Entry requirements

Applicants for graduate training should have sound preliminary training in a physical or quantitative science; especially physics, chemistry, computer science, or mathematics. The primary objective of the program is to educate and train individuals with this background to apply the concepts and methods of the physical sciences to the solution of biological problems.

Applications are to be submitted online via Harvard GSAS.

The Biophysics Program no longer requires applicants to report scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), although if submitted, we will include scores for tests taken within the past 5 years as part of a student's application package. In addition, the Biophysics Program encourages applicants to consider completing, and reporting scores from, one of the GRE Subject Tests, particularly in a field in which the student feels most well-versed. GRE Subject Tests are recommended, but are not required.

GSAS and Harvard University offer a range of exciting and challenging summer research and internship programs designed to help current undergraduates boost crucial research skills.

Months of entry


Course content

The Biophysics Program at Harvard nurtures independent, creative scientists with diverse backgrounds and prepares them for independent research careers in which the concepts and methods of physical science are applied to biological problems.

Biophysics is part of Harvard Integrated Life Sciences (HILS), a federation of 14 life sciences PhD programs, departments, and subject areas that facilitates cross-disciplinary academic and research collaboration. The program is administered by the Committee on Higher Degrees in Biophysics, which is comprised of senior representatives from the departments of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry and chemical biology, physics, genetics, and pathology.

The PhD programs in the HILS federation cover a broad spectrum of life science research. In addition to its scientific focus, each program has its own admissions criteria, curriculum, and degree requirements. In this way, the HILS programs offer students a diverse range of options to find the best fit in regards to subject area, program structure, and size. Further, since each program has its own identity, students and faculty can be integrated into supportive communities while also being able to take advantage of all that Harvard has to offer.

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. A Frank Knox Fellowship can be particularly welcomed during the early stages of a doctoral degree and both awards offer considerable personal support from their networks.

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

GSAS Admissions
001 617 496 6100