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The PhD program trains students for careers in research and teaching. In addition to a wide range of courses, the PhD program offers informal but intensive instruction in laboratories and seminars, characterized by close contact between students and their faculty advisors. Biology is one of fourteen home programs  in the Biosciences, which span the School of Medicine and the School of Humanities and Sciences.

How to Apply

Application and Deadline

Applications to the Stanford Biology PhD Program must be made through Graduate Admissions by Tuesday, December 1, 2015. All transcripts and supporting documents must be submitted to the address below by the deadline in order for your application to be considered in the review process. In addition to the information below, please review the Graduate Admissions website prior to starting your application. Applications are considered for admission in Autumn Quarter only.


  • U.S. Bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent
  • Graduate application
  • Non-refundable application fee of $125
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (a maximum of six letters will be accepted)
  • Transcripts - Unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges you attended for one year or more must be uploaded to the online application and two official transcripts should be mailed directly to the Biosciences Admissions Office. Official transcripts do not need to be received by the December 1st deadline.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language (required for non-native English speakers)
  • A current Curriculum Vitae/Resume

General Admissions Information

Applications for the PhD program are processed by the Biosciences Admissions Office, not the Department of Biology. All materials should be uploaded electronically to the online application. Please arrange to have official transcripts mailed directly to the Biosciences Admissions Office:

Biosciences PhD Admissions Office
Stanford University
1265 Welch Road, MSOB X1C12
Stanford, CA 94305-5421

Certified electronic transcripts or other official electronic application materials should be sent to

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Application Status

To check the status/activity of your application materials, please log into your application account. There you will find the most current status of all your application materials. You will also be able to send reminders to those recommenders who have not yet submitted their letter of recommendation.


We encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds to apply to our program.  This includes, but is not limited to, underrepresented minorities, women, as well as students with disadvantaged socio-economic or geographic backgrounds. Providing this information in the application assists the admissions committee in its goal of creating a diverse class. Please see the websites below for more information and resources.

Biology PhD Program General Info

Inquiries about the PhD in Biology should be directed to