Three points of entry:
EPB is unique among graduate training programs at Harvard
University because a student may enter through any one of
three different Host Departments: Physics, Molecular and Cellular
Biology (MCB), or Engineering and Applied Sciences (DEAS).
An interested student should submit an application to one
or more of these three Departments, as described below. Each
applicant will first be considered for admission by the Host
Department and then, if admitted, considered for the EPB track.
Thus, for example: if a student applies to EPB via the Physics
Department, they may be (i) accepted as a graduate student
in EPB/Physics; (ii) accepted as a graduate student in Physics
but not in the EPB Program or (iii) not accepted.
Student Population. The EPB Program will admit only
five students each year. The goal of the Program is to attract
"the best and the brightest" young students interested
in Physical Biology, worldwide. To provide diversity among
the student population with respect to scientific background
and overall inclination, each entering class will include
one or two students admitted through each of the three Host
Criteria for Admission. Applicants will be judged
on the basis of their overall academic record, GRE scores,
faculty recommendations and a personal statement that describes
their background and their reasons for wanting to join the
EPB Program. Preference will be given to applicants who combine
a strong academic record in the quantitative sciences with
evidence of imagination, creativity and a desire to push the
boundaries of existing knowledge.
An applicant must ordinarily have a bachelors
degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S.
or its equivalent from a foreign institution.
EPB-specific requirements. Students may enter from
an undergraduate concentration in either the biological sciences
or the physical sciences. In either case, preparation must
include least two years of training in calculus (to the level
of differential equations) plus strong basic undergraduate
training in biology; basic, organic and physical chemistry;
Host Department-specific requirements. Each prospective
student will also need to meet the individual requirements
of the Host Department to which he or she applies, which are:
Background will include 50-60 credit hours, or approximately
half of undergraduate work, devoted to physics, mathematics
and chemistry. At least a one-year introduction to quantum
mechanics is also highly desirable.
No special background requirements beyond those of EPB.
EPB/DEAS. Background will ordinarily include a bachelor's
degree in science, mathematics or engineering.
individual Department web sites for further information:
GSAS information. Students seeking admission to EPB
must apply through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
(GSAS). For information about how to apply, see http://www.gsas.harvard.edu
and click on "Admissions". It is strongly suggested
that prospective students utilize the online application process.
However, those who prefer to apply via paper can request applications
from the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences;
Byerly Hall, 2nd floor; 8 Garden Street; Cambridge, MA. 02138.
Choosing and specifying a point of entry. Each application
must specify the Degree Program corresponding to the Host
Department through which the student wishes to enter plus,
within that Program, the numerical code for "Engineering
and Physical Biology". Thus:
- Program 09: Biology, Molecular and Cellular;
Code Number 0950
- Program 06: Engineering and Applied Sciences; Code Number
- Program 53: Physics; Code Number 5350.
For further details, see:
In addition, each prospective student should indicate and
discuss his or her interest in the EPB Track in the "Statement
of Purpose" section of the application.
What will your application include? The GSAS application
form asks you to provide biographical and academic information,
an abstract of courses you have taken and a personal statement
of purpose which describes your goals for graduate study.
Supporting documentation will include (i) three letters of
recommendation from faculty or others qualified to evaluate
your potential for graduate studies in EPB; (ii) official
university/college transcripts of your undergraduate record;
(iii) official notification of your test scores on the General
Test Graduate Record Examination (GRE) from the Educational
Testing Service and (iv) an application fee. In addition,
you are strongly encouraged to submit a resume or curriculum
vitae along with your completed application.
Additionally, each host Department requests or requires certain
additional information beyond that required by GSAS. These
additional requirements are described in appropriate corresponding
Due date. Applicants are considered for admission
to the fall term only. Applications for matriculation in fall,
2006 are due by December 8, 2005.
check the status of your application
To determine whether all application materials have been received,
contact the Admissions Office by calling 617-496-6100 between
2 pm and 5 pm EST. To determine the state of your application
with respect to the admissions selection process, contact
the EPB Program Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.