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Student collecting X-ray diffraction data

The IBMS program welcomes applications from highly motivated, PhD-seeking individuals with strong scientific backgrounds. Applications to the program are processed through the University of Notre Dame Graduate School. In preparing your application, please note the following:

  • For students wishing to enter at the start of the 2017 academic year, applications must be submitted online by December 5, 2016. Incomplete applications may not receive full consideration. To ensure that all your materials, including recommendation letters, are received by the deadline, we suggest that you submit your online application by the middle of November.
  • The IBMS program is competitive, with a limited entering class size. Depending on their interests, students applying to the IBMS program are encouraged to apply simultaneously to a separate PhD program in Biochemistry, ChemistryBiological Sciences, Physics, or Applied & Computational Mathematics & Statistics to increase their likelihood of being admitted for graduate study at the University of Notre Dame. Note that all programs make independent admissions decisions. Instructions for submitting a simultaneous application to one of these programs are given below.
  • The IBMS program does not admit students in the spring semester. If you are interested in a spring admission, please contact one of the programs above. The IBMS program does not offer a Master's degree.


The following information is required of all applicants:


University of Notre Dame Graduate School Application

All applicants to the PhD program must complete the online application >. Your Statement of Intent, CV, and Summary of Research Experience (see below) should be submitted in the Uploads section of the application. Mailed paper documents are not accepted. Frequently asked questions about the Graduate School application

In the Planned Course of Study section, choose Integrated Biomedical Sciences - PhD. In the intended area of study, choose the Research and Training Cluster of interest. Your choice of cluster will not impact your chances of admission, nor is it binding.

Applying to multiple programs: Students who would like to apply simultaneously to the PhD program in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Physics, or Applied & Computational Mathematics and Statistics should enter the name of the relevant PhD program as the Other Intended Area of Study. Only one additional program will be considered. 

The Graduate School’s online application may only be submitted once. However, you do not have to complete the entire online application in one sitting. You may access your application and change your responses as many times as you like with your PIN and password from any computer with internet access. Once you have completed the online application to your satisfaction, click the Submit button at the top of the application. This will take you through the steps to pay the application fee and submit your application electronically to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Remember: submit your online application once.

After you submit your application, you will not be able to go back and make changes or additions to your application using the online application system. However, you will be able to view your online application to check which materials have been received. Back to top

Resume or CV

The CV should concisely list educational background, honors, positions held, research experience, and any scientific publications and/or presentations. Submit your CV as a PDF document to ensure formatting is retained. Back to top

Statement of Intent

The Statement of Intent should describe your reasons for wishing to pursue advanced studies in biomedical sciences, and at Notre Dame in particular. It should also give a brief overview of your overall career goals and list the Research and Training cluster (or clusters) in which you are interested. Although many students list individual faculty whose research they find appealing, it is not required to do so. Submit your statement as a PDF document to ensure formatting is retained. Limit the document to no more than two pages. Back to top

Summary of Research Experience

The Summary of Research Experience should be submitted in lieu of the Writing Sample. The document should describe your experience in scientific research. Summarize the goals of the projects you have worked on, emphasizing your contributions and describing what was learned and how data were interpreted. Figures, diagrams, and other forms of data may be included if you wish. Also describe any experience you have in scientific communication, including, for example, your roles in the authorship of any manuscripts, seminars or poster presentations you may have given, and attendance at scientific meetings. Submit your summary as a PDF document to ensure formatting is retained. Limit the document to no more than three pages. You may append any scientific papers you have co-authored to your document; if you do so, these will not count towards the three page limitBack to top


Unofficial copies of all your university-level transcripts should be uploaded to your online application in the Academic History section. (Please include a certified English translation, if necessary.) If your undergraduate degree is currently in progress, upload transcripts for all coursework completed.  If an undergraduate transcript does not show proof of degree and date earned, a diploma confirming the degree should also be uploaded. Unofficial copies will suffice for admissions decisions, although the University will require official transcripts from all accepted students. Back to top


All applicants who are not native speakers of English must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam. The institution code for Notre Dame is 1841. A department code is not necessary. More information about the TOEFL >  Back to top

GRE Scores

Scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are required from all applicants. The institution code for the University of Notre Dame is 1841. A department code is not necessary. The Notre Dame Graduate School requires the GRE General Test, which includes verbal, analytical writing, and quantitative sections. The GRE test is offered by the Educational Testing Service at locations around the world. More information about the GRE >

Unofficial copies of GRE scores will usually suffice for admissions decisions. Official scores are required of all accepted students. 

There is no requirement for an advanced topic GRE score, although these can be uploaded if available and will be considered with the rest of the application materials. Back to top

Letters of Recommendation

In the lab, courtesy of the laboratory of Mary Ann McDowell

At least three letters of recommendation are required. Strong letters are crucial for favorable admissions decisions. Letters should be from professors, employers, or colleagues who can describe in detail your qualifications, experience, motivation, and ability to succeed in graduate training. Your recommenders should submit their letters to the Graduate School electronically through the online application system.  Please enter the full name, email address and complete contact information for each provider in the Recommendation section of the online application. Once the recommendation provider information is saved, an email will be sent to the recommender with instructions on how to proceed with the online recommendation. When the recommender submits the form to the Graduate School, it will become a part of your application. You can view the status of your online recommendations each time you log into your application account. Back to top

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