Application Process

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How to Apply

Applications are now open.

Information on how to apply can be found on the Biosciences Website.

The deadline for students applying to enter in AY2017/2018 will be December 1, 2016.

Applications will not be accepted after the deadline. All supporting documents must be submitted online or postmarked by the deadline in order for your application to be considered in the review process. Applications to the Ph.D. program are considered for admission in the autumn quarter only.

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To be eligible for admission to graduate programs at Stanford University, applicants must meet one of the following conditions:

  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association; or
  2. Completion of an international degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree from a college or university of recognized standing.

The competition for admission is keen and invitations are granted to students who exhibit an excellent academic record and strong research potential.

Applicants will be assessed based on their undergraduate transcripts, test scores, research experience, statement of purpose and letters of recommendation that document exceptional potential, and ability.

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Applications must be submitted using the on-line application form. Paper applications are not accepted. If necessary, supplemental materials can be provided by regular post if postmarked before the application deadline. When you use the online application, your information enters our database directly, making the admissions process smoother and faster. A built-in monitor ensures that you do not forget to include important information, and you can save your progress at any time prior to submission.

At this time, Stanford does not allow applicants to submit formal applications to more than one program. If you are also interested in being considered by BioEngineering or one of the Biosciences programs, please indicate this in your application to SCBRM. We will share your application materials with the programs indicated.

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Application Fee

The Application Fee is $125.00.
Online application fee payments can be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) ONLY. Stanford University cannot accept checks or money orders.
General information regarding the Biosciences application fee waiver and the university application fee waiver can be found on their respective websites.

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Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Program at Stanford. It would be helpful to include what you have done to prepare for this degree program. Please describe your research interests, past research experience, future career plans, and other details of your background and interests that will allow us to evaluate your ability to thrive in our program. If you have interests that align with a specific faculty member, you may state this in your application. Your Statement of Purpose should not exceed two pages in length (single spaced).

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Letters of Recommendation

We strongly encourage your recommenders to submit your letters of recommendation on-line. Three letters of recommendation are required; two letters must come from an academic source. Please utilize the instructions in the on-line application to have your recommenders submit letters directly on-line. Here are some tips to ensure they get submitted online:
  • Enter their email addresses early and inform them that they will be receiving instructions via e-mail.
  • Instruction e-mails to your recommendation providers will indicate you as the sender, and have the subject, "Please submit your recommendation" but will actually come from CollegeNet.
  • Your list of recommenders is accessible from your Activity Log in your application account. You will be able to see if they have submitted their letters and to send reminders if necessary.

We suggest including the following note from Stanford University when you ask individuals for recommendations:

"Thank you for taking the time to write on behalf of this candidate who is applying to the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine graduate program at Stanford. The most useful recommendations provide detailed descriptions supported by specific anecdotes illustrating the candidate's intellectual abilities and personal qualities. In addition to considering traditional indicators of academic performance (G.P.A., quality of undergraduate institution/program, G.R.E. exam scores) we are very interested in the applicant's creative abilities, effectiveness in implementation, leadership skills, and personal qualities. Letters of Recommendation are a very important source of this information."

If for some reason, your recommender is unable to submit your letter of recommendation online, please be sure to fill out the Recommendation Form for Graduate Study and be sure to note whether you are waiving your right to see the letter of recommendation or not. Recommendations not submitted on-line must be submitted with this form, sealed and signed on the back of the envelope by the recommender, and postmarked by the application deadline to:

Biosciences PhD Admissions
1265 Welch Road, MSOB X1C12
Stanford, CA 94305-5421

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We require two official and sealed copies from all previous colleges or universities attended for one year or more full time. The institution should send your transcripts in a sealed envelope. Transcripts received opened are not considered official. In addition to the paper transcripts, applicants are required to upload scanned unofficial transcripts as part of their application.

Some institutions do not release transcripts directly to students. In such cases, we will accept transcripts sent directly from the institution.

Send transcripts to:

Biosciences PhD Admissions
1265 Welch Road, MSOB X1C12
Stanford, CA 94305-5421

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GRE Results

Applicants are required to take the GRE aptitude test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). No GRE Subject test is required. Scores must be reported to the Graduate Admissions office by the Educational Testing Service (photocopies of scores sent to you are not acceptable.) Our institution code for ETS is 4704. You do not need a department code. It is strongly recommended that the GREs be taken before the end of August for the scores to arrive in time for the consideration of your application. The program has no established absolute cutoff scores.

GRE general results must be from an examination taken within the last five years. For more information on GRE requirements, please visit the graduate admissions website.

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TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official test score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

  • Scores must be submitted from a test taken within the last eighteen months.
  • Exceptions are granted for applicants who have earned a U.S. Bachelor's or Masster's degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or equivalent of either degree from a university of recognized standing in countries where all instruction is provided in English. For example, applicants with degrees from: Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ireland, Whales) are exempt from taking the TOEFL. Applicants with degrees from countries where English is spoken but not all courses provided in English are not exempt from taking the TOEFL.
  • US citizenship does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking the TOEFL; if the applicant's first language is not English.
  • Minimum TOEFL Requirements: Evidence of adequate English proficiency must be submitted before enrollment is approved by Graduate Admissions.
  • For more information on TOEFL requirements, please visit the graduate admissions website.
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Application Status Inquiries

We are unable to answer inquiries regarding the status of any application. We will contact you if your application is incomplete; be sure to keep your e-mail address updated. Admission decisions will be made by late March. A decision to accept or decline an invitation to join the PhD program must be made by April 15. Wait-listed applicants will be informed of a final decision after April 15.

If you do not receive an e-mail from our office by the posted decision date, you may e-mail us at and include your first and last name as used on the application. Please do not call our office to inquire about your application, as our program and faculty members are explicitly prohibited from providing any applicant information or feedback on a particular application over the phone.

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