Graduate Program Frequently Asked Questions

I am an international applicant and English is not my primary language.  Do I need to take the TOEFL?  Is there a minimum score for admissions?

Yes.  If English is a second language or your undergraduate degree was completed in a non-English speaking country, the TOEFL must be taken.  The minimum score accepted is 220 for the computer-based test and 560 for a paper-based test.  The minimum IBT-internet based TOEFL is:  Writing 22, Speaking 23, Reading 21, Listening 17.

Is the GRE required for all applicants?

Yes.  All students must take the GRE general test and arrange to have the results sent to the department by the application deadline date.  The GRE (verbal, quantitative and writing) is required for all applicants with a minimal combined score of 300 (minimum verbal 150, minimum quantitative 150).

Are there minimum GPA requirements for admission?

Yes.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in science courses related to the field is required.  An overall GPA of at least a 3.0 is also required unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Should I apply to the Masters (M.S.) or Doctoral (Ph.D.) program?

To help you decide which program is most appropriate for you, review the program and test requirements for each program offered.  Additionally, it is recommended that you contact the Graduate Director and/or any faculty member with whom you are potentially interested in studying for further clarification.

What kind of questions are on the application?

The Rutgers University Application for Graduate Admission consists of nine sections:

    1. Personal Information
    2. Residency
    3. Program Selection
    4. Institution Information
    5. Test Scores
    6. Financial Aid
    7. Personal Statement
    8. Letters of Recommendation
    9. Program Questions

What factors do you consider when reviewing a graduate application?

All applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee.  Their decisions are based on prior academic work, standardized test performance, writing ability and letters of recommendation.  Additionally, applicants' research interests are weighed heavily.  It is recommended that you contact the faculty member with whom you are interested in working prior to applying in order to make sure that they will be accepting students into their lab.

Is it important to have research experience as an undergraduate student?

Not all prospective graduate students have had the opportunity to participate in an undergraduate research project.  However, previous research experience and a positive letter of recommendation from an undergraduate research advisor will position an applicant with an advantage over an applicant without research experience.  This will be particularly true for anyone attempting to apply directly to the Ph.D. program from undergraduate.

What kind of information should be included in my personal statement?

Your personal statement is an important component of your application.  It should include information about your academic and research background, your career objectives, and how being selected as a member of this graduate program will help you meet your career goals.  Identify the faculty member you are interested in working with and explain why you would like to join his/her research group.

Should I contact a prospective faculty mentor prior to applying?

Yes.  As noted in many of the other questions, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact prospective faculty members before applying to determine whether that faculty member is planning to admit new students to their research group for the upcoming year and to explore their research program to determine if your academic background meets the needs of the research group.  It would be helpful if, before contacting prospective faculty, you reviewed the graduate program website as well as faculty publication lists to determine if your research interests and goals are similar.  The graduate faculty for Kinesiology and Applied Physiology is comprised of members of a number of different departments.

How many letters of recommendation are required?  Who should I request them from?

Three letters of recommendation, with at least one from a science professor, are required.  If applying for admission to the Ph.D. program, at least two recommendations must be from science professors.  Letters from former and current professors are looked upon most favorably.  We are interested in an assessment of your ability to complete graduate level work, your writing and critical thinking skills, and how you can contribute to our academic community.

My letters of recommendation have been requested from references that are capable of evaluating my academic ability but they have very busy schedules.  How can I make sure that the letters are written and submitted before the deadline?

When requesting a letter of recommendation, you should give each referee a copy of your personal statement, resume and transcripts, as well as complete information as to where the letter should be submitted.  Letters should be requested well in advance of the deadline to give your referee an adequate amount of time to prepare a recommendation.  You can log in to our portal to check the status of your letters of recommendation.  If you notice that one of your referees has not submitted their letter, follow up by contacting them to remind them that the deadline is approaching.

How much does it cost to attend a graduate program at Rutgers University?

Tuition and fees at Rutgers University vary based on school affiliation, campus and program.  Tuition rates that were approved by the Rutgers Board of Governors for the current academic year, as well as descriptions of mandatory fees and optional fees, can be found here.

What kinds of assistantships or funding opportunities are available?

The Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies has a limited number of teaching assistantships available which serve as a valuable source of experience in both teaching and research.  These assistantships are generally reserved for Ph.D. students in the Kinesiology and Applied Physiology program only.  Additional funding possibilities also exist through Life Science TA positions, competitive fellowships, and grants (if your advisor has graduate student support written into their grant).  Additional information on merit-based, need-based, and non-need based aid at Rutgers can be found here.