Frequently Asked Questions

What are Research Areas and Cross-Disciplinary Training Centers?

To train creative, independent research scientists poised to tackle fundamental questions in biomedical research in the post-genomic era, the Biomedical Sciences Program offers a flexible system of advanced research options.

Nine Research Areas provide an opportunity for students to specialize in a major area of modern biomedical science. Each research area builds from the first year core courses and includes advanced training activities, including seminar and journal clubs to facilitate detailed discussion of literature relevant to each field. 

Cross-Disciplinary Training Centers are BMS-affiliated cross-campus research and training initiatives, that are typically more specialized than the Research Areas. These Training Centers emphasize particular strengths of the UCSD campus.

What is the ratio of students to faculty?

Currently, there are 176 graduate students and over 200 faculty members. Biomedical Sciences is a multi-departmental and multi-institutional program, including faculty in the School of Medicine, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and the neighboring Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Research Institute and the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. The faculty are recognized nationally and internationally as authorities in their fields and the program is known as one of the best in the country.

Where are the graduates of the program?

As of Spring 2024, approximately 775 students have graduated from the program with Ph.D. degrees. Our graduates are competitive in a variety of professional settings, particularly as academicians, members of research institutes, and as researchers and administrators in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Click here to search the alumni directory.

Do I receive a stipend?

All students in good standing in the program receive full financial support including tuition, fees, health insurance, and a stipend throughout their Ph.D. training. Sources of support include NIH training grants, university fellowships, individual research fellowships and research grants. Because of the changing economy, the stipend has been increasing continually. Students who receive outside fellowships are eligible for supplemental awards in recognition of their achievement.

How do I apply?

To apply, please visit the UC San Diego Graduate Application web site. BMS application guidelines can be found on our How to Apply pages. Invitations for interviews are generally issued in January and February, with offers finalized by the end of March. All graduate programs require a commitment to a particular program by April 15th. For questions or comments regarding this site, please contact us at