Carnegie Mellon University

Applicants who are interested in graduate study in the Department of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University should have a background in general biology and must have graduated from a recognized four-year college, university or institute of technology, or have earned equivalent credentials. To be reviewed by the Admissions Committee, the application package must be complete. The application package consists of:

  • The Fall 2021 application will be available on August 1, 2020.
  • Photocopies of transcripts will be accepted for review purposes only. For international applicants, the admissions committee will not review an application without transcripts in English. However, if you are accepted to the program it will be on a provisional basis until we receive your official transcripts.  One official transcript from each college-level institution attended, whether or not a degree was conferred. International students must provide one copy of each transcript, officially translated into English and calculated on a 4.0 scale. Contact the credential evaluation service such as WES.
  • An official report of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test and subject test are not required, but will be reviewed if submitted with your application. Photocopies of GRE scores will not be accepted, and scores must be no more than five years old.
    • Institution code: CMU 2074
    • Department code: Biology 0203
  • An official report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) from applicants whose native language is not English. Photocopies of TOEFL scores will not be accepted, and scores must be no more than two years old. TOEFL/IELTS are preferred if possible.
    • Institution code: CMU 2074
    • Department code: Biology 35
  • In addition to TOEFL and IELTS, we will now accept the online Duolingo English Test for applicants for whom English was not their first language. These tests include a proficiency composite score, section subscores, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with CMU Biological Sciences when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session. Minimum and recommended score follows our TOEFL and IELTS minimums using percentile equivalencies and are indicated in the chart below. For more information, please visit the websites for the Duolingo English Test.
  • Three online letters of recommendation. These letters should be from individuals who are in a position to evaluate your ability to successfully complete a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences; at least one letter should be from the college most recently attended.
  • A Statement of Purpose. This document should be a well-written, 1-2 page essay describing previous research experience (including your role in any projects), primary areas of interest, motives for a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and reasons for considering the Department of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon for graduate work.
  • The Admissions Committee will review all completed applications from both domestic and international students. Selected applicants will be invited to interview in February. Interviews will take place either during recruiting visits or, if necessary, remotely.

All students are notified of acceptance for the fall semester by April 1.

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