Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Group

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Admission for Ph.D. study is offered to students having good undergraduate training in biochemistry, physics, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, biology, and mathematics. Students lacking preparation in a particular field, but otherwise qualified, may be admitted and given the opportunity to strengthen their backgrounds by taking the appropriate courses. The BMB program especially encourages applications from minority students.

To reach the BMB Graduate Group Coordinator, please contact:

Kelli McKenna
246 A Anatomy-Chemistry Building
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6059
Phone: 215-898-4639

Completed applications will be screened by the BMB Admissions Committee based on: research experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement, research statement, and grades. In general, interviews are required as part of the admissions process, and applicants invited to be interviewed will be notified at the end of December/beginning of January. Admissions decisions are made in late March/early April, with all decisions finalized by April 15th.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. Scores are valid for two years from the test date. Applicants who have satisfactorily completed at least two years of study in an English-speaking university do not need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. It is important for students applying to this program from outside the continental United States to realize that positions for overseas students are very limited and extremely competitive. In the past 6 years, only 7 of the 56 students admitted into our program have been foreign nationals, and of these only 2 students have been from overseas. This said, foreign applicants with exceptional credentials will continue to be given consideration for admission.

Finances: Students accepted for admission into the Ph.D. program receive tuition, fee and health insurance reimbursement, plus a twelve-month stipend for living expenses for the anticipated five to six years required to attain the Ph.D. The stipend for the 2017-2018 academic year is $32,000. Students are encouraged to apply for external sources of funding such as National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships, NIH Predoctoral Fellowhips and fellowships through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) serves as the administrative home for all graduate groups that confer a Ph.D. in the basic biomedical sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.General admission information can be obtained from the BGS website: We will be accepting applications for Fall 2019 on October 1, 2018.

For additional information about admissions, please contact: or visit the BGS Admissions Page.

Frequently Asked Questions about the BGS application process

Frequently Asked Questions about BMB