PhD Application Information

The application deadline for Fall 2024 has passed. We will accept applications for Fall 2025 October 1st through December 1st, 2024.

We allow applicants to apply to only one group within Biomedical Graduate Studies. However, you may ask that your application be transferred from one group to another at any point in the admissions season.

Please note that all application materials become property of the University of Pennsylvania and will not be returned. Remember to retain a personal copy of your application.

Our evaluation process considers all components of the application. A complete application consists of:

  • Application Form - A complete, submitted online application. The online application will require you to upload the following documents:
    • Personal Statement - The personal statement should be used to share your motivations to pursue a PhD in your chosen field or discipline. We encourage you to share your journey from your personal history to formative experiences that have led you to pursue a PhD.  Be as specific as you can about the area in which you plan to study and your reasons for wishing to study at the University of Pennsylvania.  The personal statement should be around 500 words in length.
      If you are applying to certificate program, your personal statement should include a paragraph (~200 words) reflecting your interest in those programs in addition to the doctoral discipline.
    • Research Statement - The research statement should describe your meaningful research experiences, highlighting your findings. Please describe the goals of each project, approaches used, results obtained, and implications of the findings for the project and the field at large. You may choose to describe a single research experience or several experiences, but please limit your statement to around 1000 words in length.
    • Community Statement - The community statement should describe how your personal perspectives will shape and be shaped by engagement with the Penn community. The community statement should not exceed 200 words. 
    • Resume/CV (Please do not include GPA or Latin honors)
    • Transcripts - All BGS applicants are required to upload up-to-date unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended. These transcripts must include your Spring 2023 semester grades and indicate the courses you are enrolled in for the Fall 2023 semester. Transcripts from completed programs should show proof of degree conferral. A final, official transcript showing conferral of degree will be required of all accepted students prior to matriculation.
  • Letters of Recommendation - You will also be prompted to send requests to three (3) people who are able to provide letters of recommendation. They will be sent an email notification with a link to the online recommendation form, which will allow them to upload a PDF of the letter. You can resend this link if necessary through the application portal.
  • Standardized Test Scores, if applicable –BGS does not require or accept GRE scores (general or subject tests).  Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take an English proficiency exam (either the TOEFL or the IELTS); this requirement is waived for applicants who have or will have obtained a degree from a US or other approved English-instructed institution. There are no minimum score requirements. In order for your application to be considered complete, official TOEFL or IELTS score reports must be received by the BGS office by the application deadline.

Please refer to our FAQ page and the Instructions section of the online application for the answers to the most common application questions.