Please use the online application to apply to any of the Coordinated Doctoral Programs in Biomedical Sciences and the MA Program in Biomedical Informatics. We do not accept paper applications. Please note that the applicant must submit all materials directly, not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the following exceptions: submissions by the US Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its three partner agencies IIE, LASPAU and AMIDEAST; submissions by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF); and submissions by Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD). In addition, the applicant will be required to attest to the accuracy and authenticity of all information and documents submitted to Columbia. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact the Office of Admissions at BiomedicalSciences@cumc.columbia.edu.
Applicants who hold American doctorates or their international equivalents in the same or similar fields as those to which they propose to apply, or who have completed most of the work required to earn the PhD elsewhere (i.e., beyond the equivalent of the Columbia M.Phil and/or three years of doctoral coursework) are not eligible for admission. Failure to disclose this information may result in the rescinding of an offer of admission, or to termination for a current student.
Please find the Application Guidelines below. For more inforamtion, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.
GREs are NOT required for the following programs/tracks, although you may submit them:
- Biochemistry, Molecular Biophysics & Structural Biology
- Cell Biology & Stem Cell Sciences
- Cellular and Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
- Genetics & Development
- Microbiology & Immunology
- Neurobiology & Behavior
- Nutritional & Metabolic Biology
- Pathobiology & Mechanisms of Disease
- Pharmacology & Molecular Signaling
- Systems Biology
- Umbrella Program
Our on-line application for fall 2021 admission will be available mid-September. We ask that we receive your completed application, including all test scores, no later than December 1, 2020. Although we may evaluate any application received after this date, it is to your advantage to submit your application by the deadline, even if it is not complete at that time. We do not offer spring term admission.
Our programs are designed to provide maximum flexibility in selecting a mentor and research area. If you are undecided as to which program best serves your needs, you are encouraged to contact the individual Program Directors.
Columbia University will only accept applications to one PhD Program for any given term, regardless of the location of that program. For example, students cannot apply to both the PhD Program in Biological Sciences and one of the PhD Programs in Biomedical Sciences even though they are on two different campuses. Applicants to the PhD Programs in Biomedical Sciences will have the option of identifying a second program which will only be considered if the first program declines the admissions review.
The $110 application fee can be paid by credit card at the time of application or subsequently via check (payable to Columbia University). Please do not send international postal coupons. Our programs will waive the application fee for: (1) US citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled in a US college/university who demonstrate financial need. Please provide a letter verifying your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) signed by a financial aid officer at the institute you currently attend; (2) participants in the following programs: AmeriCorps, Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar, Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program, MARC, RISE, NIH PREP, Peace Corps, Teach for America, etc. Please provide a letter from the program officer confirming your participation in the program; and (3) applicants who are currently serving in the US military. Please email your request to BiomedicalSciences@cumc.columbia.edu.
Once submitted, your application fee is not refundable. The only exception to this policy is when duplicate payment is submitted for the same application for the same admissions cycle.
If you have questions about this policy or believe you are eligible for a refund, please contact us at BiomedicalSciences@cumc.columbia.edu.
To expedite review, copies of transcripts should be uploaded as part of the on-line application. These may be unofficial copies. The application will also contain instructions for the electronic submission of letters of recommendation. Official copies of transcripts will be requested for accepted students.
Instructions for Submission of Transcripts When Accepting an Offer of Admission
- Electronic transcripts: Receiving electronic transcripts via a point-to-point system that bypasses the student (using vendors such as Parchment, Credentials Solutions, and the National Student Clearinghouse) enhances efficiency and ensures authenticity of materials. All admitted students who have attended a college or university in the United States must submit electronic transcripts directly from their school, delivered directly to BiomedicalSciences@cumc.columbia.edu.
- Paper transcripts: If an admitted student’s U.S.-based institution does not offer electronic delivery, the student must write to the respective Columbia admissions office with the link to their prior U.S. institution’s webpage concerning transcript orders to confirm that paper is the only option and obtain permission to submit a paper transcript. If a paper transcript is the only option, it must be sent directly from the other institution to Columbia, and not delivered or forwarded via the student.
- International institutions outside of the People’s Republic of China/PRC: Admitted students who attended international institutions must submit an electronic transcript to BiomedicalSciences@cumc.columbia.edu if their school offers secure online delivery. If the school cannot send transcripts electronically through a secure online system, they must contact World Education Services (WES) and order a course-by-course evaluation and International Credential Advantage Package to be mailed directly to Office of Graduate Affairs, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, 630 W 168th Street, P&S 3-435, Box 108, New York, NY 10032.
- International institutions in the PRC: Admitted students who attended institutions in the PRC can access a unique resource through CHESICC, the credentials verification service affiliated with the PRC’s Ministry of Education, to arrange for submission of a “Verification Report of China Higher Education Student’s Academic Transcripts” AND a “Verification Report of China Higher Education Qualification Certificate”. These should be delivered electronically to BiomedicalSciences@cumc.columbia.edu.
To direct GRE and/or TOEFL scores to us, specify Institution Code 2619 on your Education Testing Service (ETS) forms. No department code is necessary for reporting. All tests should be taken at least six weeks before the application deadline to ensure timely receipt by the admissions office.
- Application available: Mid-September
- Application deadline: December 1st
- Admission interviews: January - March
- Initial round of acceptance: Late-February
- First-year classes start: Late-August
Biomedical Informatics is the only program that, in addition to a PhD program, also offers a terminal Master’s program. This program is not part of the Coordinated Doctoral Programs. However, the online application should also be used to apply to this Master’s Program.
To apply for admission to the MD/PhD program, do NOT use the online PhD application form. Please visit :
Columbia University Irving Medical Center - MD/PhD Program
Applications and information for the Department of Biological Sciences and all other doctoral programs of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences that are not at located at Columbia University Irving Medical Center should be obtained from:
107 Low Library
New York, NY 10027