Among the steps you will want to take are:
- Get an early start during your college years
- Explore available graduate programs
- Determine the admissions requirements for the programs that meet your needs
- Learn about financial support
What do I need to do during/after college?
You will want to plan for graduate school long before you begin the official application process. During your college years, establish a timeline that outlines the goals you plan to accomplish each semester and summer. A periodic review of your timeline will help you stay on track, ensuring that that you are prepared for application to graduate school in the following three areas:
What should I look for in graduate programs?
Graduate programs in the biomedical sciences differ widely in size, scope, and research opportunities. Your goal when exploring programs is to find the ones that best match your background, research interests, and professional career aspirations. Gather as much information about the structure, organization, requirements, opportunities, satisfaction level of current students, and career outcomes of the program's graduates.
What will I need to apply?
There is no common application form for graduate school, and individual schools may have specific admissions requirements. It is therefore essential that you review the requirements of each school and program as you prepare your application file. In general, there are six elements to the admissions file that most schools require, and they are listed below for your review:
- Graduate School Application Form
- Personal Statement (aka Statement of Purpose or Research Statement)
- Letters of recommendation
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores
How can I finance my graduate education?
Funding for graduate studies as a full-time student pursuing a PhD in the biomedical sciences is usually provided by the programs and includes tuition, fees, and a stipend to cover living expenses. The size of the support package will vary from school to school and among geographic location. The support package may come from a variety of sources, for different durations and usually the source changes within the period required to complete the degree. Independent fellowships from the federal government or from a private foundation are prestigious and usually allow a greater degree of freedom in the pursuit of thesis research.
Where can I earn a PhD?
Search among the more than 600 graduate programs in the biomedical sciences that differ widely in size, scope, and research opportunities.