Graduate Group in Genomics and Computational Biology

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Admission to the GCB Program

Thank you for your interest in the University of Pennsylvania’s doctoral program in Genomics and Computational Biology (GCB). 

It is an incredibly exciting and important time in Biomedical research. The speed in which new, rich, but increasingly massive “Big Data” sets can be generated to address fundamental questions in Biology and Medicine is truly mind-boggling. Fully taking advantage of these - and future - data types demands a new level of depth and breadth of biological knowledge paired with technical, mathematical, and computational sophistication in scientific inquiry. Our objective is to prepare students to become future leaders in this new, interdisciplinary era by pioneering biological discoveries across a range of important problems.

The Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) umbrella is the administrative home for all graduate groups that confer a PhD in basic, biomedical sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and where your application will be submitted. General admission information, as well as a link to the online application system, can be obtained from the BGS Website. BGS only accepts electronic applications, and the application process for each academic year begins in October of the previous year.

Admissions to our program are based on basic training including (but not limited to): molecular biology, genetics, statistics/mathematics, and/or computer science. Because our program focuses at its core on interdisciplinary study, students with prior training in more than one area are encouraged to apply.  Of course, exceptional students demonstrating mastery in a single field wishing to develop their interdisciplinary repertoire of skills will also be considered.

Importantly, GCB strongly encourages applications from minority students.

The GCB admissions committee screens every applicant, based on their research experiences, letters of recommendation, personal statement, academic transcript, and GRE General Test scores. GRE Subject Tests in biology, chemistry, physics, or mathematics are recommended, but not required.

In addition, interviews are required as part of the admissions process. Applicants invited for an interview will be notified in December/January. Admissions decisions will be made in late February/early March, with all decisions finalized by April 15th.

All students accepted for admission into the PhD program receive tuition and health insurance coverage, plus a twelve-month stipend for living expenses. In addition, applicants are encouraged to apply for scholarships from prestigious funding sources such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Contact us to request a flyer for yourself or your department, or click here for an electronic version.

Are you up for the challenge?

We look forward to your application.


Li-San Wang, PhD
Chair of GCB

Benjamin F. Voight, PhD
Vice-Chair of GCB