Requirements for Admission

Applicants are selected on the basis of their qualifications, without regard to sex, age, race, creed, national origin, or handicap. The School of Graduate Studies strongly welcomes and encourages applicants from ethnic groups underrepresented in science. Decisions regarding admission are based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, research experience, academic records, results of standardized tests, letters of recommendation, and a personal interview. Qualities such as interest, intellectual curiosity, perceptivity, and ability to reason are strongly considered, in addition to the academic record.

The School of Graduate Studies, as a unit of the State University of New York, gives preference for admission to residents of New York State. However, applications from out-of-state residents are very much encouraged. The school is also authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant foreign students with appropriate visas. Admission to the School of Graduate Studies is limited to students seeking the degree of PhD or MD/PhD for research in basic biological sciences, biomedical sciences and biomedical engineering.

Applications are reviewed by program-specific admissions committees. Generally, candidates for a doctoral degree are only admitted on a full-time basis. 

Members of the graduate faculty will sponsor students in their own fields of expertise, and application to the School of Graduate Studies implies willingness on the part of the candidate to work on subject matter that is relevant to ongoing faculty research at Downstate.

Graduate Students

Applicants should complete the BioMedCAS application which includes:  

  1. Responses to essay questions about research experience and interests.
  2. Unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate courses. Applicants are expected to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  3. Letters of recommendation from three or more persons familiar with the applicant's academic background and potential for research (sent electronically).
  4. Application fee of $83 charged by BioMedCas/Liaison.

NOTE: The GRE is not required for Ph.D. applicants effective for August 2023 admission.

The deadline for PhD applications is December 1, but we will review exceptional applications throughout the year. Graduate Assistantships as well as tuition scholarships are available to graduate students. Graduate Assistantships for the 2023-2024 academic year will be no less than $31,885/year for PhDs and MD/PhDs in the School of Graduate Studies.

MD/PhD Program

Students in this program work toward a combined MD/PhD degree, and they are alternately enrolled as students in either the College of Medicine or in the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants to this program apply for admission to the College of Medicine, and submit a supplemental application to the School of Graduate Studies. Students who are already enrolled in the College of Medicine may apply for admission to the MD/PhD program at any time during their first two years of study.

In evaluating applicants for the program, considerable emphasis is placed on prior research experience such as that gained during summers or through electives, and on demonstrated potential for a research career.

Applications should be submitted as early as possible during the preceding academic year, since the number of stipends and tuition scholarships is limited. Financial Information, including graduate assistantship, tuition and fee information is found here.

Non-matriculated Graduate Students

A graduate student enrolled at another institution may be admitted to take a course given by a particular program if acceptance is recommended by the course director and approved by the program director and the dean; the specific courses must be approved by the home institution. Post-doctoral fellows and research assistants at Downstate Medical Center may also register as non-matriculated students to take courses offered by the School of Graduate Studies upon recommendation by the faculty supervisor and approval by the dean. Credits earned as a non-matriculated student are limited to 12 cr. and limited to one year.

Advanced Transfer Credit

Transfer credit towards the doctorate will be granted for appropriate graduate level work at accredited institutions, in accordance with the regulations of the Commissioner of Education, Section 52.2(e)(3). Up to 12 credits may be transferred. Any advanced credit must be approved by the dean and must be in keeping with the candidate's academic objectives. Program requirements, however, may only be waived by the executive committee of the program.