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Applying to Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences

Thank you for your interest in Weill Cornell Graduate School! The fall 2023 PhD application is now closed. Sign up for our emails to receive notification about the admissions 2024 cycle.

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

Applicants may apply to one PhD program listed above, per location (New York or Houston) within the same application cycle. Applicants can choose a first and second choice PhD program on the same application.  

Additionally, applicants interested in any of the PhD programs listed above may apply separately to our Tri-Institutional and/or Master’s programs within the same cycle.

How do I obtain an application? What are the application 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:

When is the application due?

All application and supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted by December 1 to guarantee review. 

Where do I send my transcripts?

Domestic Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts from U.S. institutions may be uploaded directly onto the application portal for review. 

Foreign Transcripts - Transcripts from institutions outside of the U.S., including Canada, must be transcribed and evaluated by World Education Services (WES), SpanTran, IEE or a similar evaluation service.

  • If using WES, please select the WES Basic Course-by-Course evaluation and choose "Cornell University - Manhattan NY" as the recipient with "Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences" as the School/Division 
  • Evaluations are accepted only from current members of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES).  Official course-by-course evaluations are required for application review.

What topics should my personal statement cover?

  • Your personal statement should outline 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.

Can the application fee ($80) be waived?

  • 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.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) mandatory?

  • 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.

Is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or TOEFL mandatory for all international applications?

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 directly through the testing site via e-delivery to "Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences". Tests scores for TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo English Test are valid for two years after the test date. 

To see if you qualify for an exemption, see below:

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, Nigeria, 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. 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