Apply NowThe BBS Program accepts applications for PhD study only. Admissions decisions are made on an annual basis; the application deadlines are November 15 and December 1 for admission in the following Fall semester. We have two application deadlines to encourage early submission in order for administrators and faculty reviewers to begin their work before December 1st. 

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 entire BBS Oversight 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. 

Application Requirements

  • Review the Research Specialties to identify at least three faculty who are doing research that interests you (indicate those in your application)
  • Choose your concentration(s)

    Applicants will be able to choose and rank up to 3 of the following concentrations:

    • Immunology and Infectious Disease
    • Molecular and Cellular Medicine
    • Population Medicine and Epidemiology
    • Translational Medicine
    • Zoology and Wildlife Conservation
  • Statement of purpose
    This essay is an important part of your application, and is your opportunity to tell the committee more about yourself.  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 (if you have settled on any), and why you chose the BBS program for your PhD degree.  
    If there is anything else you think the committee should be aware of, please feel free to include that as well. If you would like to include the additional information separate from your statement of purpose you may upload a short (2-3 paragraph) additional writing sample.

  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended must be uploaded to online application
  • English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS). Minimum scores and exceptions can be found on the ELP Requirement Page.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • 2 letters minimum, 4 letters maximum
    • Alert your recommenders of the November 15th and December 1st deadlines
  • Resume
    • uploading a resume to your online application is optional

GRE Test is no longer required.

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:

Zoom Interviews

Top candidates will be invited for zoom interviews. The format and exact dates are to be determined. This event is typically held in late January / early February. 

Admissions Decisions

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 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.

Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents, credentials services, or other paid professional assistance. The use of such services violates University policy, and may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.