Apply to PIBBS

Deadline: December 1st

Applications and all supporting materials must be received no later than December 1st, 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, TWO-PAGE LIMIT) – Describe your preparation and motivation for seeking a PhD in the Biomedical Sciences. Include a discussion of your professional career goals, your interest in science, why you are interested in obtaining your graduate degree and how the PIBBS Program at USC will help you meet your career and educational objectives. (Instruction: Include your full name, along with “Personal Statement,” in the top right corner and upload your document under “Personal Statement.”)
  • Research Statement (REQUIRED, ONE-PAGE LIMIT) – Describe your previous research experience. Summarize outcomes, challenges and objectives. Include a detailed description of at least one independent research project, including what you did, what you learned and the significance of this work. If you do not have previous research experience, please explain what other experience you have that makes you a suitable candidate for graduate school. (Instruction: Include your full name, along with “Research Statement,” in the top right corner and upload your document under “Personal Statement.”)
  • Optional Essay (TWO-PAGE LIMIT) – The PIBBS Admissions Committee takes into account many factors when evaluating applications. Provide any additional information about yourself that you feel the Admissions Committee should know, for context. Examples include unusual academic or personal situations, information about academic institution(s), previous challenges, etc. (Instruction: Include your full name, along with “Optional Essay,” in the top right corner and upload your document under “Personal Statement.”)
  • 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
  • Supplemental Essays and Program Questions – More details are available, within the online application.
  • Transcripts – Upload scanned copies of official transcripts (university-issued) from all institutions attended.

Step 3:  Submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores.

  • Scores must be submitted directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS).
  • ETS code: 4852 (no department code is needed)
  • Subject test is not required.

Step 4: International Applicant – Additional Requirements

  • A photocopy of the first two pages of your passport
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)/International English Language Testing System (IELTS™) (Required)
    A report of your scores on the TOEFL or IELTS sent by ETS to USC. Please review USC’s English Proficiency Criteria
  • Required official copies of materials from non-United States schools vary from country to country.
    Please see Admission Requirement by Country.
  • GPA Notation on Application
    When listing undergraduate/graduate grade point averages (GPAs) on the application, please use the system of your university. If you received a percentage grade, provide the average percentage. If you were graded on a scale other than 4.0 (with 4.0 equal to an “A”), please indicate the average grade AND indicate the scale (for example, 8.5/10).

Step 5:  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 also now 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!