Biological and Biomedical Sciences

**There are two application paths available for certain doctoral programs. Depending on your objectives, you may apply directly to the specific program or you may apply via the Biological and Biomedical Sciences application umbrella. Please visit program websites to determine the best fit for your objectives.

Program Degree Major Code Admissions
Term Deadline
Doctoral PhD BBSP Fall* December 5, 2023
Doctoral – Priority Deadline PhD BBSP Fall* November 21, 2023
Director of Graduate Admissions/Graduate Coordinator Jeffrey Steinbach (
Address BBSP Admissions
CB# 7108, 1125 Bioinformatics Building
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Phone 919-843-6960
Test Requirements
GRE scores are neither required nor typically recommended
Letters of Recommendation Please submit the names of three people who can evaluate your potential for success in a research-intensive PhD program.  Letters from faculty members that supervised your work in a research setting are strongly preferred. The most useful letters comment not only on the prior research project but also share specific examples demonstrating inherent qualities of the applicant that predict future scientific development.
International Applicants Only TOEFL or IELTS score (no more than two years old)
Other Requirements

In addition to the University’s required application materials, applicants should review the information below for additional expectations or application requirements.

Application Deadline:

BBSP begins application review in November therefore we strongly encourage applicants to complete & submit the application by our priority deadline.

Plans for Graduate Study Page:

Area(s) of Interest: Please select at least five research topics of interest to you (via the Areas of Interest/Specialization drop-down box within your application).  Please rank your interests listing your top interest first. Note these are NOT the BBSP programs, but research areas of BBSP faculty.  Read more about the BBSP research areas here:

Statement of Purpose Page:

Address the following in your statement of purpose.  Upload one document with separate sections with each section clearly labeled. Sections 1-3 must each be a maximum of 1 page, single spaced. Section 4 is optional and must be no more than ½ page, single spaced. 

  1. RESEARCH STATEMENT (REQUIRED). Describe your previous research experience(s).  Explain your motivation to pursue this research, the scientific rationale for the project(s), and your role in the project(s). Summarize outcomes, challenges, and objectives. (Statements of Purpose lacking an informative description of your research experience are considered non-responsive to the instructions.) Length: 1 page maximum, single spaced
  2. MOTIVATION AND GOALS STATEMENT (REQUIRED). Describe your motivation for seeking a PhD in the biomedical sciences, and what general type of research you hope to pursue in graduate school. Explain your motivation for applying to BBSP and how a UNC PhD will be a necessary step towards your career goals. Length: 1 page maximum, single spaced
  3. RESILIENCE STATEMENT (REQUIRED). In graduate school you are likely to face challenges and setbacks during your studies that you must overcome to successfully complete your doctoral training. Use this section to (a) briefly describe a challenge, obstacle or experience you have faced; (b) share what you learned from this experience; and (c) explain how overcoming this challenge has shaped you as an individual and will contribute to your success as a graduate student. Include how you used your core strengths (examples might include perseverance, positivity, creativity, tenacity) to respond to and overcome this challenge. Length: 1 page maximum, single spaced
  4. ADDITIONAL (OPTIONAL). 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. Length:1/2-page maximum, single spaced

Faculty of Interest:
REQUIRED FOR BBSP APPLICANTS: Please list in the online application at least one and up to five faculty from the following list ( using the format described below:

  • List the faculty in order of interest.
  • Please make sure to include the first AND last name of each faculty and double check that you have the correct spelling.