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Frequently Asked Questions for the ABS Program

Please note: all information here is meant only as a guide. Please check the UA  Website and or catalog for all official policies.


What are the minimum prerequisites for Applied Biosciences?

Students who wish to apply to the PSM degree in Applied Biosciences must have the following minimum qualifications:

  • A Bachelors (or equivalent) degree with a major in an area of biosciences from an accredited institution.
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA
  • A desire to pursue a professional career in the applied biosciences.


What is the admissions process?

What shall I describe in the personal statement of the ABS application?

You need to emphasize your career goals and motivation to achieve those goals and how your studies in this program will lead to your career goals.

Are there any supporting funds [Tuition waiver/ Research Assistant (RA)/ Teaching Assistant (TA)] available for master students and/or Extra Financial Resources?

The Applied Biosciences program does not have any tuition waiver/RA/TA funds to support students.  However, students can apply with other departments of the University of Arizona (UA) for possible RA/TA positions.  But bear in mind to apply for these positions, one must already be an admitted student to the UA.

NOTE: There is a Graduate Access Fellowship for Incoming Master’s Students -

The UA Graduate College's Graduate Access Fellowship is intended to broaden the access of U.S. students to graduate education and to promote the diversity of our graduate student body. Eligibility for these fellowships is restricted to incoming domestic graduate students who will be newly admitted  for the term of award and who have shown academic achievement despite facing challenging social, economic or educational obstacles.  Each fellowship/tuition award provides up to $2,000 per semester to students admitted to a Master's program.

For Extra Financial Resources information – please go to:

How much does an Applied Biosciences degree cost?

You can find the estimated cost of attendance for graduate students at the University of Arizona at:  The estimated cost is for one academic year, and since ABS-PSM requires 36 units to complete the degree, you should multiply the annual total cost by 2. For your convenience, below is the Estimated Cost for a graduate student as of 2019-2020 academic year.






What is the estimated cost of attendance for International Students?

The main costs to attend the University of Arizona as an international student include tuition and fees, average living expenses (food, housing, books, transportation), and required health insurance.

Below is the estimated cost of attendance for the 2020-2021 school year in US dollars, followed by detailed costs for each category.  See also:

What are the available graduate housing options?

For On Campus Housing -La Aldea is a graduate apartment complex located on the University of Arizona campus.  At La Aldea, you are always within minutes from your classroom. office, or lab.  View the La Aldea brochure for more information about graduate housing at the University of Arizona.

For Off-Campous Housing - The University of Arizona has an Off-Campus website.  Here you can find available apartments near the university, roommates and other resources.   Check out the Off-Campus Housing Guidebook.


My GPA is below 3.0. What can I do to get admitted into this degree program?

For students with GPA below the required minimum of 3.0, they can enroll first as a non-degree student (

Non-Degree students are eligible to enroll in graduate-level courses.

  • An applicant who has earned a minimum of 6 graded graduate units in the major from the University of Arizona, with a GPA of 3.0 or better, is eligible to be admitted to the relevant degree if recommended by the program. 
  • Up to 12 units of graduate credit earned in Non-Degree status may be applied toward a graduate degree once the student obtains admission to a degree program.
  • Up to 6 units of graduate credit earned in Non-Degree status may be applied toward a graduate certificate once the student obtains admission to a certificate program.

What is the expected duration to complete this Applied Biosciences degree?

The ABS degree is not an online degree.  There are icourses that you could take online, but not all courses required by the program are offered  as icourses.   The campus ABS program is a 2 year course of study. 

What are icourses?  An iCourse is any class that is taught fully online for students enrolled in traditional, on-campus degree programs. This past Spring, the University approved a $50 per class fee for courses taught online to students enrolled in traditional degree programs. Like a lab or special course fee, the iCourse fee is assessed based on enrollment in specific classes and billed with tuition. In order to represent the change to students, and bill correctly, these classes are now labeled as iCourses.

How well does this ABS program prepare graduates for ELIGIBILITY into PhD programs?

A number of our students have gone on to PhD programs and used some of the course credits to get a PhD degree.  The Applied Biosciences program is a Graduate Interdisciplinary Program which gives the students the flexibility of choosing courses that will best suit their graduate goals. Plus a requirement of the program is to complete a written Master’s Report and oral presentation of the Master’s Report which is very similar to the Final Oral Dissertation presentation of PhD students.

Are there resources for: Students with Disability, Non-Traditional Students, First Generation Students, International Students, Military and Veteran Populations, Childcare and Family?

