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PhD Admission Requirements

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.

Standardized test scores: GRE or MCAT scores are not required but will be evaluated if provided.

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
  • 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

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 March 15th.  Apply early. Admissions are offered on a rolling basis. Apply here: applygrad.tulane.edu/apply

Personal Interview:
Interviews will only be offered to the most competitive candidates for admission. In ordinary circumstances, prospects are 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.  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interviews of all applicants will be virtual. Interviews are held between January through March. Again, apply early. 

Information Needed for Application

You will need to enter/upload the following information to submit your application:

  • Enter Biographical Information
  • Upload a resume/CV
  • Upload a personal statement (1-2 pages)
  • Enter academic history from all colleges and universities attended
  • Request that official transcripts be sent to Tulane BMS program, bms@tulane.edu
  • Request three Letters of Recommendation, preferably from academic instructors, or researchers

Your application will be reviewed when the following information is received

  • Official transcripts from all prior colleges or universities.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL score, IELTS score, or other evidence of English proficiency for international applicants (see non-native English speakers below)
  • Evaluated transcripts from an evaluation service for international students (see International Students below).

Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we may review your application with copies of official documents, but will not offer acceptance until all official documents are received.  International applicants whose highest degree is from an international university must have those transcripts evaluated by a service (www.naces.org) and the evaluation must be received before the admissions committee will review your application.

Application Fee

There is no application fee

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should describe your purpose in pursuing a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences. Include an explanation of any past research and future research interests, indicating how they are related to your professional goals. Please limit your statement to approximately two pages. You will also be asked to include the names of any Tulane School of Medicine faculty members whose research is of interest.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must request three letters of recommendation 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. The letters should address your potential to succeed in Tulane’s Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences.

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


Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate study programs are required. Electronic official transcripts from the school or a transcript service are preferred, sent to bms@tulane.edu.  We also accept mailed sealed official transcripts, our institution code is 6178. Photocopied transcripts, faxed transcripts, and student copies of transcripts are not acceptable for admission. Final transcripts indicating receipt of degree must be submitted before the beginning of the incoming semester. Email and postal mail addresses are provided in the application system. International applicants whose highest degree is from an international university must have those transcripts evaluated by a service (www.naces.org) and the evaluation must be received before the admissions committee will review your application.

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. 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.

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. Typically, about one third of our incoming students are international students.

Applicants whose highest degree is from a foreign university must have their credentials evaluated. This evaluation is required even if the primary language of instruction is English and/or the school uses a 4 point grading scale. Applications will not be reviewed without this evaluation.  There are no exceptions. The university will accept evaluations done by any credentialing agency listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services web site (http://www.naces.org). Tulane does not have a preference for which credentialing agency you use.

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.

Admitted international applicants will be asked to complete a form regarding funds verification and submit copies of passport and visa if applicable. Once required information is received, The Center for International Students and Scholars will contact admitted students to prepare an I-20.