Facts & FAQs

Fast Facts

  • All GDBBS Programs lead to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). There are no master's degree programs offered by the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
  • A competitive stipend, tuition scholarship, and health insurance subsidy are awarded to accepted students. For the 2015-2016 academic year (September 2015 through August 2016), Division stipends are $29,000, tuition scholarships are $52,100, and health insurance subsidies are $3,030.
  • Students normally matriculate at the beginning of the Fall semester.
  • Arrange to take the general test of the GRE as soon as possible. Please remember to request that Educational Testing Services forward official copies of your GRE scores to the Laney Graduate School at Emory. Use institutional code 5187 (there is no department code). GRE scores cannot be older than five years at the time of the application deadline. The general test is required; the subject test is not required but there is optional space available for applicants to list those scores if they have taken the exam.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL exam (Test of English as a Foreign Language). TOEFL scores cannot be older than two years at the time of the application deadline. In general, Program Admissions Committees prefer students to obtain a total score of at least 100 on the iBT or 600 on the paper based test. Please remember to request that the Educational Testing Service forward official copies of your TOEFL scores to the Laney Graduate School at Emory. Use institutional code 5187.
  • Program interviews are usually held in late January through early March by invitation of the Program to which the student has applied. Interview travel expenses are paid by the Division for domestic applicants. The Division does not pay interview travel expenses for applicants who are overseas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What information should I provide in my Statement of Purpose (Part 3 of the application)?

The Statement of Purpose provides an opportunity for you to convey to the Admissions Committee how your academic and research experiences have motivated and prepared you for doctoral studies in the biosciences. You should express why you have chosen your particular field of interest, discuss your tentative plans for graduate research, as well as your proposed career plans. Describe your involvement in relevant advanced courses and research projects, and describe the extent to which you were intellectually and independently involved in your research. It is helpful to include a resume and cite any publications that resulted in whole or in part by your work. Keep in mind that this is not a test of your creative writing skills. Statements should contain substantive, applicable information that will assist the admissions committee in determining whether or not you are well-suited for doctoral study. Committees will be searching for students who demonstrate a firm commitment to research and who express a genuine interest in the proposed field of scientific study.

Are applicants required to have previous research experience?

Research experience is highly desirable but is not required. Applicants who have demonstrated exceptional academic performance above and beyond the basic requirements of their undergraduate curriculum and whose expressed interests in science are well-matched with the objectives of the Program can also be considered as competitive candidates.

What type of coursework is required for admission?

Applicants to the Division should have strong undergraduate backgrounds in the physical, biological, or behavioral sciences to include core undergraduate science courses in organic and inorganic chemistry; biology; and mathematics through calculus. Programs also prefer students to have taken at least one advanced chemistry and/or biology course as well as physics.

What are the average GRE scores and GPAs of accepted students?

Students offered admission to Division Programs over the past two years had cumulative GRE scores ranging from around the 50th to 98th percentile, and GPAs that ranged from around 3.0 to 4.0. The mean cumulative GRE total score for the incoming class the past three years was between the 75th and 85th percentile, and the average GPA of this group is historically around a 3.5. There are no set minimums for GRE scores or GPAs. The admissions committee takes into account all of the application material when making its decision.

Are teaching or laboratory assistantships required for receipt of financial aid?

No, however, all students are required to serve as a teaching assistant for one semester, usually during their second year. This is a Laney Graduate School requirement. The primary purpose of the teaching experience is to aid students in strengthening their organization and communication skills.

What happens to my application once I submit it?

After receipt of your formal application, the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences will forward your file to the admissions committee of the Program to which you have applied. After the application deadline of December 1st, the admissions committees select the most highly-qualified applicants for interviews. Interviews usually take place in late January through early March, and interview expenses are paid for by the Division. Applicants are mailed written notification of their admission status by mid April.

How should I complete the Financial Certificate for International Students?

This form only needs to be completed by international students who are accepted into the program and matriculate. List any forms of financial support you may have. If you will be relying solely on the tuition and stipend award provided by the department then simply sign, date and return the form. Please read the form carefully and pay close attention to the guidelines and stipulations described. Note that University funds will not be disbursed prior to your arrival at Emory, and travel costs from your home country will not be provided by the University.