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Biomedical Sciences: Molecular Medicine

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Modern biomedical research uses a variety of approaches to achieve a better understanding of human health and disease. These include systems analysis of physiological studies, microscopic anatomical techniques and powerful methods that expand our knowledge at a molecular level.

Doctoral Degree

GW’s doctoral program in molecular medicine represents this array of complementary approaches to biomedical research and allows students to pursue one of three distinct tracks.

In the molecular and cellular oncology track, the disease of cancer is a unifying research focus, ranging from  molecular signaling underlying carcinogenesis to cancer genomics for improving detection, diagnosis and treatment. For the neuroscience track, research interests span neurotransmitter signaling to neurodevelopmental disorders to developmental neurobiology. The pharmacology and physiology track centers on biological systems, including the interaction of molecules (drugs), function integration of organ systems and how cells regulate ionic metabolic fluxes under normal and pathophysiological states.In the molecular and cellular oncology track, the disease of cancer is a unifying research focus, ranging from new treatment options to molecular signaling underlying carcinogenesis. For the neuroscience track, the research focus is the nervous system. Study ranges from anatomical organization to neurotransmitter signaling to molecular activity of ion channels. The pharmacology and physiology track centers on biological systems, including the interaction of molecules (drugs), integration of organ systems and how cells regulate metabolic fluxes under normal and pathophysiological states.

The Ph.D. program, part of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, require 72 credit hours, of which 12 to 24 hours are fulfilled by dissertation research. During the first year, students take core courses required of Institute for Biomedical Sciences students and rotate through three laboratories to gain exposure to experimental research. Upon completion of core courses and laboratory rotations, each student selects a degree program and a research mentor. A research advisory committee then guides the student through completion of the dissertation.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – December 1

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test (institutional code 5246). Waived for applicants who hold a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D.

Recommendations required:

Three (3) recommendations

Prerequisite requirements:

A bachelor's degree in biological sciences, chemistry, or related field.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents and English language requirements.

PLEASE NOTE that the minimum English language test scores required by this program are:

  • Academic IETLS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based, or 100 on Internet-based
  • PTE Academic: 68

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
askccas@gwu.edu ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday