Irell & Manella Graduate School Admission Requirements

Program and Deadlines

City of Hope’s Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences offers a Ph.D. in biological sciences.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early. The Graduate Program in Biological Sciences will consider both domestic and international applications. Please note that your application is not considered complete until all steps below are completed.

The graduate school administration is available throughout the application period if an applicant has questions about our admissions process and requirements. To set up a phone or in-person appointment, please email

There are many resources online on how to apply and prepare for a Ph.D. program. One recent article by AAAS can be found here.

Application Procedures

Fall 2023 admissions is open from August 15th, 2022 to December 29th 2022.
All students must complete an online application and submit supplemental documents using BioMedCAS. Applying to our program is free of cost.
Interview dates to be determined.

Application Requirements

  • Personal Information
  • Academic History
  • Program Materials
  • Supporting Information
Brief description of information to include for each section:
  • Personal Information: This section includes contact information
  • Academic History: We do not require applicants to manually enter every academic course in the Academic History section of the application, but science, mathematics, and engineering classes should be listed. Applicants should fill out the remaining portions of the Academic History section to the best of their ability.
  • Program Materials
    • Personal Statement: Your personal statement gives the Admissions Committee an opportunity to learn about your past research experience and academic interests. Please discuss your current research background and any relevant results and conclusions. You may also include why pursuing a graduate degree at City of Hope would help you achieve your career goals. Please limit your statement to 1000 words. The personal statement will be uploaded in the Program Materials section under "Personal Statement". 
    • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended should be submitted in the Program Materials section under "Other". Unofficial transcripts may be submitted but official transcripts will be needed for verification and matriculation.
    • International Transcripts: All students with international transcripts must provide official transcripts. Foreign transcripts must be converted to U.S. G.P.A. by a professional service (World Education Service or equivalent).
  • Supporting Information: Three letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors.
If you would like our admissions team to upload your materials, please have official transcripts and test scores mailed prior to the December 11 deadline to the following address: 
Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
Attn: Admissions
1500 Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010-3000

GRE Scores (Optional): The submission of a GRE is no longer a requirement of the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences.  If GRE scores are submitted, they must be sent by the Education Testing Service to the Office of Graduate Education. The school code for City of Hope 4076. Applicants may input their test scores GRE score(s) in the Academic History section of the application and upload any supporting evidence in the Program Materials section under "Test Score Report".

TOEFL Scores: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are required for all foreign students and must be sent to the Office of Graduate Education. The school code for City of Hope is 2268. Only foreign students who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited university in the US or can provide documentation that English was the primary language for their college instruction are eligible to petition to waive this requirement. A minimal TOEFL score of 90 or IELTS score of 7 is recommended. Applicants may input their test scores TOEFL score in the Academic History section of the application and upload any supporting evidence in the Program Materials section under "Test Score Report".


Each student’s application should demonstrate the potential to conduct meaningful and significant biological, biomedical and/or chemical research. It is recommended that applicants have a minimum of 35 semester hours (undergraduate or combined with master studies) in biology and/or chemistry. We expect that these 35 hours will include basic undergraduate (or advanced) courses in Chemistry, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and Genetics or Molecular Biology. Students with an educational background primarily in Chemistry would be expected to at least have course work in Biochemistry.
The following prerequisites are recommended for admission to the Graduate Program in Biological Sciences:
  • Two semesters of mathematics
  • One year of general physics, including laboratory
  • Two years of chemistry (general and organic), including laboratory
  • One year each of general biology and biochemistry
  • Significant experience in a research laboratory
  • Additional recommended courses include:
    • Genetics
    • Cell biology
    • Cell physiology
    • Molecular genetics
    • Developmental biology
    • Neurobiology
    • Physical chemistry
    • Differential equations
    • Advanced organic and/or physical chemistry

Transfer Credit Policy

Transfer credit for classes taken prior to acceptance into the graduate program will not be given. This includes classes taken while the student was an undergraduate and a graduate student, no matter the course-level.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by an the Admissions Committee made up of faculty from the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences. The committee reviews applications and supporting documents and decides which of those candidates will be offered an interview. Final admissions decisions are made after the results of the interviews have been reviewed. All admissions decisions are final and there is no appeal process for admissions decisions.

Antidiscrimination Policy

City of Hope does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, color, national and ethnic origin or nondisqualifying handicap in regard to all activities associated with the graduate school. Handicapped access is provided.