Frequently Asked Questions

What are Training 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 training options.

Twelve Training Areas provide a complete training program in one areas of modern biomedical science. Each training area has its own curriculum that 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. Students who either do not wish to specialize in one of these areas or who seek subspecialty training may develop a customized training program in consultation with the faculty.

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

What is the ratio of students to faculty?

Currently, there are 173 graduate students and 215 faculty (8 Emeritus). Biomedical Sciences is a multi-departmental and multi-institutional program, including faculty in the School of Medicine, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and the neighboring Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Research Institute. 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 2016, 529 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. The current stipend is $34,000. 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. International students must have an approved International Student Pre-Application form on file before completing the official graduate application. 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