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Admissions FAQ's

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 undergraduate GPA of our incoming students is 3.7.

When is the application deadline?
The program will continue reviewing applications through December 15. However, we encourage you to submit your application as early as possible, as the Admissions Committee will begin reviewing files as they are received - it is beneficial to apply and interview early.

How can I find out if my application and supporting documents have been received?
Applicants may log into their 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
M240 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 teleconference. Most interviews take place between 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.

Can I get a refund on my application?
The application fee is non-refundable.

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, in a sealed and signed envelope with the application, or from a college career office.

Which standardized tests does IBGP require?
IBGP requires the TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo for students for whom English is not the native language. We will waive the TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo for students who have received a degree in the U.S. or other approved English-instructed institutions. Effective August 2018, the IBGP no longer requires GRE scores.