FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Can I enter the program before taking the GRE general and subject tests?
In many areas of the globe, particularly outside the US, taking the GREs can involve considerable travel and expense to a distant testing center. In this situation, it might be more economical to take the tests after arrival in Guam. Admission to the Graduate School per se, i.e., so that one can take up to 12 hours of graduate credit as a non-degree seeking student, does not require the GRE test. Therefore, one can take the GRE after arriving on Guam and before one has accumulated 12 graduate credits.
2. Can I enter in the Spring?
Surely. Procedures for matriculating in the Spring semester are the same as that for Fall entry. Deadlines for submission of applications are posted in the calendar of the latest Graduate Bulletin.
3. I was just accepted, but something’s come up unexpectedly. Can I defer my admission for a semester? A year?
Yes. You can request in writing to the Graduate School to defer your admission for up to one calendar year. For example, if you were accepted to enter in the fall of this year, you could postpone entry until the fall semester of the following year. It is also essential to inform your faculty advisor or, lacking that, the Chair of the Graduate Program in Biology of any delay, as the availability of financial aid may be contingent on your arrival date.
4. Can I simultaneously work towards another Master’s degree at UOG in addition to the Master of Biology?
Yes, you may wish to gain acceptance to more than one graduate program at a time. Consult with your advisor(s) on how to fulfill the requirements for additional program(s).
5. Can I transfer graduate credits from another university?
Yes, but you must seek approval of the Program Chair. In order to do this there is a section on form A-99 for transferring credits.
6. How long does it usually take to finish the Masters in Biology degree?
The program is designed to be completed in two years, but that is not a strict limit. Only rarely have students finished in less than that time and then, only by special arrangement with their advisor who agrees to a suitable scope of work. Often, depending on the need for financial support, students arrange with their advisor to finish beyond two years. Officially, one can take up to seven years, the length of time that the Graduate School
considers an earned graduate credit valid, absent an approved request in writing for an extension.
7. Extenuating circumstances demand that I temporarily withdraw from the program. Can I return after an extended absence and finish my degree?
Yes. Graduate credits are normally valid for seven years from the end of the semester in which the credits were earned. An extension beyond that may be granted when requested in writing to Graduate School. Extensions granted in past for unavoidable delays include medical issues, birth or care of small children, a death in the family, typhoons and delays in permitting to do fieldwork.
8. Can a faculty member from another graduate program with a joint appointment on the graduate faculty in biology serve as an “outside” member of my thesis committee?
Yes, but check with your adviser to make sure all of your committee members qualify.
9. Some graduate programs at UOG count a grade of C as an F when calculating a grade point average (GPA). Does the biology program?
No. A grade of C is calculated as 2.0 towards one’s GPA. However, like all graduate programs at UOG, a grade of D is calculated as an F, i.e., as 0.0 points.
10. Can I substitute BI412 taken as an undergraduate for BI412G?
Alas, no. However, you could 1) take the course again as BI412G or 2) do a special project related to the course under the supervision of a faculty member and substitute that.
11. Can I substitute a 3-credit hour course for a 4-credit required course?
Yes, with the approval of the Program Chair. You would still need to meet the program requirement of completing at least 30 credits, 20 of which are at the 500 level or above.
12. My undergraduate degree in not in a biology-related discipline. May I still apply?
Yes, but you will still have to fulfill the requirements for the prerequisite courses as outlined above in section II. D. If it becomes apparent after admission to the program that you still lack preparation in some area, your advisor or the Program Chair may require you to take another course or two.
13. How much time must be spent in residency?
As yet, there is no minimum required time spent in residency for the graduate biology program, as long as other requirements are still met. This is something that should be discussed with the Program Chair and your advisor.
14. I have a degree in a field other than science and have not fulfilled any of the prerequisites for the graduate biology program. How long will it take me to fulfill them while at UOG?
The prerequisites (see Section II.D. above) will take a minimum of two years to complete. Talk with the Program Chair about how and when to best overlap the prerequisites with admission into the Graduate School and the Biology Program.