This is important because even a subject/discipline is ramified into numerous specialized streams (e.g. - molecular pharmacology, immunopharmacology etc. are specialized streams coming under the discipline of pharmacology). This matching of research interest must be further supplemented by checking the publications of the university in the related subject in various journals. A reputed university usually has its publications in journals with high impact factors. Most of the state universities have one or more publication in the journal Nature.
3. Application Requirements:
3.1. Application Form and application Fee: Usually application form is completed and submitted online accompanied by the payment of the application fee at the end of the exercise. The application fee has to be paid by credit card, though few universities accept other modes of payment. This is the 1st step in the application procedure.
3.2. GRE and TOEFL Scores: These scores must be directly sent to the university being sought by the applicant. These scores must be sent directly by the ETS to the university, which is termed as official scores. Another set of scores in the form of hard copy that is sent to the applicant's address by the ETS must also accompany the application packet of the applicant. The latter set of scores is termed as unofficial scores.
3.3. Transcripts: This is an inventory of the courses taken and grades earned of a student throughout a course. It is usually available in the office/controller of examination etc. of the college/university in which the student is currently studying in. It is ceded to the students upon requisition in a sealed envelope signed across the seals. Usually only 1 set of transcript is required for application, however few universities even demand 2 sets of transcripts for application.
3.4. Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement: This is an essay that has to be written by the applicant unraveling the personal opinion so as to why he/she wants to pursue his/her masters in the university. It includes many additional features like family background, qualifications earned by the applicant till date etc.
3.5. Letter of Recommendation (LOR): This is a letter that has to be written by the lecturers/professors/dean of the college/supervisor etc. recommending the applicant to be accepted by the university in which he/she is applying. It has to be handed over to the student in sealed envelopes signed across the seals. Few universities favour online submission of LOR, in which the recommender has to complete the online form of recommendation at the link specified by the university during the application procedure. Usually, the universities demand 2-3 sets of LOR, each by a different recommender. This document is very crucial, for it plays a major role in the application procedure.
3.6. Other Requirements: These include bank statement, sponsorship letter, attested copies of mark sheets and other achievements etc. Few are asked by the universities only upon the acceptance of the admission of the applicant by the university.
4. Holding Patience:
After the completed application packet is sent to the university, it is necessary for the applicant to cross-check with the university if it has received the application packet. This could be done by email or directly via phone. After receiving a confirmation, the only thing that remains to be done is to hold patience till receiving the decision letter by the respective universities applied for. The decision letter is sent by both email as well as mail to the residential address of the applicant. However some universities convey their decision only by mail to the residential address. It is advised not to lose patience for every university has to convey its decision to the applicant.