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The application for admission to the class starting Fall 2019 opens September 1, 2018.

Deadline: Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Biophysics Graduate Program at UCSF provides a welcoming environment for a diverse student population, including students with disabilities. We encourage students with strong backgrounds in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer science, or engineering to apply. Read more about our seven research areas.

Applicants interested in the Biophysics Graduate Program should apply to the Integrative Program in Quantitative Biology (iPQB), which is an umbrella program for graduate studies in Biophysics, Bioinformatics, and Complex Biological Systems.

Admission is based on:

  • Academic excellence.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Research experience.
  • Personal interview.


The application for fall 2019 opens in September 2018.

The deadline to apply and provide all supporting materials is December 1, 2018.

The Admissions Committee reviews all applications and extends invitations to interview. Our interview visits are January 17-18, and January 24-25, 2019. If invited to interview, your basic travel expenses will be covered by the program.

Final admissions decisions will be made by March 2019.

Application requirements

Prospective students can apply to only one graduate program at UCSF, with the exception of the Joint Graduate Group in BioEngineering, whose application is administered through the University of California, Berkeley.

The minimum requirement for application is a bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.

Submit the following information through the UCSF Graduate Division application:

  1. General and demographic information
  2. 3 letters of recommendation
  3. Statements
  4. Upload transcripts (instructions can be found on the application)

A non-refundable fee of $105 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents or $125 for international applicants is required to finalize your application.

General GRE

We no longer require the GRE.

International applicants

In addition to the information listed above, international applicants must submit TOEFL scores to institution code 4840. Exemptions to this requirement are available. Details: minimum scores and exemptions.

Due to funding restrictions, we're limited in our ability to accept international students—admission is extremely competitive.

Citizens of Mexico are invited to apply for PhD study at UCSF via our collaboration with UC MEXUS - CONACYT. Candidates must complete the UCSF application in addition to following UC MEXUS - CONACYT guildelines.

Student funding

All students admitted to the Biophysics Graduate Program through iPQB are supported by funding that covers tuition and fees, as well as a stipend for living expenses.

UCSF commits this support for the entire period of a graduate student's PhD training, as long as he or she remains in good standing. Typically it takes five to six years to earn a PhD degree.

Of particular importance to students is the annual stipend they receive for living expenses, which is part of this total.

The graduate student stipend for 2018-19 is $38,000.

UCSF gathers support for graduate student funding in the basic sciences from the following sources, with the majority coming from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through faculty grants and training grants.

  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health Structural Biology Training Grant
  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the National Institutes of Health Complex Biological Systems Training Grant

All matriculated students are encouraged to apply for pre-doctoral fellowships.

Sources of PhD student support

  • Faculty grants
  • Federal training grants (NIH)
  • UCSF Graduate Division funds
  • UCSF Chancellor's Office funds
  • Internal fellowships
  • External fellowships
  • Endowment gifts for program support and scholarship
  • UCSF School of Pharmacy/School of Medicine funds

Student Disability Services

UCSF is committed to ensuring access to graduate education for all students. Early communication with the relevant administrators is critical to a successful partnership in arranging accommodations. SDS is the appropriate and confidential office for seeking accommodations, and will coordinate communications and procedures with you and the graduate faculty and programs. Please visit Information for Prospective Students and Graduate Division Accommodations Process for more information.

Student Success at UCSF

Success in graduate school requires care and attention to all aspects of your life: health and wellness, community, career development, personal and professional relationships, and security and safety. UCSF is committed to providing a full range of resources and services to help you succeed. Learn more about these resources by visiting our Student Success website.

Deadline: Saturday December 1, 2018

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