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Applications to the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences (WCGS) are accepted in seven programs of study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).


An applicant must have earned a baccalaureate degree or equivalent from a college or university of recognized standing and show promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research, as judged by his or her previous record.

Students may apply to one of the following predoctoral programs:


  • Biochemistry & Structural Biology*
  • Cell & Developmental Biology*
  • Immunology & Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Molecular Biology*
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology, Biophysics & Systems Biology


*The programs in Biochemistry & Structural Biology, Cell & Developmental Biology and Molecular Biology operate as an alliance known as the BCMB Allied program. Students applying to any one of these programs are automatically considered for admission to the BCMB Allied program.

Students are admitted for each academic year, which is defined by the start of courses in September. The application process occurs in the preceding academic year.



Instructions for Completing and Submitting a PhD Application


Application to the PhD programs must be made using the "ApplyYourself" online process:


  • December 1 is the deadline for applications and the following supporting documents:
  • official transcripts of record from all colleges and universities attended (transcripts must be submitted in hard copy to be official; instructions are included in "ApplyYourself");
  • three letters of recommendation from individuals in academic positions who know the applicant professionally (must be submitted electronically as instructed in "Apply Yourself");


test scores from the general Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Aptitude (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical) Test (instructions for submitting GRE scores are included in "ApplyYourself"); and Application to take the GRE must be made directly to:


Educational Testing Service, Graduate Record Examinations,

P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000;

the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences Institution

Code Number is 2119.


test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); students whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL (instructions for submitting TOEFL scores are included in "ApplyYourself"). Application to take the TOEFL must be made directly to: Test of English as a Foreign Language, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151; the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences Institution Code Number is 2119.



Admissions Process

The completed application and supporting information is initially screened by an admissions committee of the program of study to which the student is applying. The strongest candidates are invited to attend the Graduate School's "Recruitment Days" held in February. During the two-day period, applicants experience program orientation; personal interviews; and opportunities to interact with fellow applicants, current graduate students and faculty.

Following "Recruitment Days," each program forwards recommendations on candidates for acceptance to the Graduate School Dean for final decision, who then notifies candidates of their acceptance. The final date for acceptance is April 15.




Cornell University's history of diversity and inclusion encourages all students, faculty and staff to support a diverse and inclusive university in which to work, study, teach, research and serve. No person shall be denied admission to any educational program or activity or be denied employment on the basis of any legally prohibited discrimination involving, but not limited to, such factors as race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or veteran status.

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