Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

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Frequently Asked Questions


1. What programs are offered through the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) Graduate Program?

The BBS Program offers Ph.D. degrees in 5 graduate fields.

2. Is there an application fee? 
Yes, there is a $95 nonrefundable application fee. In cases of extreme financial need, you may apply for a fee waiver here.

3. Where do I send my application materials? 
All application materials should be uploaded online at the Cornell Graduate School application here

4. Is there a letter of recommendation form? 

Yes, this is all located in the online application here. CBS, Immunology & Infectious Disease, MIP, Pharmacology, and ZWC all require 2 letters of recommendation.

5. What is the ETS institution code for the Cornell Graduate School? 
2098

6. How important is the GRE? 
The GRE is important, but there are other factors that also play a role in admissions (letters of recommendation, grades, CV, etc.).

7. Is there a minimum GRE score?  
Admissions Committees generally look for a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 308 (1200 if you took the test prior to December 2011).  If your scores are slightly lower, don’t panic; you still may be considered for admission based on strengths in other areas of your application.

8. Where can I find additional information about the GRE?
You can visit the ETS Web site for specific information regarding the GRE test and score reporting.

9. Is there an application deadline?
Yes, December 1st annually.

10. Can I apply to more than one program? 
You may indicate a second choice field of study on your online application. If you are declined by your first choice you may request to be reviewed by your second choice field of study.

11. What funding is provided by the BBS Program? Are all students eligible for funding?
An applicant to the Biological & Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program is automatically considered for funding.  All students admitted into the BBS Program are guaranteed funding for the duration of your program, contingent upon satisfactory performance toward your degree completion.  Funding, in this context, is defined as full tuition and student health insurance payments and a living stipend.  Stipend levels are set by the BBS Program on an annual basis; the stipend level for 2013-14 is $30,533/12 months. 

12. Are there additional requirements for international students? 
Yes. If your first language is not English, you are required to take the TOEFL test.  This test must have been taken within two years of the application. TOEFL minimum sub-scores for each element can be found here.

13. Is there on-campus student housing? Is there support for off-campus student housing?
Yes, University Housing is available. Yes, support for off-campus housing is available.

14. How many graduate students are enrolled at Cornell?
Cornell has over 7000 graduate students with over 150 of those students enrolled in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) Graduate Program. During the Fall 2012 BBS admissions cycle; 165 students applied, 19 students were admitted, and 10 students matriculated. Additional statistics on Cornell graduate students can be found here.

15. Can I be admitted without an official GRE or TOEFL score (if applicable)?  
All application requirements must be submitted for a student to be accepted into a degree program. Unofficial scores can be used in the initial review process, but in order to matriculate official GRE and TOEFL scores must be submitted to the Graduate School (code 2098).