Photo credit: Rick Gaber

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why are there two programs that students can apply to?

A. IBiS and DGP offer complementary but distinct programatic focuses and community settings. The ability to move freely between these environments, combined with the cross-program research clusters and the rich array of coursework, affords Northwestern PhD students the broadest possible opportunities for building a course of study that best fits their needs and interests.

Q. If I apply to one of the PhD programs in Life and Biomedical Sciences at Northwestern, can I get financial support?

A. Yes, all students who are admitted are offered full tuition coverage and a stipend. Students continue to receive both the tuition coverage and stipend as long as they progress satisfactorily through the program.

Q. What is the current stipend?

A. For the 2015-16 academic year, the stipend is $30,000 per year.  View IBiS  and DGP’s websites, respectively, to learn more.

Q. Is health insurance provided?

A. Yes, a comprehensive plan is offered through Northwestern University and the premium is paid by the university. A dental plan is also offered.

Q. Do I need to know what type of research I want to do when I start?

A. No, core course and lab rotation requirements give you an opportunity to explore many types of research before you have to select your dissertation lab and project.

Q. Does this program offer a Master's degree?

A. No, it does not. Upon successful completion of the program, a doctorate in Biological Sciences is awarded.

Q. Can I apply online?

A. Yes, the NU Graduate School uses Apply Yourself application site. Click here for application instructions.

Q. Do I need to take the GRE exam?

A. No, the GRE is not required.


Q. Is the TOEFL required for foreign applicants?

A. Yes. The Northwestern University Graduate School requires 600 on the written test, 250 on the computer based test, or 90 on the internet test for admission to the university. This requirement is waived only for applicants with undergraduate or graduate degrees from institutions where English is the language of instruction.

Q. Where do I send my test scores?

A. Have ETS submit official GRE and/or TOEFL test scores to NU Graduate School (Code 1565).

Q. Can I start in Winter or Spring quarters?

A. No, IBiS and DGP only admit students for the Fall quarter of each year.