Application Deadline

Please note that the application period for admission in Fall 2015 is now closed.

Please watch this page for updates on the application period for Fall 2016 admission

Sanford-Burnham has a small and highly competitive graduate program. The Admissions Committee reviews all applications. Applicants are encouraged to include a resume. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will consider both domestic and international applications. Please note that an application is not considered complete until steps 1-3 below are complete. When your application is considered complete, you will receive a notification e-mail from the program. Classes begin the first week of September.

Application Steps

1. Submit a completed application form (available in Fall 2015).

2. Provide additional required documentation by mail/email.

3. Await possible contact from the Admissions Committee regarding an on-site/video interview.

Please note that entering graduate students do not perform laboratory rotations. Sanford-Burnham Graduate School embraces an "admissions to fit" philosophy whereby students and faculty are matched as a prerequisite for acceptance into the Program. Therefore, it is highly recommended that prospective students are proactive in contacting potential faculty mentors with shared research interests.

Currently the Graduate School only accepts students at Sanford-Burnham's La Jolla campus.


An undergraduate degree in Biological, Chemical, Physical, or Computational Sciences, or medical degree, is required for admission to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Additionally, we value applications from candidates with significant experience in a research laboratory.

Required Documentation

  • Personal statement of interest (1000 words or less)
  • One copy of your CV/Resume
  • GRE Scores: The graduation record examination (GRE) general test is required, and an appropriate subject test, e.g., chemistry or biology, is recommended. All tests must be taken within the last two years. GRE scores must be sent by the Educational Testing Service to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Program Office. The School Code for Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is 2718.
  • TOEFL Scores: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are required for all foreign students whose first language is not English, or who have obtained their previous degree in a country where teaching is not in English, and must be sent to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Program Office. All tests must be taken within the last two years. The minimum acceptance score is 79. The School Code for Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is 2718.
  • Letters of Recommendation: A minimum of three letters of recommendation is requried. Please instruct each person providing a letter to send either a hard copy directly to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Program Office or an electrically signed letter via e-mail to directly from the referee's email address.
  • Transcripts: All official undergraduate and graduate transcripts and proof of degree (official translations required to accompany all foreign documents). Universities or colleges must mail original transcripts directly to the Graduate School o f Biomedical Sciences Program Office.
  • Application Fee of $80.00 USD (made payable to "Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute" by either check or money order drawn from a US bank)

Send application and supporting documents to:

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
c/o Stacy Smith
10901 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037

Antidiscrimination Policy

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, color, national and ethnic origin or non-disqualifying handicap in regard to all activities associated with the graduate school. Handicapped access is provided.

Financial Support

Students in the Graduate School of Biological Sciences will receive a stipend of $30,000 with medical, dental and vision insurance provided for the student by the institute.

Students are supplied with a $500 annual discretionary fund. This fund is for allowable educational support purchases under the IRS Student Scholarship and Fellowship Grants law Topic # 421.


Housing is not available on campus, but is readily available within the immediate area at a cost of approximately $700 to $1000 per month.

Visa Process

Visa status is administered by the Graduate School and the Department of Human Resources at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

Training - Grad School: Admissions
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