MS Bioinformatics FAQ

List of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Q: What does it cost to go to SJSU?

Q: I work during the day. Can I obtain the MSBI degree while working?

Q: I have been in California for X months/years. Am I entitled to in-state tuition?

Q: I am an international student. Is there additional information available?

Q: What form of financial assistance is available from the department?

Q: What are the application deadlines?

Q: Can you mail me the application materials?

Q: What is the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations office?

Q: Where should I mail my application materials?

Q: What are the application fees?

Q: Can you look over my application before I submit it?

Q: I need to know NOW whether you will accept me later, so that I can decide whether I should try applying at a different department or university.

Q: I fulfill all requirements for admission. Am I guaranteed to be accepted?

Q: Should I provide letters of recommendation?

Q: Where should letters of recommendation be mailed?

Q: Can the GRE requirement be waived?

Q : What TOEFL and GRE scores do I need to have to be accepted?

Q : What is the status of my application?

Q : Did you recently change the admission requirements?

Q : What are my chances of being admitted?

Q : I was accepted with a condition, but I don't like the condition. Can I negotiate to have it waived or changed?

Q: My application was rejected, but I disagree. Can I appeal?

Q: My application was rejected. Can I find out why?

Q: My application was rejected. Can I join the program on a part-time or conditional basis?

Q: My application was rejected by the Graduate Admissions office. Can you intervene on my behalf?

Q: My application for a previous semester was rejected, but I would like to be reconsidered for the next semester. Can I submit additional materials without reapplying?

Q: Can the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement be waived?

 

 

FOR CURRENT STUDENTS

Q: Can I work a project outside of SJSU for my culminating experience?

Q: When should I take CS200W?

Q: The program requirements have changed since I started in the MSBI program. Which requirements do I need to follow in order to graduate?

Q: How can I learn about the various policies and procedures that graduate students need to follow?

Q: I was admitted as a conditionally classified student and fulfilled my conditions a long time ago. Why am I still listed as "conditionally classified"?

Q: I have been accepted to the program but I won't be able to attend for another semester. Can I defer my acceptance?

Q: I have already been admitted to the MSBI program and would like help in planning my program of study.

Q: When should I fill out my candidacy form?

 


 

FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Q: What does it cost to go to SJSU?

A: The most current information is on the bursar's web page.

Q: I work during the day. Can I obtain the MSBI degree while working?

A: We try to offer graduate courses in the late afternoons and evenings or early in the morning. Occasionally, you may have to take a course during the day; hopefully your employer will help by allowing you to flex your schedule. You have up to 7 years (!) to finish the degree, although we naturally don't recommend that you actually take that long. Many of our students are professionals who obtain the MS degree while working full-time.

Q: I have been in California for X months/years. Am I entitled to in-state tuition?

A: Please check the web-based SJSU Catalog for more information.

Q: I am an international student. Is there additional information available?

A: The International Programs and Student Services.

Q: What form of financial assistance is available from the department?

A: Unfortunately, financial assistance is very limited. The department does not offer full scholarships or tuition waivers. A very limited number of teaching associate, grader and lab monitor positions are available. However, these positions are not usually open to incoming students. The salary for these positions is not high, and you should not rely on them for financial support.

Q: What are the application deadlines?

A: Please see Admission Deadlines for up-to-date information about deadlines.

Q: Can you mail me the application materials?

A: No. You must apply to the university through the online web site (http://www.csumentor.edu).

Q: What is the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations office?

A: The Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations office administers all graduate admissions. It checks that your applications fulfill the minimum university criteria for admission. It checks your transcripts, degree certificates, TOEFL scores, visa status, and financial information. Once Graduate Admissions is satisfied that you are qualified to join the university, then it forwards your file to the department. In the CS department, we check your qualifications for the master's program in computer science. Graduate Admissions determines if you can be admitted to the University; if you are, then the Computer Science Department decides whether to admit you to the MSBI program.

Q: Where should I mail my application materials?

A: The application fee, official transcripts, degree certificates, TOEFL scores, visa and financial information, all go to Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations office.

Q: What are the application fees?

A: Please visit the Prospective Students page for the current university application fees.

Q: Can you look over my application before I submit it?

A: Sorry—I can't help you with putting together your application. Simply submit your application and supply the requested information. If we have questions after receiving your application, we will contact you. It is important that you supply a current email address for that purpose.

Q: I need to know NOW whether you will accept me later, so that I can decide whether I should try applying at a different department or university.

A: Unfortunately, we cannot give you a guarantee now that we will admit you later. It is always a good idea to apply at more than one university.

Q: I fulfill all requirements for admission. Am I guaranteed to be accepted?

A: Unfortunately, no. When there are more qualified applicants than we have space available in the program, we offer admission to those whom we consider the most promising applicants, until all of the available space is filled.

Q: Should I provide letters of recommendation?

A: It is strongly recommended.

Q: Where should letters of recommendation be mailed?

A: We encourage you to submit recommendation letters online through Cal State Apply portal.

Q: Can the GRE requirement be waived?

