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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the application for the program?

The application can be found by going to the Application tab and selecting How to Apply in the drop down menu. Applicants can fill out either the Word fillable application or the PDF fillable application and then email it to starprep@som.umaryland.edu .

When is the deadline for the application and supporting materials?

The deadline is currently March 1st, 2017. The original deadline was February 15th. However, the deadline was recently extended to ensure that applicants had sufficient time to send in all of the required information.

I'm having difficulty locating a faculty member with my research interest(s). Where should I look for this information?

You can view a shortened list of mentors at the end of the STAR-PREP application. You can also look for mentors in the Graduate Programs in Life Sciences by visiting the Current Mentors section of the STAR-PREP page. There you will find a link to all of the faculty in the Graduate Program in Life Sciences and also an additional link that will take you to a page where you can search for mentors by research interest. If you're still having problems locating a potential mentor, please contact the Academic Program Specialist at starprep@som.umaryland.edu .

Does my undergraduate degree have to be in a biological science to apply to the program?

Having an undergraduate degree in biological science would be beneficial for entry into PREP, since the program is designed for students who want to pursue a career in biomedical research. However, having an undergraduate degree in a biological science is not a requirement. It is necessary to have adequate course work in physical sciences (biology, chemistry, and/or neuroscience) for entry into the program. It is possible for a student to have an undergraduate degree in another area and also have sufficient course work in physical science. If you have specific questions about your academic coursework, please contact the academic program specialist.

What do you look for in a competitive applicant?

Applications are reviewed in their entirety. This includes courses taken, grades, research experience, essays, letters of recommendation, and any other information the applicant provides. The leadership team primarily looks for applicants who have a passion for science, which should be evident through your prior research experience, courses, letters of recommendation, and essays.

Am I able to visit labs before applying to the program?

Generally we are unable to accommodate requests to visit labs before applying to the program. However, applicants are encouraged to review all information on the STAR-PREP webpage, visit the GPILS faculty pages, and review recent faculty publications. The STAR-PREP academic program specialist is able to answer any additional questions about the program and able to assist applicants with picking potential mentors for the application. A small number of applicants will be invited for interviews and will be able to visit labs at that time.

Who should write the letters of recommendation for my application?

Your letters of recommendation should be written by a research mentor or someone who is familar with your research interests. If you have not had a lot of research experience, a letter of recommendation from a faculty member who taught the lab portion of a physical science course and is familar with your research interests would be appropriate as well.

Are there any other requirements for the letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation should be written on university/college or business letterhead. They can be emailed directly to the program at starprep@som.umaryland.edu . When sending the letters of recommendation, they should be sent directly from the writer's professional email address and not from a  personal email address.

I'm not sure if the program is a good fit for me. How do I make that determination?

If you have questions about if this program will help you to meet your goals or if you are unsure if you meet the eligibility requirements, please e-mail starprep@som.umaryland.edu and the Academic Program Specialist will follow-up with you.