FAQs

How do I know if I am a competitive applicant?

There are many applicants for each available position in the graduate program. Several criteria are used to assess an applicant's potential for success. All successful applicants to the IBGP have research experience; most applicants have spent at least a year in a laboratory. Letters of recommendation from faculty members are very important, particularly the letter from the research advisor. The applicant's personal statement, especially the research description, is also heavily weighed in assessing an applicant's potential for graduate study. Strong performance in undergraduate science courses (chemistry and physics as well as biology) is expected. The average GRE scores of the entering class are 317 Verbal+Quantitative combined and 4.5 Analytical Writing; the average undergraduate GPA of our incoming students is 3.7.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is December 1.  The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing files as they are received so it is beneficial to apply and interview early.

How can I find out if my application and supporting documents have been received?

Applicants may log into YOUR APPLICATION "Check Status" to see if supporting documents (i.e., transcripts, letters of recommendation, and application fees) have been received. The admissions office will post your documents to your application page as soon as possible. We request that you check the status of your application online PRIOR TO contacting the Graduate Studies Office.

Where supporting documents should be sent?

All application related materials for the graduate program should be sent to:

University of Pittsburgh
School of Medicine Interdisciplinary Biomedical Science Graduate Program
Graduate Studies Office
524 Scaife Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261-0001

When will I know if I've been accepted?

The Admissions Committee arranges to interview all applicants whom they are considering for admission. Interviews of overseas applicants may be conducted by teleconference. Most interviews take place between January through March. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis between February 1 and April 15. All offer letters will be sent by mail before April 15.

What is my application fee?

The application fee is $50, which is due before we can begin processing your application. The fee can be in the form of a check or money order made payable to "The University of Pittsburgh," or can be paid by credit card online.

Is it possible for me to obtain a waiver of the application fee?

We are happy to offer a fee waiver to applicants who have participated in the following program for underrepresented minorities in science or have attended any regional or national meeting for the following underrepresented minorities:

MARC program, MBRS program, McNair program, Meyerhoff program, RISE program, ABRCMS, & SACNAS.

Can I get a refund on my application?

The application fee is non-refundable.

What if my letter writer does not use the recommendation form?

While we prefer to receive recommendation letters electronically, we will accept letters without the form if the letter comes directly from the letter writer, or in a sealed and signed envelope with the application, or from a college career office.

Which standardized tests does IBGP require?

IBGP requires the general GRE for all applicants and the TOEFL or IELTS for students for whom English is not the native language. We will waive the TOEFL/IELTS for students who have received a degree in the U.S. or other approved English-instructed institution.

What if my GRE scores cannot be reported by the deadline?

We will accept GRE scores if the rest of the application is complete. Self-reported scores will be sufficient for the committee to review your file.  Upon receiving an offer, your self-reported score will be verified with your official submitted score.

What if I took the GRE more than 5 years ago or the TOEFL more than 2 years ago?

ETS will not issue GRE scores that are older than 5 years (60 months) or TOEFL scores that are older than 2 years (24 months). Applicants who have expired scores must retake the test(s).

Will you accept MCAT scores instead of GRE Scores?

We do not accept MCAT scores in place of GRE scores.