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Basic Biomedical Sciences Requirements

The requirements below apply to the following programs in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology
Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
Cancer Biology
Computational Biomedical Sciences and Engineering
Immunology & Microbiology
Translational Science

When you apply to the Umbrella Admissions program, you will ultimately select one of these graduate programs as your home. However, our faculty's research programs are highly collaborative comprising many interdisciplinary research communities. We highlight several of these research communities here

Requirements for Admission


Each candidate for admission is expected to have a bachelor’s degree in one of the physical or biological sciences. Senior undergraduates may be admitted pending successful completion of their baccalaureate programs. While no minimum grade point average is required, students applying for admission should have demonstrated strong performance in their undergraduate studies, particularly in their scientific coursework. Additionally, applicants are expected to have had significant lab research experience. 

Recommended Prerequisites

  • Mathematics – One year of calculus, including differential and integral calculus; 
  • Biology – One year of basic course(s) in general biology, zoology or botany 
  • Chemistry – One year of general chemistry and one year of organic chemistry 
  • Biochemistry – One course of general biochemistry 
  • Physics – One year of general physics 
  • English – All applicants must have proficiency in reading and writing in the English language. Applicants whose language of instruction has not been English must supply their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) results. A score above 250 on the computer test or 600 on the paper test or 100 on the internet-based test is recommended.

Application for Admission

Successful applicants are admitted to the Basic Biomedical Sciences (BBS) division of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), rather than to a specific PhD program. The BBS Graduate Admissions Committee, comprising GSBS faculty and students, is responsible for the initial selection of applicants for interview. The wider GSBS faculty will evaluate applicants who are invited to visit for interviews. International applicants are not required to visit UMMS but may be interviewed using tele- or video-conferencing. Accepted applicants will receive official notification from the dean. No other statements, verbal or in writing, will constitute acceptance into the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Required Documents

A complete application for admission must include all of the following:

  • Completed application for admission.
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended*
  • The Personal Statement is a very important part of your application. It is used to evaluate your scientific interests as well as your research background and knowledge. The statement should be less than or equal to 1,200 words (or 7,500 characters with spaces) and include descriptions of:
    1. Your reasons for pursuing graduate studies.
    2. Your specific scientific interests and experiences (the Admissions Committee is very interested in a brief discussion of the general importance of the work you performed and the hypothesis being tested, as well as a brief description of the experimental design and methodologies used).
    3. Your possible career plans
  • Results of the TOEFL or IELTS if you do not have a degree from a school where the language of instruction is English.* 
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to assess the applicant’s past academic and research performance and prospective success in graduate school. Recommenders must use the online recommendation form contained within the online application.
  • Resume
  • Application fee of $80.

Applications cannot be considered until all of these materials have been received.

*Applicants are required to upload unofficial transcripts as part of the application process. TOEFL or IELTS scores should be entered on the application. Incoming students must submit official transcripts to the Office of the Registrar prior to matriculation, and official TOEFL or IELTS score reports to: Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Admissions, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Room S1-824, Worcester, MA 01655-0002.