A: All applicants are required to take the GRE unless they are a resident in the state of California.

Q : What TOEFL and GRE scores do I need to have to be accepted?

A: If you are an international student, you need a TOEFL score of 550 (paper)/213 (computer). This is a requirement of Graduate Admissions. For the GRE test, there are no hard cut-offs. We use the scores to compare and rank candidates.

Q : What is the status of my application?

A: The department does not give out status information. You can check your status online at MySJSU, using the user ID and password in your confirmation email.

Q : Did you recently change the admission requirements?

A: Admission to the MSBI program is a competitive process. We continually monitor the number of applicants and the number of spaces in the program. We periodically revise our guidelines to give students accurate guidance for submitting successful applications.

Q : What are my chances of being admitted?

A: Please note that I cannot predict your "chances" of being admitted to the program. However, you may find the following guidelines helpful. We are looking for students with a recent BSBI or a related degree. If you meet these criteria, we would like to encourage you to apply.

Q : I was accepted with a condition, but I don't like the condition. Can I negotiate to have it waived or changed?

A: No. The condition is part of our admission offer to you. This is our final offer, and it is not subject to negotiation. If you do not want to fulfill the condition, or you do not think that you are able to, then you should not accept our offer of conditional admission.

Q: My application was rejected, but I disagree. Can I appeal?

A: No.

Q: My application was rejected. Can I find out why?

A: No. We rank applications, and pick the highest ranking ones. For privacy reasons, it is not possible for you to compare your application against others.

If you were not accepted, then that does not mean that we find you unqualified. It usually means that we have had more applicants than we were able to accommodate and, in our opinion, you did not rank among the top ones.

Q: My application was rejected. Can I join the program on a part-time or conditional basis?

A: No. There is no separate part-time program. If we had been able to accept you on a conditional basis, then we would have done so. If your application was rejected, the only way you might be admitted is to reapply.

Q: My application was rejected by the Graduate Admissions office. Can you intervene on my behalf?

A: No. The Graduate Admissions office determines whether you fulfill the minimum entrance requirements to join a graduate program at San Jose State University. If the Graduate Admissions office determines that you did not meet those requirements, or that you did not submit required documents in a timely manner, the CS department cannot intervene.

Q: My application for a previous semester was rejected, but I would like to be reconsidered for the next semester. Can I submit additional materials without reapplying?

A: No. Your previous application is no longer active. You need to reapply. The department will make an effort to keep letters of recommendations for a semester, so you may not need to resubmit these. The Graduate Admissions office may be able to locate your old transcripts. Check with both offices to see if your old materials are still available.

Q: Can the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement be waived?

A: TOEFL/IELTS/PTE will only be waived once the official transcripts have been reviewed (by GAPE) proving that one of the criteria below has been met.

• Received a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution within the U.S.
• Completed 3 years of full-time coursework in a regionally accredited institution within the U.S.
• Completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree from one of the countries outside of the US meet the requirement (see full list below)*.

* the U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada – excluding Quebec, Commonwealth Caribbean (Antigua, Bahamas, Belize Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago), U.K. (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales), Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. Refer Step 7 of steps to admission for Domestic and International applicants.

 


 

FOR CURRENT STUDENTS

Q: Can I work a project outside of SJSU for my culminating experience?

A: Your committee must include at least 2 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty professors from SJSU and the third person is anyone you would like. Therefore, you can work an outside project for your culminating experience.

Q: When should I take CS200W?

A: CS200W (Technical Writing) should be completed in the first year of the MS Bioinformatics Program.

Q: The program requirements have changed since I started in the MSBI program. Which requirements do I need to follow in order to graduate?

A: You may choose to follow the requirements that were in place when you started, or those that are in place when you file for candidacy.

Q: How can I learn about the various policies and procedures that graduate students need to follow?

A: The Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations office has several important resources on the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations web site for prospective and current graduate students

Q: I was admitted as a conditionally classified student and fulfilled my conditions a long time ago. Why am I still listed as "conditionally classified"?

A: There isn't anyone who is monitoring your admission conditions and completed courses on your behalf. YOU need to apply for "fully classified status". You will be "fully classified" after you have completed your conditions AND have applied for change of status. Pick up a form from the CS department office.

Q: I have been accepted to the program but I won't be able to attend for another semester. Can I defer my acceptance?

A: Unfortunately, you will need to reapply. However, if you inform us that you were accepted in the prior semester, then you need not supply transcripts and letters of recommendations again. You will need to pay the application fee. If more than one semester has passed since your acceptance, you will need to reapply and resubmit all materials.

Q: I have already been admitted to the MSBI program and would like help in planning my program of study.

A: Please see a MSBI graduate advisor for more information.

Q: When should I fill out my candidacy form?

Candidacy forms will not be approved by GAPE until you have completed the GWAR requirement. The form serves as an agreement between you and GAPE of the form: If you pass these classes at the appropriate level then a degree will be awarded. So if you decide to take a different set of course you will need to file an update to your candidacy form. Usually, students fill out this form at a minimum one semester before they graduate. Deadlines can be found on the GAPE site.