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Graduate School Admission

Our online application for entrance in fall 2023 is now closed. We look forward to your application next year!

Admission Programs

Which Program is right for me?

The training programs in the Biomedical Sciences at Vanderbilt University are designed to prepare students with the foundational knowledge required in each discipline and to hone the analytical skills necessary for conducting insightful and creative research. Didactic coursework in the fall semester provides competency-based training in core disciplines that serve as a prerequisite for performing life-long cutting-edge research in the molecular and cellular sciences. Small group discussion sections complement didactic training to learn how to critically analyze the primary literature and to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of the major experimental approaches that underlie discovery-based science. Entry into the Ph.D. programs in the Biomedical Sciences at Vanderbilt is designed to provide a personalized, flexible approach to accommodate a wide range of educational backgrounds and specific interests via several choices:

Students with traditional backgrounds in biology and/or chemistry should apply to the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP).  The IGP is an interdepartmental program encompassing 11 graduate programs. IGP students take the fall foundational course described above followed by individually tailored, specialized modules and electives in the spring semester. Students rotate through four laboratories during the first academic year to identify a thesis project and mentors. Rotation choices provide the flexibility to sample laboratories in completely different fields or conduct all 4 rotations within the same discipline.
Students with educational backgrounds in the quantitative sciences such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, or computer sciences should apply to the Quantitative and Chemical Biology (QCB) Program. QCB is a multidisciplinary program introducing elements of biology to students with backgrounds in the quantitative sciences wishing to pursue a doctoral degree at the interface of the chemical, physical, and biological sciences. The curriculum prepares students for research careers in chemical biology, imaging sciences, molecular and cellular biophysics, or structural biology. Previous didactic training in the biological sciences is not required for entry into the QCB.
The majority of candidates seeking training in the Biomedical Sciences at Vanderbilt will find the IGP or QCB programs ideal for developing skills needed for lifelong, evolving research careers. However, if the descriptions of the IGP and QCB programs do not fit your immediate training or long term career goals, please contact Dr. Stephanie Richards via email or at (615-343-6111) to discuss how Vanderbilt can meet your needs for graduate education.

Please find additional information about applying to the IGP on our Frequently Asked Questions  page.

Admission of International Students

International students may apply to the IGP. All international applicants will be considered for full funding and support. While spots in the program are competitive, we highly encourage you to apply.

Admissions Timeline

Admission to the IGP is granted for the Fall semester only. There are no spring admissions.

August 1  Online Application available online for the following Fall semester
December 1 Deadline for applications
January-March On-campus interviews for selected candidates
April 15 Deadline for candidates to accept offers to the graduate programs


Only completed applications will be reviewed. An application is complete after it is “Officially Submitted” (per step 3 of the application instructions) AND all supporting documents have been submitted. Please also note that transcripts must be uploaded online and NOT submitted by mail. If you have difficulty uploading your transcripts, contact Stephanie Richards via email, or phone 615-343-1908.  All applicants who are not selected to interview will be notified in March.


At Vanderbilt University, we hold the sincere belief that fostering the advancement of and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff benefits all members of our community. To bring to life our vision of inclusive excellence, we are intentional about recruiting, retaining, and supporting diverse and underrepresented groups of students. We encourage individuals from all populations to apply to our graduate programs. The university does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, socio-economic background, or disability.