Application and Admissions Process

Application Information

The deadline for admission to the fall semester is December 1st.

The application process is entirely online. Begin by going to the Application page of the Graduate School web site and creating an account. The online application is secure and can be immediately viewed by Systems admissions committee upon submission. You can learn more about the application process and review additional guidelines on the Graduate School web site.

It is strongly recommended that you identify a Field member or members with interests closely matching your own and correspond with them regarding their program and their potential for taking on new graduate students prior to application.

There is no formula that guarantees the admission of an applicant. We will carefully evaluate all of the required components of your application---transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose (note, GRE scores are no longer required). In reviewing your transcript, we tend to look for the following:

  • A coherent body of course work with a grade average in the A- to A+ range.
  • Adequate mathematical background including freshman and sophomore calculus and at least two other courses (e.g., linear algebra, abstract algebra, analysis, statistics).
  • Basic background in computer science and/or biology.
  • Research experience in relevant areas.

It is important to stress that these are only guidelines and not a rigid policy. An applicant whose record is weaker in some respect may be admitted if strength is revealed in some other respect.

You will be required to upload an accurate unofficial transcript for each school you have attended. It is not necessary to include official transcripts unless you are offered admission.

Note to international students: for those whose native language is not English, Cornell policy requires a set minimum for TOEFL or IELTS Exams (speaking 22, reading 20, listening 15, writing 20). All TOEFL/IELTS scores are to be submitted by December 1st (no exceptions) in order for applications to be considered for review. This requirement may be waived if the applicant meets the exception criteria.

Questions regarding the administrative aspects of the Computational Biology program or about graduate study and life at Cornell in general should be addressed to the Graduate Field Assistant, Sue Bishop.

For questions that relate to research, email inquiries should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies for Comp Bio, Amy Williams.

Admissions Process

All applications are due December 1st for the upcoming fall semester. The Comp Bio PhD Program does not admit students for the spring semester. The admissions committee begins reviewing applications in mid-December and continues through to the end of December. Interview invitations are sent in early January. The interview open house is held in mid February. Decisions about admissions are communicated to applicants in early March. Applicants are required to submit decisions in systems by April 15.