What Makes An Application Strong?

We seek students prepared for success in our programs.

Please tell us about your:

  • Research Experience and accomplishments. Research experiences shape an interest in earning the PhD and a career in science. Applicants typically have at least a year of research, from an honors thesis, a postbaccalaureate experience, or other laboratory technical experience that informs their decisions.
  • Academic preparation: Preparation generally includes successful completion of two semesters of college-level courses in biology, general chemistry, math, organic chemistry, and physics; and biochemistry and molecular biology are strongly recommended. Normally, a minimum of a B average is required (3.0 on a 4.0 scale).
  • Statement of purpose: Please tells us about yourself and the experiences that shaped your interest in science, your purpose in undertaking graduate study and your long-term career goals.

Additional prompts ask you:

  • Research experiences shape an interest in the biomedical PhD and a career in science. Please describe your current or previous research experiences, including any role in designing, performing or reporting a study. What did you learn about yourself in completing this experience?
  • Please identify three GW IBS faculty trainers and describe your interest in their research programs.
  • Doctoral study involves both self-motivation and resilience. Give an example of a time you faced a serious obstacle or failure, and how you handled it.

Additional Components:

  • Three letters of recommendation: Please ask research mentors and those who have supervised your independent work to comment on your maturity, creativity, independence and promise in science (provide your recommenders with our LOR instructions)
  • Language requirements as stated in the graduate admissions application including the University's Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.
  • Contributions to a vibrant and diverse student body, including a background from groups that are under-represented in biomedical science, including select racial and ethnic backgrounds, individuals with physical disabilities or those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • International applicants: Please be advised that we typically do not review or accept international applicants.
  • Personal Interview: Successful applicants are invited to visit our program for interview at our expense. The visit allows you to meet and interview with faculty mentors, meet current graduate students, and experience life at GW.

Our First Year Class

In recent years, matriculants had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.5 and 80% had a research position after earning their undergraduate degree. Typically, we interview about 40 candidates from about 175 applications.

Transfer Credits for Graduate Work

If you hold a master’s degree in a related field or have completed relevant graduate-level coursework, you may request to transfer up to 21 credit hours toward advanced standing in the PhD program. This request is made to the IBS following GW matriculation and is subject to university and program regulations.