graduate students

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

About the Graduate School

Our mission is to educate students to become the innovative biomedical scientists of the future. With state-of-the-art technology, an entrepreneurial mindset and a highly personalized program, we are dedicated to educating students who drive cutting-edge translational research forward and preparing them to become the next generation of outstanding biomedical scientists.

We offer a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences. The graduate program prepares students for careers in basic and translational research through a unique curriculum of focused, multi-disciplinary instruction.

Our program is tailored to the student’s course of study and research focus. Classroom and seminar instructions are accompanied by extensive practical laboratory training under the supervision of expert faculty.

Students in the first year of the program take focused classes, elect a number of specialized tutorials with faculty, and begin their thesis research. In the following years the program allows students to focus on their laboratory research that will lead to their doctoral dissertation.


Student, Faculty, & Staff Data

Graduate Program Mission and Vision

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Program Mission

The mission of Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is: Educating students to become the innovative biomedical scientists of the future. 

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Program Vision

With state-of-the-art technology, an entrepreneurial mindset and a highly personalized program, SBP is dedicated to educating the next generation of outstanding biomedical scientists who will drive future cutting-edge translational research. 

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A student graduating from SBP Graduate School will demonstrate:

• Strong foundational knowledge

• High quality biomedical research

• Innovative critical thinking and experimental design

• Clear written communicate in standard academic genres such as grant proposals, poster presentations, and scientific articles

• Excellent oral communication skills

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is unique about this program?
Discovering the roots of human biology set in the context of translational biomedical science, small class-size focused courses, high faculty to student ratio, individualized tutorials and a highly collaborative environment.
2. Do all students receive financial assistance?
All students are offered a $33,000/year stipend as well as health benefits/medical coverage.
3. How do I apply to the Graduate Program?
You may apply to the program by completing the online application and submitting the $80 application fee.
4. What are the admissions requirements?
Students are required to submit official undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) transcripts, official GRE scores, TOEFL scores for those applicants whose first language is not English, a written personal statement and three recommendation letters.
5. What is the application fee?
The application fee is $80.
6. Do you require the GRE and TOEFL scores? What are the minimum scores for admittance?
The Graduate Program does require GRE scores for all applicants and TOEFL scores for those applicants whose first language is not English.  

There are no minimum scores for the GRE; however, the Admissions Committee seeks students with strong academic potential. Prospective applicants may want to note that competitive scores are above the 60th percentile in all categories. The Committee’s expectations will vary, depending on an applicant’s background and goals.
7. Is this a full-time program? Am I able to work while completing the program?
The Graduate Program is a full-time program. Most students are unable to take on additional, even part-time, commitments while completing this program.
8. Who is eligible to apply?
Any student who has an undergraduate degree in Biological, Chemical, Physical, or Computational Sciences, or medical degree, is eligible to apply. The Admissions Committee does focus on scientific research background in the admissions process. 
9. What are the areas of research of the Graduate Program faculty?
The areas of research vary for the program faculty. Please explore our website for more detailed information regarding research focus for each faculty member. 
10. Is housing available for students?
At this time, we do not offer housing for students.
11. How do I contact the Graduate Program?
You may contact the Graduate Program by phone at (858)646-3100 or by email at
12. Is the program able to admit international students? Do you offer student visas?
The Graduate Program is able to offer international student admission and issues the F1 student visas to successful applicants.
13. Does SBP offer medical benefits to students?
Yes, students are offered medical benefits.
14. Does the program offer childcare?
The program does not offer childcare.
15. How many students does the program accept every year?
The Graduate Program maintains 8 openings each academic year. We only accept the most qualified candidates and the actual acceptances may be less than 8.
16. How long is the PhD program? How soon will I be able to graduate?
The Graduate Program is completed on an average 4.5 years.
17. How many graduates has the program had?
The Graduate Program began in 2006 and has 26 graduates as of August 2016.
18. What is the program's retention rate?
As of August 2015, the program's retention rate is 88.7%.
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Contact Us

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
10901 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037

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