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Online Application

Our online application for Fall 2025 opens on August 1.

The above link takes you to the Vanderbilt Graduate School application and you have to specify which program within the Graduate School you are applying.

  • Under Area of Study, select “Biomedical and Biological Sciences” or “Interdisciplinary Programs”.
  • From the Program Selection menu, select the “Quantitative and Chemical Biology Program”.

Application Instructions:

The application will include:

  • Personal history: education, work, publications, experiences (which are research experiences and/or work experiences)
    • Under Experiences, be sure to indicate the number of research hours for any research experience.
  • CV or Resume (optional)
    • A CV or resume is not required for the application. However, if you would like to upload one, you will see a place to upload it under “Experiences”. Please still complete the “Experiences” tab of the application, even if you upload a CV or resume.
  • Statement of Purpose
    • Please upload a PDF. Once you submit the application, you may not see this as being present in the application. This is an issue with the software, and it will be present but if you are concerned you can reach out for confirmation.
  • Please upload your unofficial transcripts into the application; you will not need to send in your official transcripts until requested by the program.
    • For international applicants, a WES transcript is not required but can be helpful if you have it.
    • If your school does not calculate Class Rank, leave it blank
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • You will be asked to provide the e-mail addresses of at least three recommenders. Vanderbilt will contact your recommenders by e-mail and provide them with instructions on how to submit their recommendations online. You may submit up to five recommenders. Please note that we cannot edit or change any submitted recommender information, so please confirm that recommender email addresses are correct before you submit your application.
    • If your recommender is uploading letters from Interfolio, please see the instructions on the Graduate School Site.
  • The GRE is OPTIONAL/not required.
    • If you are submitting GRE scores and would like to report your official scores, the GRE institution code for Vanderbilt is 1871. GRE scores older than five-years old will not be accepted, however, we are happy to accept unofficial, self-reported scores.
  • Our application fee is $95.
    • We have a robust waiver process as a part of this in order to ensure that we continue to recruit those students coming from groups that could be disadvantaged by the fee.
    • All individuals who have performed research funded by a US entity will be granted an automatic fee waiver. This waiver box is on the Experiences page, and applies to US citizens, permanent residents, and international applicants who qualify. More information is found below.
  • TOEFL, IELTS or Duo-Lingo test scores if the international applicant graduated from non-English degree granting institution. Unofficial self-reported scores are accepted for the application.
    • If English is your native language or if you graduated from a University where instruction was in English, you do not have to submit language proficiency scores. Once you upload your Academic History and transcripts, it will be determined whether you would have that requirement waived.
    • We do not have a stated minimum score.

Please note that applications will be reviewed by the IGP admissions committee only if they are officially submitted. Once you fill out the application, upload your Statement of Purpose, transcripts, test results (if applicable), and complete the recommender information, you can submit your application. You do not have to wait for recommendation letters to be uploaded in order to submit the application; as the letters are uploaded they will automatically populate your application.

An application is COMPLETE after it is “Officially Submitted” (per step 3 of the application instructions) AND all supporting documents have been submitted. Only complete applications will be reviewed, so be sure to check on the status of your recommendation letter submissions before the December 1 application deadline.

If you have difficulty uploading your transcripts or with your recommenders receiving email links to upload their letters, contact Stephanie Richards via email, or phone 615-343-6111.

All applicants who are not selected to interview will be notified by March 15.

Access the Online Application here

Graduate School Application Fee and Fee Waiver

There will be no application fee for anyone who has performed research funded by a US entity, public or private. Simply check the box on the application asking if you have performed research and you will not be asked to pay a fee.

Application Fee

The Graduate School application fee is $95.00.  After you submit your application online, you will see instructions to pay the fee with a credit or debit card via a secure payment portal. If you submit applications to more than one program (maximum of two per year), only a single fee will be charged. In addition to fee waivers being granted based on the criteria below, a small number of additional waivers will be granted at the discretion of the program and school based on recruitment priorities. If you are not covered by any of the categories listed below but feel your circumstances may warrant a fee waiver, please contact us at We will be happy to discuss your situation and direct you to the appropriate person.

A candidate’s eligibility for admission will not be impacted by an application for or receipt of a fee waiver.

Application Fee Waiver Eligibility

In accordance with the interests of the US congress and its commitment to training well qualified and highly diverse students for careers in the biomedical sciences, fee waivers can be obtained for any student who has performed biological or biomedically-oriented research which has been supported by the NIH, the NSF, or any other agency or private foundation within the US.

Waivers of the application fee will be considered upon request for US citizens and US permanent residents1 if they have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 in their last program of enrollment AND meet at least one of the criteria below:

  • Demonstrated financial need in the past year (Pell Grant eligibility).
  • Participated in a designated Vanderbilt-sponsored program/activity in the past three years (see below*).
  • Participated in a designated fellowship, research, or training program in the past three years (see below**).
  • Current or former member of the United States Armed Forces.

1US permanent residents must provide proof of this status, such as a copy of a Green Card – Permanent Resident Card.  International applicants attending US colleges and universities are also eligible to apply for a fee waiver.

Extenuating circumstances
Students with extenuating circumstances can apply for waiver; explanation with documentation must be provided with application.

Vanderbilt Sponsored Programs
Students that are members of the following VU sponsored programs are eligible for a fee waiver.

  • Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program
  • Vanderbilt NSF REU in Chemical Biology
  • Vanderbilt NSF REU in Nanoscale Science and Engineering
  • Vanderbilt NSF REU in Physics
  • Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy
  • Vanderbilt National Name Exchange (NNE) Diversity Fair
  • Vanderbilt-hosted recruitment event
  • VU-EDGE Pre-VU PhD Recruitment Event

Fellowship, Research, and Training Programs
Students that are members of the following VU-associated Fellowship, Research, and Training Programs are eligible for a fee waiver. Documentation demonstrating that student is/was member of the  VU-associated program must accompany the waiver request:

  • California Polytechnic State University, Pomona Undergraduate Research Program
  • Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences (DNIMAS)
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMSP)
  • Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD)
  • Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP)
  • Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
  • NIH/NIGMS Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)
  • Mellon Mays Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF)
  • National Name Exchange (NNE)
  • Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Program (RISE)
  • Ronald McNair Scholars Program
  • The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM fellows and associate fellows)
  • University of Baltimore Maryland County Meyerhoff Scholars Program
  • University of Central Florida Academic Advancement Programs

Discretionary Fee Waivers for International Applicants who do not qualify for the Research Fee waiver:

Only a small number of waivers are granted at the discretion of the program, based on recruitment priorities and other circumstances. 

  • You may request a fee waiver directly from us only after you have submitted your completed application and confirmed that a fee is due. 
  • The application must be submitted and complete, including letters of recommendation, before the request will be reviewed by the program.
  • You must submit your request prior to the application deadline and include documentation to support the reason for the request.  

Please visit our graduate school application fee information website for more information.

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.