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Undergraduate Studies

  • The CSD Program requires a baccalaureate degree (BS or BA) with a 3.0 (out of 4.0) Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • In addition, the CSD Admissions Committee reviews your completed coursework to determine if each candidate has sufficient background to pursue our doctoral degree
  • Specifically, candidates must have taken Organic Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Physics and Calculus
  • Coursework in two or more of the following subjects is recommended and certainly enhances your application: cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, molecular biology, molecular genetics, neurobiology, immunology, and physiology

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The GRE General and subject tests are recommended, but not required for application to the CSD Program. For applicants who submit GRE test results, competitive scores are typically greater than 300, combined, with a minimum Analytical Writing score of 3.5. To send scores directly to CSD, please designate GRE code 4875.​

Research Experience

While not required, research experience is highly recommended. This type of real world experience is extremely valuable in providing insight to both the Admissions Committee and the candidate as to how a budding scientist (you!) responds to the rigors and rewards of scientific endeavor.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for your application to be considered complete, and thus be reviewed by the CSD Admissions Committee. You may request and have the letters completed on-line; when you apply, follow the instructions in the on-line application. However, you may still use paper recommendations and snail mail by downloading the Request for Recommendation form in the on-line application. Either way, these letters are important, and are key to the Admissions Committees evaluation of you. Thus, you should select faculty who know not only how well you have performed in classes, but can talk about your research experience and the likelihood of your future success as a scientist.

International Applicants

International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency with a minimum score of 550 on the paper version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or a score of 213 on the computerized version of the TOEFL. In addition, to obtain a visa if admitted, you must complete a financial affidavit when you apply, showing adequate financial resources to live and study in the United States for one year.