What Makes An Application Strong?

We seek students prepared for success in our programs. Please tell us about your:

  • 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). 
  • 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. 
  • GRE general test scores: Recent classes average in the 70th percentile in each area.  
  • Language requirements as stated in the graduate admissions application. International applicants must also meet the University's Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended. 
  • Statement of purpose: Please tells us about yourself and the experiences that shaped your interest in science and your long-term goals. We are interested in your research experiences and accomplishments. 

Contributions to a vibrant and diverse student body, including a background from groups that are under-represented in biomedical science, such as racial and ethnic minorities and individuals with physical disabilities or disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. 

International applicants. We encourage international applicants from outstanding research institutions. Preference is given to international applicants who have fellowships that can partially support their graduate education, who have strong research experience and publications, or who have completed some of their education in a university in North America. Please mention these in your statement.

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, GRE percentiles of 83 (Analytical), 64 (Quantitative), and 82 (Verbal) and 77% had a research position after earning their undergraduate degree. Typically, we interview about 30 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 30 credit hours toward advanced standing in the PhD program (see Transferring Credit). This request is made to the IBS following GW matriculation and is subject to university and program regulations.