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Instructions for Completing and Submitting a PhD Application

Applications to the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences (WCGS) are accepted in seven programs of study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD):

  • BCMB Alliance: A partnership between three doctoral programs with a single admissions entry point
    • Biochemistry & Structural Biology
    • Cell & Developmental Biology
    • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology & Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology, Biophysics & Systems Biology*

All applications are processed through BioMedCAS. To submit an application, you must create a BioMedCAS account and add each program to which you are applying.

*We are pleased to announce that in the Fall 2021, Weill Cornell Medicine is expanding its PhD program in Physiology, Biophysics, and Structural biology (PBSB) to a new site at Houston Methodist Academic Institute. Fall 2021 applications for this program are currently being accepted via BioMedCAS. For more information, please see our WCGS web page on applying to the PBSB program at Houston Methodist.  

The Fall 2021 admissions cycle for all other WCGS PhD programs is now closed. Please check this website periodically for updates on the start of the Fall 2022 admissions cycle.



To be considered for PhD program admission, you must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and must show evidence of your potential for advanced research as indicated by your scholastic records, training, and experience. 

Applications for any of the WCGS PhD programs must include all of the following: 

All application forms and supporting documents can be submitted online. You will be asked to submit or upload:

  • Unofficial transcripts of all previously attended colleges and universities.
  • GRE scores are optional for all Weill Cornell PhD programs. GRE scores are only valid for five years after the test date, and must be submitted directly to the BioMedCAS application system by Educational Testing Service using Institution Code Number 4132.
  • Scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required for all international students who do not qualify for an exemption (see below). TOEFL scores are only valid for two years after the test date. TOEFL results must be submitted directly via the BioMedCAS application using Institution Code Number is #B765.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals who are able to judge your preparation and fitness for graduate work in the proposed program of study. Letters must be submitted electronically as instructed through the BioMedCAS application.
  • An application processing fee of $80 charged through the BioMedCAS application system. Application fee waivers are available to US citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented applicants who have demonstrated financial hardship or participated in specific pipeline programs.

All application and supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted by the admissions deadline listed above to guarantee review.


Admissions Process

After a completed application is received, the application and all supporting information are initially screened by an admissions committee within the intended program of study. The strongest candidates are invited to attend WCGS Recruitment Days held at the end of January and beginning of February. These multi-day interview and recruitment events include program overviews, personal interviews, and opportunities to interact with fellow applicants, current graduate students, and faculty.

Following interviews, each program forwards recommendations on candidates for acceptance to the Graduate School Dean for final decision. Candidates are then notified of their admissions decision. Applicants offered admission to a program of study must notify WCGS that they accept their seat in the program by April 15.


TOEFL Exemptions

The English language proficiency requirement may be waived if an applicant meets at least one of these criteria:

  • Is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its territories (e.g., Puerto Rico), or a citizen of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada. Applicants who are citizens of India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. are not exempt from the requirement.

  • At the time you enroll at Weill Cornell, you will have studied in full-time status for at least two academic years within the last five years in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, or with English language instruction in Canada or South Africa. Even if English was the language of instruction at your school, if you did not study in one of these countries you are not exempt from the requirement. You must submit a transcript that shows you attended college in one of the approved locations, and that your academic program was at least two years in length.

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