Apply to PIBBS

Deadline: December 1; No Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Required

Applications and all supporting materials must be received no later than December 1, for full consideration. Late applicants may be considered, if space in the program allows.

Applicants who have completed or are in the process of completing a four-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university may be eligible to apply for admissions to the PIBBS Program. Some applicants have master’s degrees but this is not required. Applicants should have demonstrated research ability and experience. A letter from a research mentor is considered an essential part of the application package.

Applicants must meet minimum requirements for admission to the university (overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0). Proficiency in the English language is essential.

Step 1: Complete the online USC Graduate Admissions Application.

Step 2: Submit the following materials, through the online application system.

  • Personal statement (required, no more than 750 words) —Describe your purpose and motivation for pursuing a PhD. Discuss your interest in science, why you want a graduate degree, and your overall professional career goals. Explain briefly how the PIBBS Program at University of Southern California will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
    If relevant, you may also provide any additional information that you feel the admissions committee should know about your application. This can include unusual academic, family, or personal situations; unexpected challenges or opportunities; unique qualifications; et cetera.
  • Research Statement (required, no more than 750 words) —Describe your previous involvement in research, including both a general overview of the breadth of your experience and a detailed description of at least one project. Discuss the goals of the work, challenges met (and how you overcame them), results, and significance.
    If you do not have previous research experience, please explain what alternative experiences you have that make you a suitable candidate for graduate school.
  • Letters of Recommendation — The PIBBS Program requires three (3) letters from research mentors or professors with whom you have conducted independent/original research and who can evaluate your academic and scientific potential. Letters from only senior lab members, without a faculty letter, have much less impact. Recommenders included in the online application will be contacted by email. The recommender module is separate. Letters must be submitted via the online system; letters sent via email will not be accepted. Your application may be submitted, before letters of recommendations are received. No hard copy of letters will be accepted. Admissions committees greatly value letters that specifically describe qualities, such as motivation, work ethic, resilience, persistence, initiative, intellectual contribution and collegiality in research and academic settings.
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resumé
  • Transcripts — Upload scanned copies of official transcripts (university-issued) from all institutions attended.

Step 3:  Submit “official transcripts.”

Mail official transcripts from all college/university institutions attended. For faster processing, include your 10-digit USC ID with your transcripts.

  • By regular mail:
    University of Southern California
    USC Office of Graduate Admission
    3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915
  • By courier service, such as DHL or FedEx:
    University of Southern California
    USC Office of Graduate Admission and Financial Aid
    3601 South Flower Street, Tyler 1
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915
    (213) 740-1111
  • By electronic transcripts:
    USC now also accepts official electronic transcripts, provided they meet the following guidelines:

    • The transcript originates from a secure site, formally linked to the sending institution.
    • The school is located in the United States. We do not accept electronic transcripts from any institution overseas.
    • Please instruct the vendor to email the transcript to etrans@usc.edu. Do not send any materials or correspondence to this email address yourself. To avoid delays, do not provide vendor with any other email.

We look forward to reviewing your application!