The success of the BBS Program is dependent on the quality of the graduate students enrolled. We therefore take great care in the selection of potential students: the BBS Admissions Committee reviews and evaluates all applications. Candidates come from many academic backgrounds. There are no set standards; rather we are searching for applicants who we believe can flourish in the program. Applicants are judged on the entire application package, including academic credentials, the statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Prior research experience is considered particularly useful; however, it is not a prerequisite.
1. Review the Research Specialties to identify at least three faculty who are doing research that interests you. You will be asked to identify which faculty member(s) are you potentially interested in working with. It is helpful if you had made contact with potential faculty rotation mentors to see if they are accepting new graduate students.
2. Choose a concentration that most interests you.
Immunology and Infectious Disease
Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Population Medicine and Epidemiology
Zoology and Wildlife Conservation
3. Applicants will also choose up to three of the following research specializations:
- Biochemistry & Cell Biology
- Cancer Biology
- Infection & Immunity
- Medical Genetics & Genomics
- Reproduction Biology
- Stem Cell Biology
- Wildlife Conservation
4. Statement of purpose
The Statement of Purpose is an important part of your application, and is your opportunity to tell the admissions committee more about yourself. Feel free to include whatever information you think the committee should know about you and why you are applying to PhD programs. But please be sure to include a discussion of your past research experience. You can talk about one project or several, but focus on your role in each project. Please also describe your potential future research interests and why you chose the BBS program for your PhD degree. If there are any faculty you find particularly interesting, feel free to include that information as well.
5. Optional Personal Statement
Your Supplemental Personal Statement will be used by the Director of Graduate Studies to inform their nomination of you for a Graduate School Diversity Fellowship. It will also be used by the Graduate School in their review of your nomination for a Diversity Fellowship. This supplemental statement is not intended to be used for admissions purposes; therefore, faculty serving on the admissions committee will not have access to this supplemental statement. Any personal information that you would like known by the admissions committee should be incorporated into your required Academic Statement of Purpose.
6. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended must be uploaded to online application
Applicants must have received, or be on track to receive a baccalaureate degree from a college or university of recognized standing prior to matriculation in the Graduate School. For students with foreign credentials, an equivalent international degree is required.
7. English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS). Minimum scores and exceptions can be found on the ELP Requirement Page.
8. Letters of Recommendation (2 letters minimum, 4 letters maximum)
Alert your recommenders of the December 1st deadline as soon as possible. Your application will not be considered complete unless two recommendations have been received by December 1st. You will find advice on requesting letters of recommendation here.
9. Resume - uploading a resume to your online application is optional
10. GRE Scores - is no longer required and we do not accept scores.
Application Fee Waivers
In cases of extreme financial need or participants of special programs the Graduate School will consider a request for a fee waiver. For detailed instructions, please go to: https://gradschool.cornell.edu/admissions/apply/application-fees/
Top candidates will be invited to visit campus in late January / early February 2022. The format and exact dates are to be determined.
Applications are reviewed starting in December, and all admissions decisions are made by mid-February. Admissions decisions are based on the quality of the student’s prior academic and/or professional career, the fit of his/her research interests with funded faculty in our program, and the admissions committee’s assessment of the student’s ability to successfully complete doctoral level work.