  • For Disability Resources - The Disability Resource Center (DRC) leads the University in a progressive and proactive approach to campus accessibility. Our goal is to ensure that disabled students, employees and visitors, have a similar, if not identical, experience to that of their non-disabled counterparts. In addition to facilitating individual accommodations, DRC works proactively to impact the systemic design of our campus environments to be seamlessly accessible, reducing or eliminating the need for any individual accommodations or modifications.

  • For Non-Traditional Students -Students are generally considered non-traditional if they meet one of the following criteria: delayed enrollment, is a part-time student, works full-time, has dependents other than a spouse (children, elderly family members), or is a single parent.
    The Graduate College’s Graduate Center helps students find opportunities to develop professional and leadership skills that complement your degree. The Graduate Center also connects students with a variety of resources to ensure students get the most out of their graduate experience.

    We encourage you to visit the University of Arizona’s Diversity and Inclusion page to learn more

  • For First Generation Students' Resources - The UA Student Affairs has a campaign for First Generation students please send an email to  And incoming first generation graduate students can apply for the Graduate Access Fellowship award at:

  • For International Student Services - International Student Services (ISS) is committed to your educational, personal, and professional success – from application through graduation and beyond. ISS is your headquarters for a range of resources on and off campus. Through advising and programs, they provide immigration, academic, and personal support, as well as opportunities for friendship and leadership. ISS is your advocate, always ensuring that you are understood, supported, and that your voice is heard.

  • For Military and Veteran Populations - Thank you for your dedication and service to our country. We makes it easy for all of our active military members, veterans, and dependents to transition to the UA environment and feel like a Wildcat on day one.  Please go to for more information.

  • For Childcare and Family  - The University of Arizona offers reimbursement for qualified, childcare expenses with UofA Childcare Choice.  UofA Childcare Choice - through Life & Work Connections - has two components: an employee program and a student program. Please go to: for more information.

I am an Alumni of Access Programs, e.g. McNair, TRiO, MARC could the benefits of any of these programs be considered for admission into the Applied Biosciences?

It is best that you consult with the respective offices of these programs on how beneficial they are in your application into the ABS program.  However, below are short desciptions and links about these programs:

  1. McNair – please go to:

If you are a current McNair scholar, you may be eligible for a Graduate College Application Fee Waiver.  When asked in GradApp if you are affiliated with a sponsored program, follow the instructions to complete the Application Fee Waiver Verification form and upload a verification letter from your program director. You'll be notified by email when your fee waiver has been approved.  Please allow 3 - 4 business days. If you have any questions, please contact Donna Treloar.

  1. TRiO ASEMS (Arizona’s Science, Engineering and Math Scholars) -  

TRiO ASEMS is specifically for University of Arizona undergraduates pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), including health sciences, who meet at least one of the following:

  • First generation college student (neither parent has completed a 4-year degree)
  • Demonstrated financial need, or come from a limited income family
  • Have a documented disability verified by the Disability Resources Center
  1. Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)-

Program Description

The MARC Program is a unique research, mentoring, financial and academic opportunity for undergraduates belonging to a group considered underrepresented in biomedical research and who have the interest and potential to pursue a PhD or combined PhD (e.g. MD/PhD) degree. The program is a two-year program intended for the last two years of a student’s enrollment at the University of Arizona.

  1. Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridges to the Doctorate

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program is an alliance-based program.  The program's theory is based on the Tinto model for student retention1.  The overall goal of the program is to assist universities and colleges in diversifying the nation's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce by increasing the number of STEM baccalaureate and graduate degrees awarded to populations historically underrepresented in these disciplines: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders.

The LSAMP program takes a comprehensive approach to student development and retention. Particular emphasis is placed on transforming undergraduate STEM education through innovative, evidence-based recruitment and retention strategies, and relevant educational experiences in support of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines.

The LSAMP program also supports knowledge generation, knowledge utilization, program impact and dissemination type activities.  The program seeks new learning and immediate diffusion of scholarly research into the field.  Under this program, funding for STEM educational and broadening participation research activities could include research to develop new models in STEM engagement, recruitment and retention practices for all critical pathways to STEM careers or research on interventions such as mentoring, successful learning practices and environments, STEM efficacy studies, and technology use.

Overall, the LSAMP program provides funding to alliances that implement comprehensive, evidence-based, innovative, and sustained strategies that ultimately result in the graduation of well-prepared, highly-qualified students from underrepresented minority groups who pursue graduate studies or careers in STEM.