Graduate Admissions

Helpful Guides for Applying to the Biology PhD Program

Applying to Biology Quick Guide

Tips for Applying to the CMOB Track

Tips for Applying to the Eco/Evo Track

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

Stanford Biology PhD Program applications are made through Graduate Admissions. The application deadline for Autumn Quarter 2022 matriculation has passed. The application for the Autumn 2023 cohort will be available in September 2022.  The application deadline this year will be November 29, 2022.  Please review the Graduate Admissions website prior to starting your application. Applications are considered for admission in Autumn Quarter only. 

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.


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  • U.S. Bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent
  • Stanford Graduate application
  • Non-refundable application fee of $125 (or fee waiver found here
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (a maximum of six letters will be accepted)
  • Transcripts - Unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges you've attended for one year or more must be uploaded to the online application.  Graduate Admissions only requires admitted applicants who accept the offer of admission to submit official transcripts that shows their degree conferral. Please do not send or have sent any official transcripts to us at this time.
  • TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language (required for non-native English speakers)
  • A current Curriculum Vitae/Resume

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Knight-Hennessy Scholars cultivates and supports a highly engaged, multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural community of graduate students from across Stanford University, and delivers a diverse collection of educational experiences, preparing graduate students to address complex challenges facing the world. Knight-Hennessy Scholars participate in an experiential leadership development program and receive funding for up to three years of graduate study at Stanford. This year, the program will award up to 100 high-achieving students  to pursue a graduate education at Stanford, including PhD's in Biology. To be considered, you must apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars and separately apply to the Biology department. The application for the Autumn 2023 KHS cohort is now open. The deadline for this year is October 12, 2022. Please be sure to check their website for upcoming admissions events. 

Biology PhD Program General Information


Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging

We encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds to apply to our program. While race and ethnicity are commonly cited in relation to diversity, we recognize that there are many different aspects to identity, including culture, socioeconomic and educational background, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, life experiences, hobbies, and interests. 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.