Carnegie Mellon University
  • There is no application fee.
  • There is no Spring intake, only Fall.
  • After December 1, the admission committee will be reviewing complete applications.
  • Complete applications that arrive by the deadline will receive priority consideration.
  • We wait until all materials are received before evaluating an application.
  • All Ph.D. students, regardless of national origin, are provided with yearly tuition remission and a generous stipend.
  • A student must have graduated from a recognized four-year college, university, or technology institute or earned equivalent credentials. Applicants should have a background in general biology and some study in a subdiscipline such as biochemistry, biophysics, cell or developmental biology, computational biology, molecular biology, genetics, or neuroscience.
  • Faculty members do not accept students directly into their laboratories. 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 contribute positively to their research program.
  • Photocopies are accepted for evaluation purposes only. If admitted to the program, you will need to provide official documents.
  • For international applicants, the admissions committee will only review an application with transcripts in English. Contact a credential evaluation service like WES, your university registrar’s office, or a private company.
  • Submission is not required but will be reviewed if submitted with your application.
  • Photocopies are accepted for evaluation purposes only. If admitted to the program, you will need to provide official documents.
  • Carnegie Mellon University GRE Codes
GRE codes: CMU 2074 and Biology 0203
  • English proficiency test scores are required for all non-native English-speaking applicants unless the applicant has completed a university-level degree in the U.S. or another majority-native English-speaking country in the last four years, such as: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada (excluding Quebec), Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom.
  • We accept TOEFL, IELTS, and DuoLingo scores.
  • University codes for all three:
    1. TOEFL code: CMU 2074 and Biology 35
    2. IELTS code: Select “Carnegie Mellon University, Mellon College of Science.”
    3. Duolingo English code: Select “Carnegie Mellon University – Mellon College of Science.”
  • Photocopies of English proficiency test scores will be accepted for admission only, and scores must be no more than two years old.
  • Recommended composite/overall score thresholds:
    1. TOEFL overall minimum score is 100.
    2. IELTS overall minimum score is 6.5.
    3. DuoLingo English minimum score is 120.
  • If your English Proficiency scores are lower than above, your application may not be competitive for our program.
  • Professional or academic references should write the three letters of recommendation. Recommenders should evaluate the following attributes of the applicant: academic performance, research experience, motivation, perseverance, speaking and writing skills, strengths and weaknesses; recommenders should also state their relationship to the applicant.
  • Once a student completes the recommendation section, online recommendation forms are automatically e-mailed to recommenders.

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.