Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I am a competitive applicant?
There are many applicants for each available position in the graduate program.
Several criteria are used to assess an applicant's potential for success. All
successful applicants to the IBGP have research experience; most applicants
have spent at least a year in a laboratory. Letters of recommendation from
faculty members are very important, particularly the letter from the research
advisor. The applicant's personal statement, especially the research
description, is also heavily weighed in assessing an applicant's potential for
graduate study. Strong performance in undergraduate science courses (chemistry
and physics as well as biology) is expected. The average GRE scores of
the entering class are 1275 Verbal+Quantitative combined and 5.0 Analytical
Writing; the average undergraduate GPA of our incoming students is 3.6.
How can I find out if my application and supporting documents have been
Applicants may log into YOUR APPLICATION "Check Status" to
see if supporting documents (i.e., transcripts, letters of recommendation, and
application fees) have been received. The admissions office will post your
documents to your application page as soon as possible. We request that you
check the status of your application online PRIOR TO contacting
the Graduate Studies Office.
Where supporting documents should be sent?
All application related materials for the graduate program should be sent to:
University of Pittsburgh
School of Medicine
Interdisciplinary Biomedical Science Graduate Program
Graduate Studies Office
524 Scaife Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261-0001
When will I know if I've been accepted?
The Admissions Committee arranges to interview all applicants whom they are
considering for admission. Interviews of overseas applicants may be conducted
by phone. Most interviews take place between late January through March.
Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis between February 1 and April 15. All
offer letters will be sent by mail before April 15.
What is my application fee?
The application fee is $50, which is due before we can begin processing your
application. The fee can be in the form of a check or money order made payable
to "The University of Pittsburgh," or can be paid by credit card online.
Is it possible for me to obtain a waiver of the application fee?
We regret that we cannot waive the application fee for international
applicants, U.S. citizens, and permanent residents.
What if my letter writer does not use the recommendation form?
While we prefer to receive recommendation letters electronically, we will
accept letters without the form if the letter comes directly from the letter
writer, or in a sealed and signed envelope with the application, or from a
college career office.
Which standardized tests does IBGP require?
IBGP requires the general GRE for all applicants and the TOEFL or IELTS for
students for whom English is not the native language. We will waive the
TOEFL/IELTS for students who have received a degree in the U.S. or other
approved English-instructed institution. IBGP recommends but does not require
the GRE subject test.
What if my GRE scores cannot be reported by the December 15 deadline?
We will accept GRE scores after December 15 if the rest of the application is
complete. However, applications will not be considered until the scores are
received. Applicants may email the unofficial results of a computer-based GRE
test directly to the Graduate Studies Office (firstname.lastname@example.org);
however, no action may be taken on the application until the official scores
What if I took the GRE more than 5 years ago or the TOEFL more than 2 years
ETS will not issue GRE scores that are more than 5 years old or TOEFL
scores that are more than 2 years old. Applicants who have expired scores must
retake the test(s).
Will you accept MCAT scores instead of GRE Scores?
We do not accept MCAT scores in place of GRE scores.