Application to the PhD program

Characteristics of the Admitted PhD Students

Our students are passionate about discovery and innovation, with a demonstrated trajectory of laboratory experience, and maturing knowledge of biology, engineering, and science. As well, typical metrics of our students are as follows. In the 2016 academic year, about 500 students applied to the PhD program, and 65 students were accepted. Admitted students featured:

  • significant laboratory experience and published abstracts and/or papers
  • undergraduate GPA 3.75 ± 0.26 (mean and standard deviation)
  • GRE quantitative percentile 92% ± 8
  • GRE verbal percentile 79% ± 22
  • GRE adv. writing percentile 61% ± 32

Recruiting and Program Information

We generally recruit students in five broad areas: (1) Biomedical Imaging Science, (2) Cell & Tissue Engineering/Technology, (3) Computational Biology & Bioinformatics, (4) Molecular Neural Cardiovascular Systems (MNCS), and (5) Neurocience & Neuroengineering. The program is unique in that it offers the BME student the strengths of one of the best medical schools in the world, combining engineering with cutting-edge research in biology and medicine.

In their first year, our students have the option of taking many of the same courses as the medical students, for example: human anatomy, molecules and cells, and genes to society. In their second year, our students take advanced engineering and science courses. Therefore, students that apply to our program should have both a strong background in engineering and mathematics, as well as sufficient background in chemistry (including organic chemistry) and biology (at least two introductory courses).

The admission process is by committees organized via the five areas listed above. The applicant should specify which areas (one to two at most) they are most interested in, and vision cast the kind of research they forsee. The faculty in each area vote and rank the applicants in an initial selection round, and the final pool of applicants is ranked and voted on by the entire faculty.

Accepted students will receive a full fellowship unless their acceptance is conditional. The full fellowship includes a yearly stipend, full tuition, matriculation fee, and individual medical and dental insurance. In this way, the students are free to choose from almost any research lab in the university. To facilitate this process, students do two or more rotations during their first year and typically choose a lab by the end of the summer of their first year.


Get Started

Thank you for your interest in the BME PhD program at Johns Hopkins University. The deadline for applications will be December 1, 2017.

Start your application by applying online to the Johns Hopkins Medicine graduate program. 

Application Requirements

Applications should be complete when submitted. In order to be considered a complete application we must have:

  • A completed online application form.
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attendedFor 2017-2018 we no longer require applicants to submit official transcripts to OGSA via mail or electronically. Applicants may upload transcripts to the online application for review.  Applicants who receive an offer or accept an offer of admission are required to submit official transcripts to OGSA via mail or electronically to:  
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores / MCAT scores are acceptable, and can be arranged through the Office of Graduate Affairs (address above). The GRE code for applying to graduate programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is 5316.The BME Ph.D. program does not rely heavily on the GRE exam in making admissions or financial aid decisions. Research experience, course grades, and recommendations carry more weight. However, because the GRE score is part of the application and does affect admissions decisions in some cases, foreign applicants who took the GRE in its electronic form, in a country where the electronic test is no longer offered, are advised to retake the exam in its paper form.Applications will be considered regardless of which form of the exam was taken.
  • Three letters of recommendation: These letters should come from faculty members who are acquainted with you and your academic work. These letters should be sealed and include comments on your aptitude and promise for independent research.
  • Personal Statement: Include a typewritten statement (one page maximum) indicating the basis of your interest in graduate study and your career objectives. Include discussion of any research experience you have had.
  • TOEFL scores (for foreign students only; official copy).

Course Prerequisites for Applicants

  • one year of college-level biology (may include quantitative biology or physiology)
  • one semester of organic chemistry
  • differential equations

If you are interested in applying and do not have the prerequisite courses, you may want to submit your application with an explanatory note indicating that, if accepted, you will make arrangements to take the prerequisites before matriculation. In the past, applicants have taken the prerequisites at their present schools, local community colleges, etc. Courses taken at any accredited college or university are acceptable.

Degree Requirements

Each applicant must have received a BA or BS degree or its equivalent prior to matriculation. A Masters degree is not required for admission to our program.


The Application Process

Processing: The Ph.D. Program admissions committee will not consider any application until it is complete. Applicants may check the status of their application by logging into their online account.

Interview: The admissions committee will review completed applications and invite selected applicants to come to Johns Hopkins for a personal interview with faculty. Applicants who are residents of North America must come for an interview to be considered for admission. For residents outside of North America, for whom such a trip is not possible, a Skype or telephone interview will be conducted. Final admissions decisions will be made from the pool of interviewed applicants. Interview invitations will be sent out to applicants via email by January 31, 2018. Personal interviews will be conducted on campus February 8th – 9th, 2018, and March 1st – 2nd, 2018.

Acceptance: Applicants will be notified via email by end of March of the outcome of their application. A full offer of admission to the program will include a yearly stipend, full tuition, matriculation fee, and individual medical and dental insurance. This applies to every accepted applicant, regardless of citizenship or national origin unless the applicant receives a conditional acceptance. Those offered admission will be asked to let us know their decision as soon as possible. In any case, we must have the applicant’s decision by April 15.