Admissions Requirements for International Applicants

The following academic qualifications are required in order for an applicant to be considered for admission to our graduate programs. Meeting or exceeding these minimum standards does not constitute assurance of admission.

Degree Requirements

BBMB follows Iowa State University Office of Admissions degree requirements for international applicants.  Your degree must have been received from a college or university that is either recognized by the Ministry of Education in your foreign country, or by a US regional accreditation body.  If you have attended a non-US institution, your undergraduate degree will be reviewed by the Office of Admissions, should you be offered and accept admission to our graduate programs, to determine if it is comparable to a US bachelor's degree. Note:  A 3-year undergraduate degree from Bangladesh, Canada, India, Nepal and Pakistan are not considered comparable to a U.S. bachelor's degree.  3-year degrees from other countries will be reviewed on an individual basis. Owing to the large volume of requests, international applicants must meet certain admission standards in order to be eligible for our graduate degree programs.
  • Bachelor's or advanced degree in biochemistry, chemistry, or a closely-related field (such as biotechnology)
  • Class rank in the upper quartile
  • Minimum 3.0 grade point average based on the US grading system maximum of 4.0.
  • Minimum TOEFL total score of 79 (internet based) or 550 (paper-based) or IELTS score of 6.5

Academic Records

You can send the originals or clear, easy-to-read copies (front and back) of official academic records and statements with your BBMB application for evaluation by our graduate student selections committee.  If you are offered and accept admission to our program, Iowa State University requires the original, official academic records and statements of all degrees earned from all institutions attended after high school.  To meet ISU admission requirements:
  • Faxed, scanned, or notarized copies are not considered official and will not be accepted.
  • Academic records should bear the original stamp or seal of the school official responsible for issuing such records, such as the registrar or controller of exams for that institution.
  • Records certified by lecturers, professors, or any other school official who does not hold primary responsibility for maintaining the academic records of the institution will not be accepted.
  • Translations:  Academic records from non-U.S. institutions are expected to be in the official language of the country in which they were earned.  If they are written in a language other than English, translations are required.  Iowa State University Admissions will accept literal (not interpretative) English translations from any qualified translator and they should be sent in addition to the official record.
Note for applicants from India:  Iowa State Office of Admissions requires annual mark sheets (showing all attempts, retakes, and failures) and degree statements issued by the university awarding the degree and certified by the University Registrar or Controller of Exams.  Consolidated mark sheets are not accepted.  College-issued transcripts are not accepted unless from an autonomous college.  Please do not send intermediate or higher secondary school records.

English requirement

For the purpose of applying to Iowa State University, English may be considered your native language if you have been raised in an environment where English is the only official language of your locality and nation, and English is the language used in your home.  If your native language is not English, you must submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  Test scores must be submitted to Iowa State Admissions by the respective testing service during the period they are valid in order to be considered for admission.  If the test scores have not been reported to Iowa State University at the time you are offered and accept admission to our program, you will have to retake the test and your admission could be delayed.  The English requirement is waived if you earned a bachelor's or master's degree from the United States or a country where English is the only official language. You can register for the TOEFL on the internet at  When requesting official test scores be sent to Iowa State by the Education Testing Service, use School Code 6306.  IELTS registration information is available at //