...at the School of Medicine
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Success in a Ph.D. program requires that you are ready for independent study. One of the surprising and delightful parts of graduate work is that it is largely dependent on your motivation to work hard, your ability to communicate productively with others in a team, your resourcefulness in finding ways to solve problems, and your ability to persevere. Graduate research requires that you acquire the skills to ask and answer your own scientific questions.
Your application will be reviewed by a panel of experienced research scientists who represent the participating PhD programs in the BSTP. Characteristics of promising young scientists include motivation and experience. Research experience is perhaps the most important pre-requisite for biomedical graduate study. You need to be confident that you enjoy the lab environment, that you work well independently, and that you have some technical ability.
We'd like to know what interests you in science and why those aspects are exciting. We would also like to know what types of research experiences you have had. Did you do an honor's thesis? Have you contributed to a publication? Did you work in a lab after graduation or earn a MS? You might tell us about these activities in your essay, and have the professor who guided the work write a letter of recommendation.
Grades and test scores give us an idea of your academic background and achievement. We do not have minimum grades or test scores. In recent years our students had general GRE scores averaging in about the 70th percentile, and undergraduate GPAs of 3.4 - 3.6. We do not require a GRE subject test, but we're happy to see the scores if you take the test.