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Instructions for Completing and Submitting a PhD Application

The application for Fall 2022 is now closed and will reopen for Fall 2023 in September. 

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 in New York City
  • Physiology, Biophysics & Systems Biology at Houston Methodist*

*We are pleased to announce that the inaugural cohort of PhD candidates in Physiology, Biophysics, and Structural biology (PBSB) began their studies at Houston Methodist Academic Institute Fall 2021. For more information, please see our WCGS web page on applying to the PBSB program at Houston Methodist.  

 

Requirements

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 can be submitted online and must include:

  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities.
    • Domestic Transcripts - Unofficial transcripts from U.S. institutions may be submitted for application review. Official transcripts will be requested from accepted students prior to matriculation.
    • Foreign Transcripts - Transcripts from institutions outside of the U.S., including Canada, must be transcribed and evaluated by World Education Services (WES), SpanTran, or a similar evaluation service. Evaluations are accepted only from current members of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES).  Official evaluations are required for application review. 
  • GRE scores are optional for all Weill Cornell PhD programs. GRE scores are valid for only five years after the test date and official scores are required if you choose to submit them.
  • Applicants must submit current scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test. To see if you qualify for an exemption, see below.
    •    TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date. Note: If you have taken the TOEFL iBT test more than once within the last 2 years, ETS will automatically include your MyBest scores along with the traditional scores from your selected test date. If you would like us to consider your MyBest scores, please write to let us know.  While the Graduate School will consider your MyBest scores, individual programs may not accept them.
    •    IELTS scores are valid for two years after the test date. IELTS results must be submitted directly via e-delivery to “Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.”
    •    Results for the Duolingo English Test are valid for two years after the test date. Applicants must submit their results directly through Duolingo to “Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.”
  • 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 online application.
  • Personal statement that outlines your interest in research science, the program you are applying to, as well as why Weill Cornell is the right school for you. You may also want to discuss any particular faculty members you would be interested in working with and why. The Weill Cornell Graduate School prides itself in the diversity of our learning environment. To give our review committee a more comprehensive understanding of you, we encourage you to also include how your education may have been affected by your cultural, economic, or social experiences. Please keep your statement to 1500 words.
  • Resume/CV
  • An application processing fee of $80 charged through the 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 December 1 deadline to guarantee review.

 

English Language Proficiency Exam - Exemptions

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

  • Citizenship/Permanent Residency
  • If the applicant 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, they are exempt.
  • Applicants who are citizens of all other countries, including India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. are not exempt and must submit English language proficiency exam scores.
  • English-Language Instruction
  • Applicants who, at the time of enrollment, 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, are exempt.
  • Applicants must submit a transcript that shows they studied in one of the approved locations, and that the academic program was at least two years in length.
  • Even if English was the language of instruction of the course or institution, it must have been in one of the eligible locations, otherwise the applicant is not exempt from the requirement.

 

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 Interview Days held at the end of January and beginning of February.  

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.  Accepted students will be invited to visit campus to learn more about WCGS and interact with fellow applicants, current graduate students, and faculty.  Applicants offered admission to a program of study must notify WCGS that they accept their seat in the program by April 15.

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Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences 1300 York Ave. Box 65 New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6565 Fax: (212) 746-5981