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» PhD Admissions Standards
» Eligibility
» Application Fee
» Personal Statement


» Letters of Recommendation
» Transcripts
» GRE Scores


» Non-Native English Speakers
» International Students
» Special Master's Students

Apply to the BMS Graduate Program


PhD Admissions Standards

The BMS PhD Admissions Committee conducts a holistic review of the total application, evaluating applicants using indicators of academic excellence and the potential for educational and professional success. This process relies upon the comprehensive assessment of a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures. Holistic review recognizes that an applicant possesses strengths and weakness that must be evaluated in relation to one another and ensures that an applicant is neither accepted nor denied admission based on a single parameter.

Applications for admission will be assessed on the basis of both achievement and potential for success, within the broader context of an applicant’s experiences, opportunities, and challenges. Strong applicants will not only possess competitive academic qualifications for admission, but will demonstrate the ability to contribute to the academic environment, complete the graduate degree program, and ultimately, have a successful research career. GRE scores are not required this year, but will be evaluated if provided. Average GRE Verbal plus Quantitative scores for accepted applicants over the past three years was over 312, while analytic writing scores averaged 4.0.

A competitive candidate generally has documented evidence of academic excellence as demonstrated by several of the following:

  • GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) with a strong performance in upper-level science courses
  • GRE (combined quantitative and verbal) of at least 300
  • GRE Analytical Writing score of at least 3.5 (on a 6.0 scale)
  • Progression of academic performance over time
  • Rigorous curriculum in prior degree program(s)
  • Successful completion of a professional degree
  • Prior research experience
  • Strong written communication skills

Additional factors that will be considered as indicators of commitment to the degree program and overall potential for success include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

  • Leadership abilities
  • Relevant work experience
  • Focused talents/skills
  • Creativity in problem-solving
  • Educational and personal background
  • Work ethic

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Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Earn at least a baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited institution of higher education prior to the start of classes
  • Show a strong science coursework foundation
  • Demonstrate English language proficiency through standardized testing, if English is not your native language 

Application Deadlines:

PhD applications open on October 1st and close on April 1st. Competitive candidates for admission will normally be invited to visit New Orleans and Tulane University, tour the facilities, meet faculty and graduate students, and have a two-way interview with faculty of interest. Interviews of overseas applicants and potenttially all applicants will be conducted by video conference. Apply early. Interviews take place between late January and the end of March. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis. All offer letters will be sent before April 15

MS applications open in October and most close in July, although some close as late as August 1st. Please refer to the specific master's program website. The application system at will only allow creation of applications within the deadlines

Both PhD and Masters students apply through the "SLATE" online application system at ""

The following official documents must be received to consider your application complete:

  • Official transcripts from all prior colleges or universities.
  • Recommendations from three individuals, preferably academic instructors, who have direct knowledge of the applicant's academic abilities in science related fields.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required of all foreign applicants. The ETS Institutional code is 6178. There is no Department code.

All test scores must be submitted directly to the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences by ETS. We may review copies of official documents, but will not offer acceptance until all official documents are received.

Provisional admission may be granted to students who have not completed all the application requirements, e.g., the submission of acceptable  TOEFL scores. Probationary admission may be granted upon conditions which the applicant must fulfill in the first semester or first year of enrollment in order to have the probationary status changed to regular degree status.

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Application Fee

Applications for PhD and Masters' programs do not require payment of an application fee. Students may apply to more than one program

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Personal Statement

Applicants must prepare a statement of career objectives describing why they are interested in a particular field of study and why they would like to attend the applicable Tulane University, Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences. Students must upload the personal statement to the online application system.

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Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must request three letters of recommendation appraising your potential to succeed at Tulane’s Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences in the application system in order to be able to submit an application. Letters from professors who know your academic history and capabilities or researchers with whom you have worked are weighted much more heavily than friends, acquaintances or people you know in other capacities. 

Recommenders will receive and email with instructions for uploading their LOR into the application system along with a rating scale for other attributes.

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Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate study are required. The applicant is to gather all transcripts in sealed envelopes from the registrar of the issuing institution and send those unopened transcripts to the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences along with all other application materials. Photocopied transcripts, faxed transcripts, and student copies of transcripts are not acceptable. Final transcripts indicating receipt of degree must be submitted before the beginning of the incoming semester. Mail transcripts to:

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs
1430 Tulane Avenue, Mailcode #8656
New Orleans, LA 70112

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GRE Scores

Submission of GRE general scores is optional for application to the PhD program.  For GRE information, visit the GRE web site or contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS). When requesting ETS to send your score to the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, please use code 6178.

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Non-Native English Speakers

In addition to admissions requirements, applicants who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate an adequate command of the English language. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores or other evidence of English proficiency are required. For more information about the tests, visit the TOEFL or IELTS website or contact ETS. When requesting ETS to send your score to the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, please use code 6178. English language testing requirements are waived for applicants who have received a degree from an institution where instruction was conducted in English.

For the PhD program, minimum scores of 90 for the TOEFL or 7.0 overall band score for the IELTS are normally required. Applicants with lower scores will be evaluated based on their complete application package. An applicant whose competence in English is unproven or insufficient may be admitted with probationary status on the condition that competence will be proven or improved. The student may be required to prove competence by earning an acceptable score on a test of English (either TOEFL or IELTS). A student who scores below the acceptable level of competence may be required to register for less than a full graduate program and to take English as a Second Language instruction without credit until the ESL program director certifies the student's competence.

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International Students

The Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences does not set a specific number of International Students that it will admit each year, but instead weighs the applications of all applicants to select those who are the best qualified. About twenty-five percent of our students come from countries outside the United States every year.
For International applicants and other individuals living outside the United States, the interview process is usually conducted by telephone.

Applicants whose highest degree is from a foreign university must have their credentials evaluated. The university will accept evaluations done by any credentialing agency listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services web site ( 

PhD Students from outside the United States receive the same financial package as U.S. citizens. For more information on tuition scholarship and stipend, see Financial Aid.

The BMS Program Office will contact admitted international applicants regarding funds and visa paperwork. Once required information is received, The Center for International Students and Scholars will contact admitted students to prepare an I-20.

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Special Master's Students

Admission as a special student, non-degree status, ordinarily allows the student to register for a total of no more than nine semester hours of graduate credit.

The program will not consider any student for admission until all the following documents have been received:

  • Application information (must be submitted online)
  • An official copy of all post-secondary academic transcripts

After nine hours of graduate course work at Tulane have been completed, the student on special non-degree status may not register for additional graduate credit. A special student who wishes to be considered for admission to a degree program may reapply to the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences. (See requirements described under Admission to Degree Programs.) Upon the recommendation of the department chairperson and approval of the Assistant Dean, graduate-level course work done as a special student may be transferred for credit to a degree program.

The deadline for Special Student Registration is two weeks before the first day of the semester. All applications, transcripts and payments must be turned in before that time or the student will not be allowed to register for that term.

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