Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions Requirements and Statistics

  • A strong undergraduate background in the physical, biological, or behavioral sciences.
  • A cumulative average of B+ or better in major science courses.
  • High motivation for a career in biological or biomedical research.
  • Strong letters of recommendation (three (3) are required).
  • Prior research experience is highly valued.
  • A thoughtfully written Statement of Purpose that includes information on why you want to attend graduate school, any research interests you may have, and details on any prior research experience, including the extent to which you were intellectually and independently involved in your research project.
  • GRE scores are not required by any of ther Programs in the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must also complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For these exams, scores must be no more than two (2) years old.

The PBEE admissions committee considers the full package of application materials, including prior research experience, letters of recommendation from research mentors, transcripts and GPA, other relevant letters of recommendation, and, if any, honors and/or leadership positions.

In the 2016 application cycle, around 25% of the applicant pool was offered admission and approximately 50% enrolled. (In the past, the Graduate Division typically enrolls about 70 students each year.)

It takes approximately 6 years to complete the PhD, but the time to degree can vary among the different programs. The Laney Graduate School lists program statistics for each of their programs. The Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences and our eight programs are listed individually. Program data

Students offered admission typically have cumulative GPAs that range from around 3.0 to 4.0, and the average GPA for the incoming class is historically around 3.5.