For Prospective Students

Welcome Prospective Students!

Thank you for your interest in the Biological Sciences in Public Health (BPH) Program leading to the Ph.D. degree. This program is located at the Harvard School of Public Health and is offered through the Harvard University Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS). Our program was established in 1993 to train students in individual fields of biological research with a focus on understanding, preventing, and treating diseases affecting large populations. BPH students obtain a broad interdisciplinary knowledge of both mechanistic and quantitative approaches to biomedical research.

Applicants wishing to do research in areas of metabolic dysregulation in complex diseases (obesity, diabetes, cancer), infectious diseases (malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS), environmental exposures (air pollution, asthma, radiation), gene-environment interactions (inflammation, stress responses, epigenetics), or nutritional biochemistry (nutrient sensing, physiology, cardiovascular disease) usually apply to the Biological Sciences in Public Health (BPH) program.

Graduates of our program follow diverse career paths, with some pursuing faculty positions at colleges, universities, medical schools, research institutes, or schools of public health, and others joining government agencies or consulting firms acquiring research positions in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Career opportunities in the biological sciences as they apply to global health and disease are expected to grow in the coming years.

To qualify for admission, applicants must demonstrate strong ability for the vigorous pursuit of scientific knowledge. Minimum requirements include a bachelor’s degree, undergraduate preparation in the biological sciences, and wet lab and/or computational research experience. Strong consideration is given to letters of recommendation, particularly to comments from individuals who have firsthand knowledge of the applicant’s research experience. Non-native English speakers who completed their bachelor’s degree in a language other than English must demonstrate English proficiency by scoring at least 100 on the TOEFL iBT Test or at least 7.5 on the IELTS test. If you have published articles, list them in the Additional Academic Background section of the online application, citing the PubMedID.

Additional information about admissions requirements, including a list of frequently asked questions, is available on the Biological Sciences in Public Health website. The Harvard Griffin GSAS Policies page details program requirements.

We very much hope you will apply. If you have specific questions after reading through our website, please feel free to contact the Program Office for the PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health at

Harvard Griffin GSAS does not discriminate against applicants or students on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry or any other protected classification.