Research course

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Harvard University

Entry requirements

To qualify for admission, applicants must demonstrate strong enthusiasm and ability for the vigorous pursuit of scientific knowledge. Minimal requirements include a bachelor’s degree and undergraduate preparation in the sciences. The program in Bioinformatics requires a strong grounding in mathematics and quantitative sciences (e.g. computer sciences, physics and chemistry).

Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) is an area of study within the Division of Medical Sciences, an administrative unit based at Harvard Medical School that coordinates biomedical PhD activities at the Longwood Medical Area. Students who study in BBS receive a PhD in medical sciences. Prospective students apply through GSAS; in the online application, select “Division of Medical Sciences” as your program choice and select "Biological and Biomedical Sciences" in the Area of Study menu.

Strong consideration is given to letters of recommendation, particularly to comments from individuals who have firsthand knowledge of the applicant’s research experience.

GRE tests are required, with results to be received by the application deadline. See specific advice re subject-specific tests which may be requested.

All of our Programs conduct personal interviews as part of the application process. Invitations for interviews are usually sent out between late December and early January depending on the program.

The cost to apply online is $105.00 U.S. (subject to change) The online application fee must be paid by credit card, no other form of payment is accepted. Your application will not be processed unless payment is submitted and received.

Months of entry


Course content

Harvard BBS is a true umbrella program with no departmental boundaries. You have the freedom to train in any one of our 9 supportive research communities composed from the basic science departments and specialized research programs at Harvard Medical School.

The BBS curriculum is flexible; you can tailor your Ph.D. training to suit your scientific interests and goals. Yet it is also dedicated to the skill building so essential to contemporary bioscientists whether in industry, academia, or non-profits. These customizable features in BBS are combined with access to exceptional faculty and cutting-edge facilities to create a world-class graduate program where exciting discoveries are made every day. Come join us.

BBS offers training in the biosciences, built outward from core training in contemporary genetics, biochemistry, and molecular, cellular, and mechanistic biology. The program provides a rigorous, nimble biomedical education, equipping trainees with tools to bring about scientific breakthroughs and to launch entrepreneurial paths in academics, industry, and education.

Fees and funding

5 years’ funding is guaranteed to all Harvard PhD students.

British citizens who are – or will be – graduates of British universities should check out both Kennedy Scholarships and Frank Knox Fellowships.

Both of these awards offer full tuition and health insurance coverage and a generous stipend towards living expenses. They are offered annually in competition.

Please note that you will need to submit your application to either or both awards ahead of the deadline for your Harvard application. Kennedy Scholarship and Frank Knox Fellowship applications are to be made online via their websites between mid-August and late-October in the same application season as you will submit your application to Harvard. Please note they are totally separate from, and independent of, admission to the program. Awards made at interview in London in January are provisional, pending confirmation of a place on the course.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

DMS admissions office
001 617 432 0162