Carnegie Mellon University
There is no application fee. After December 1 the admissions committee will be reviewing completed applications.

All Ph.D. students, regardless of national origin, are provided with a yearly tuition remission and an ample stipend.

The department pays the Student Activities Fee, the Transportation Fee, and also the Technology Fee. Fee information is available at

Yes, the Ph.D. program is very diverse and welcomes international students. The numbers of foreign-born applicants, accepted students and matriculating students vary each year.

No, students are first admitted into the program. After students matriculate to the program, they complete three laboratory rotations during their first year, enabling them to explore which laboratory and faculty mentors best match their interests and allowing the faculty to ascertain whether students might make a positive contribution to their research program.

A student must have graduated from a recognized four-year college, university or institute of technology, or have earned equivalent credentials. Applicants should have a background in general biology as well as some study in a subdiscipline such as biochemistry, biophysics, cell or developmental biology, computational biology, molecular biology, genetics, or neuroscience.

We receive several hundred applications yearly. The Admissions Committee is selective and only considers those applicants who have the potential for a successful academic career. Your chance of acceptance depends upon both the applicant pool and the strength of your complete application.

Graduate Programs Office
Department of Biological Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University
4400 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Yes, photocopies are accepted for evaluation purposes only. If admitted to the program you will need to provide official documents.

We wait until all materials are received before evaluating an application. Complete applications that arrive by the deadline will receive priority consideration.

Students are notified of admission for the fall semester by April 1.

No, submission is not required, but will be reviewed if submitted with your application.

The school code is CMU 2074 and the department code is Biology 0203.

The minimum TOEFL score to be considered for acceptance is 100 (Internet-based).

NOTE: Scores must be no more than two years old.

The school code is CMU 2074 and the department code is Biology 35.

Yes. To meet the needs of students from Mainland China who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test, we are accepting TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution.

Submit only one official transcript from each college-level institution attended (whether or not a degree was conferred). International applicants must send one copy of each transcript officially translated in English with the GPA, calculated officially, on a 4.0 scale. Photocopies of U.S. institutional transcripts will be accepted for review  purposes only; however, if you are accepted into the program it will be on a provisional basis until we receive your official transcripts.

Contact a credential evaluation service, such as WES. For international applicants, the admissions committee will not review an application without transcripts in English or a GPA that has not been calculated on a 4.0 scale.

You may upload additional information to support your application (e.g. resume, publication, or other supporting documents). Please do not send artwork, DVDs of presentations or musical recitals, photos, or gifts.

Yes, online recommendation forms are automatically e-mailed to recommenders once a student has submitted the application.

The three letters of recommendation should be written by professional or academic references. Recommenders should evaluate the following attributes of the applicant: academic performance, research experience, motivation and perseverance, speaking and writing skills, strengths and weaknesses; recommenders should also state their relationship to the applicant.

Your statement of purpose should be a well-written 1-2 page essay describing:

1. Your motivation to enter the biological sciences field
2. Any previous research experience (including your role in any projects)
3. Primary areas of interest
4. Reasons for considering the Department of Biological Sciences for graduate work