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Graduate Applicant FAQs

When is the application deadline?

  • Graduate student applications will be evaluated annually with the application deadline on February 1st of each year. Incomplete or late applications will automatically be denied. Applications are not considered complete until the application for admission, fees, all official transcripts, letters of recommendation, honor code commitment, and Ecclesiastical Endorsement have been received.

When does the program start?

  • Coursework begins in either Fall or Winter semesters, no graduate level courses are taught over the Spring/Summer semester.

When can I start my graduate research?

  • Your graduate faculty advisor will let you know when you can start your research.
  • Students who have been accepted into the graduate program to start courses in the Fall semester may begin their research in the Spring/Summer semester prior to starting their coursework, with the approval of their major advisor.
  • Note: new graduate students who start their research over the summer prior to the start of classes will not be eiligible for student loans. Please contact the Graduate Program Manager for more information on student loan eligibility the summer prior to the start of your graduate courses.

How do I find a faculty member willing to serve as my major advisor?

  • No graduate candidate will be accepted unless he or she has a departmental faculty member willing to serve as their major advisor on a funded project. We encourage prospective students to contact faculty who might serve as potential advisors. Visit the PWS Faculty and Staff Directory for a list of faculty.

What is a funded project?

  • A funded project is a research proposal that has been submitted by a faculty member(s) to an organization or group who is willing to fund their research. No graduate candidate will be accepted unless he or she has a departmental faculty member willing to serve as major advisor on a funded project.

Can I pick my graduate research topic?

  • No, all graduate research topics are determined by your graduate major advisor with a funded project. If you have a specific research topic that you would like to study, we suggest that you contact professors with similar research interests to discuss any potential graduate research opportunities.

What educational background are students expected to have to be admitted into the graduate program?

  • It is highly recommended that students obtain a Bachelor’s degree in the field of study (or a similar field of study) to the program they want to be accepted into. Rare exceptions have been made, but students without a scientific research background in a related field of study will find it hard to be competitive in the application process.

My Bachelor’s Degree is in an unrelated field to the graduate program I want to be accepted into, can I take some prerequisites and apply to the graduate program?

  • All program requirements would be set by your major advisor and taken on a case-by-case basis. Once you find a faculty member willing to serve as your major advisor, you would then need to meet with them to deteremine your program requirements. Graduate Students will be required to take any course prequisites that were not taken as an undergraduate student.

What is a good GRE score?

  • A GRE combined minimum score of 300 with a minimum score of 4.0 on the analytical writing portion is required.

What is the required minimum GPA?

  • 3.2 or higher for all completed university courses.

Can I defer my enrollment once I am admitted?

  • No, you must attend the semester you are admitted.

What scholarships are available to graduate students?

  • The PWS Department has two scholarships available to graduate students, the PWS Department Tuition Only Scholarship and the PWS Graduate Student Exception Scholarship.
  • Tuition Only Scholarship: Graduate students will receive up to 3 credits in a tuition only scholarship for Fall and Winter semesters only. This tuition only scholarship is available to all graduate students who have been accepted into the Plant & Wildlife Sciences Graduate Program. Master’s Degree students are eligible for the tuition only scholarship for two years and doctoral degree students are eligible for the scholarship for five years. There is no application needed to receive this scholarship. The scholarship award amount will depend on the amount of credits the student is registered for each semester.
  • Graduate Student Exception Scholarships: The PWS Graduate Student Exception Scholarships are scholarships funded from private donations. Graduate students must submit a completed scholarship application by May 1st at 11:59 pm and be in good standing with the PWS Department to be eligible for the scholarship. By completing the single application, the student will automatically be considered for all scholarships they are eligible for.
  • Note: Graduate students are not eligible for scholarships in the university online system. Applying for scholarships in the BYU online scholarship system will result in the graduate student receiving an error message stating that no scholarships are available to them.

How do I apply for the PWS Graduate Student Exception Scholarship?

What classes count towards a scholarship?

  • The only classes that count towards your scholarship are your program classes. Any other extracurricular class or any other class you want to take will not be counted toward credit hours for your department scholarship.

Do I need to be a full-time student to receive a scholarship?

  • Students must be registered for a minimum of 2 credit hours for both Fall and Winter semesters to be eligible to receive a scholarship.

How much is tuition?

How many credits do I have to take to be a full-time graduate student?

  • 9 or more credits is considered full time for graduate students for Fall and Winter semesters. Graduate students can petition for full time status when taking 8.5 credits or below by filling out GS - ADV Form 2a and submitting it to Graduate Studies prior to the start of each semester.
  • Please visit for more information.

How do I apply to your graduate program?

When will I be notified of the admission decision?

  • The university requires that we let students know by June 1, but it is likely that you will know before then.

I applied last year and want to use my same letters of recommendation. Is that okay?

  • No, you will need to submit new letters of recommendation each year.

When can I register for classes?

  • Graduate students always have priority registration over all other students. The date may change each semester, but here is the website to look it up:
  • Registration always opens at midnight.

Do I need to have my official transcripts sent in with my application?

  • No. You can attach unofficial transcripts to your application and then once you are admitted, you will need to send your official transcripts to:

Graduate Studies

Brigham Young University
105 FPH
Provo, Utah 84602

How do I accept or decline my admission to the program once I have been admitted?

  • The PWS Graduate Program Manager will send you an acceptance check sheet and a receipt of handbook form with your acceptance letter. You must submit the two documents either via email to or in the mail to:

Brigham Young University
Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences
Mariellen Tuckett
4112 LSB
Provo, UT 84602

I was just admitted into your program and would like to meet with an advisor about the program. Who do I talk to and how do I make an appointment?

  • On the letter we send out to our new admits, it gives them each an advisor and their email address. Newly admitted graduate students should contact their advisors by email to schedule an appointment since we do not schedule appointments for them.

How do I add a course with a permission-to-add code?

  • When you go to the registration page and you are on the page to add a class, you will see a “P” instead of an “A” next to the class section. Click on the “P” and it will have you put in the code to add the class.
  • Note: the option to use a permission-to-add code option will not appear until the professor has given you the permission-to-add code.

Graduate Program Advisor
Plant and Wildlife Sciences Department
(801) 422-9389
Room: LSB 4112