The Admissions Committee will consider applications based on the following factors:
1. Overall Grade Point Average (GPA)
A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Special attention is given to the grades achieved in science courses relevant to the program (e.g., chemistry, biology, biochemistry, pharmacology and mathematics).
2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Score
A minimum combined GRE score of 1000 in the Verbal and Quantitative areas is required. However, priority for financial support is given to applicants with GRE scores of 1200 or higher.
3. Letters of Recommendation
Three letters from faculty knowledgeable about the student's ability and capability are required. These letters should provide a thorough assessment of the student's experience in laboratory research, ability to communicate in verbal and written English, motivation and creativity, and other qualities in the student's academic performance.
4. TOEFL Scores for International Applicants
A minimum score of 500 is required for admission; 550 is required for appointment as a teaching assistant.
5. Research and Professional Experience
Students' research and professional experience as cited in their application, resume (if provided), published manuscripts and letters of reference will be evaluated to assess background preparation for success within the PhD program.
Applications may be submitted anytime between September 1 and January 1--the deadline for consideration for admission for the following fall semester. Applicants will be reviewed as their applications are received, beginning in the fall. Early acceptance will be offered to outstanding applicants.
Consideration for certain USC Scholarships and Fellowships begins in December. Applications must be received by December 1 to receive full consideration for these opportunities.
Admission decisions will continue to be made until the class is filled, usually by mid to late spring. Applications are only considered for admission beginning in the fall term, except under exceptional circumstances.