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Prospective Students


The BRET Office handles all aspects of the recruitment, application and admissions processes for graduate programs in the biomedical sciences.  The application cycle for admission into our programs in the 2022 fall term is currently closed.  Our next admission cycle will begin on August 1, 2022 for those who are seeking admission for the fall 2023 term.

It is our goal that all individuals regardless of socioeconomic status are encouraged to apply for consideration for one of our programs.

Explore your passion

PhD admission programs include the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP), the Quantitative Chemical and Physical Biology Program (QCB), and the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

The Initiative to Maximize Student Diversity (IMSD) exists to increase the number of PhDs awarded to graduate students in biomedical research who are underrepresented in medicine. Applications are made through the IGP and QCB mechanisms according to the applicant’s interest, but during the application process, applicants can elect IMSD distinction. 

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Students entering the IGP or QCB take one semester of core coursework and a semester of individualized coursework while rotating through four laboratories of their choice. The main goal of the IGP or QCB year is not to absorb vast quantities of facts, but to learn how to be a creative and analytical thinker who can gain information as needed from the scientific literature. At the end of the IGP or QCB year, students select a training program in one of the participating programs.

The MSTP (formerly known as the MD/PhD program) provides students with an integrated curriculum that features a strong core education in medicine and intensive training in scientific inquiry. Successful completion of the program leads to both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The Vanderbilt MSTP builds on the existing strengths of Vanderbilt University to meet national needs for well-trained basic and clinical biomedical investigators.

Explore your passion.

Vanderbilt is home to Biomedical PhD programs ranging from Biostatistics to Neuroscience to Epidemiology. While admission into many of our Biomedical PhD programs is through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) and Quantitative and Chemical Biology Program (QCB), we also have many programs for which you can apply directly. Please see the chart below for information on admission procedures and please see our “PhD Programs” page for more program-specific information.

Each symbol () below represents the Program that admits certain degree departments.






Biological Sciences
Biomedical Informatics
Cancer Biology
Cell & Developmental
Chemical & Physical Biology
Hearing & Speech
Health Policy and Health Services Research
Human Genetics
Microbe-Host Interactions
Molecular Pathology & Immunology
Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
Physics & Astronomy

Vanderbilt University welcomes applications from all individuals who come from diverse populations that are under-represented in science or academia, including but not limited to racial and ethnic minorities, individuals from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, and individuals with physical disabilities.