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How to apply

Application Information

Note 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, GRE score, and statement of purpose. 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 (e.g., GRE scores) may be admitted if strength is revealed in some other respect (e.g., exceptional letters of recommendation, exceptional publication record).

Note to international students: for those whose native language is not English, Cornell policy requires a set minimum for TOEFL or IELTS Exams. Details can be found here. 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, also found here.

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, Jason Mezey.

Many of our faculty are also part of the Tri-Institutional Computational Biology & Medicine (CBM) program. To apply to CBM, students must submit a separate application to the Weill Cornell Graduate School.

Students who apply to both programs will receive a fee waiver for their application to CBM (to obtain the waiver code, please email a request to Margie Mendoza). More information about applying to CBM is here.