Application Process

nervous cellsThe Admissions Committee of the program considers all elements of the student's file. Applicants are ranked by a composite analysis of their completed applications and interviews are arranged for those who are deemed competitive. Top applicants are usually invited to UCSD to visit the campus and participate in faculty interviews in February. Arrangements are made by telephone or e-mail from the program office. It is therefore essential that you provide a correct telephone number (home and work) and email address where you can be reached during the winter and spring months.

The UC San Diego Graduate Application can be completed on-line.


The Graduate Division at UCSD requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 for admission to graduate school. The Biomedical Sciences Admissions Committee looks specifically at an applicant’s cumulative and science GPAs, and at the types of courses taken. These should include calculus, biochemistry, organic and physical chemistry, biology, and, preferably, cell and molecular biology and mammalian physiology.

Each applicant is required to take the GRE General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections) and to submit official scores as a part of the application for admission. We recommend that a score on the GRE subject test (biology, chemistry, or biochemistry) be submitted. High scores (above the eightieth percentile) in all areas are desirable. To ensure receipt of GRE scores by the December 1st deadline, applicants should plan to take the test no later than October. Students may have scores sent directly to UCSD by designating GRE school code #4836, department code 5199 on their test registration form.

Preliminary Application (International applicants only)

The preliminary application for Fall 2017 has now closed. Please check back on July 1, 2017 for Fall 2018 information. 

International students interested in applying for admission must first complete our Pre-Application. This form is a required preliminary step in the admissions process. The Admissions Committee will not review the full application unless a pre-application is on record as having been approved. Applicants must know their GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores prior to submitting their pre-application. Applicants will enter these scores into the on-line pre-application form. Letters of recommendation and official GRE and TOEFL/IELTS score reports are not submitted with the pre-application. These will be submitted with the full application if the pre-application is approved. Upon pre-application approval, you will be notified by email and given information on how to proceed with the admissions process. For additional information, please contact:


  • Pre-application deadline (International Students Only) - CLOSED
  • UC San Diego Graduate Application deadline - December 1, 2016
    (all domestic applicants and approved international pre-applicants)

More Information

Statement of Purpose

Focus your Statement of Purpose on the reasons you are interested in attending the UC San Diego Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. The statement should be well organized, concise, and completely free of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.

Include responses to the following as part of your statement:  

  • Summarize the long term goals of research in which you participated.
  • Describe one research problem, project or area for graduate study that excites you. Have you thought about what you want to accomplish in graduate school and how is UC San Diego a good match for these goals?

Letters of Recommendation

These are of great value in assessing a student’s qualifications for a career in research. It is advantageous to have letters submitted by well-known faculty who can critically evaluate a student’s academic performance, undergraduate research experience, and potential for a career in biomedical sciences.

Research Experience

Undergraduate and/or post-college research experience is considered an important part of a student’s preparation for graduate work. It gives the student the opportunity to experience laboratory work and thus make a knowledgeable decision to pursue a career in basic biomedical sciences.

Official Application

Applications are processed in the order they are received. Screening of applications will begin in early December. It is recommended that applicants submit their application well before the deadline to be considered for on-campus interviews. Typical causes of delayed consideration include missing GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. It is particularly important for foreign applicants to complete their application well before the deadline, as it has been our experience that delays in processing their applications seriously limit the financial aid the applicant can hope to obtain.

PLEASE NOTE: To expedite the processing of your application, the Biomedical Sciences Admissions Committee requires that you upload PDF versions of your official or unofficial transcripts directly into the UCSD on-line application system. More information on this process is available in the on-line application system.

Non-discrimination Statement

The University of California, in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or age in any of its policies, procedures, or practices; nor does the university discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, university programs and activities, including but not limited to, academic admission, financial aid, educational services, and student employment.

Inquiries regarding the university's equal opportunity policies may be directed to the campus compliance coordinator, (858) 534-0195.