BSTP Admissions

International Application Welcome!

We encourage international applicants from outstanding research institutions. Preference is given to international applicants who have fellowships that can partially support their graduate education, who have strong research experience and publications, or who have completed some of their education in a university in North America.

Getting Started

BSTP faculty and student advising

The BSTP is a highly competitive program, therefore you are encouraged to apply in the fall or early winter (by Dec. 1) and begin your studies the following summer. Your application will be considered by the Admissions Committee as soon as it is complete, and we will continue to accept applications until January 15.

Step One: Apply

Your application consists of the following parts:

  • The completed online application.
  • Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework sent to the BSTP office at the address below. The transcript must be in a sealed envelope from your university. Unofficial transcripts are permitted at the on-line application site to permit expedited review, but official transcripts are required for final admission.
  • Official scores of the GRE are no longer required for admission to BSTP.
  • Official score from the TOEFL exam if you are applying from a foreign country. The TOEFL is not required for applicants from Puerto Rico. Please have your scores sent to Case Western Reserve University (Institution Code 1105).
  • Three letters of recommendation. The online application will request recommenders' contact info for electronic submission.
  • Application fee (US $50). When you submit an online application, you may pay by check or credit card.

Fee Waivers

The Office of Graduate Education will waive the application fee for applicants who are members of racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. Case Western Reserve University and the National Institute of Health recognize the following racial and ethnic groups as underrepresented: American Indians or Alaska Natives, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders.

Applicants from these groups who are US citizens or permanent residents may request a fee waiver from Deborah Noureddine, Administrative Coordinator for the Biomedical Sciences Training Program ( Use 'URM fee waiver' as the subject line and state your citizenship and URM status in your email. You must be registered on our application site before requesting a waiver.

Do not submit the final application until after you receive an email reply stating that the fee waiver has been granted.

Preferred Program of Interest

Most BSTP students select from over 200 potential mentors and explore several different PhD programs during the summer and fall semester of the first year. They select a research mentor and PhD program in December of their first year. Other applicants prefer to join a specific PhD program from the outset. Those applicants are encouraged to select a single Preferred Program of Interest (PPI) in the BSTP online application. If you join the BSTP using the PPI option, your research mentor rotations will be limited to those mentors affiliated with that particular program and your other curricular experiences are expected to occur only within that particular program.

Undergraduate Coursework

You'll need fundamental coursework to succeed in biomedical graduate study, but your background will be unique. Biology, organic chemistry and mathematics through calculus are required, and biochemistry and molecular biology are strongly recommended. This background prepares students for success in our programs.

We encourage application from students with strong quantitative training who may have majored in physics or math and are interested in our Systems Biology and Bioinformatics Program and Structural Biology track. Depending on your preparation, we may suggest additional biology coursework once you start your PhD work.

Personal Statement

You'll have the opportunity to tell us about yourself, including the experiences that shaped your interest in science and your long-term goals. You'll also be able to tell us about your research experience and accomplishments, including undergraduate research, summer internships, graduate study, and work experience after graduation. Be sure to mention your contributions to any abstracts, posters and manuscripts.

Letters of Recommendation

We require three letters of recommendation. Please have research mentors and individuals who have helped you with independent work write several of the letters, so they can tell us about your maturity, independence, creativity, and promise in science.


The GRE general test is not required, but you are welcome to submit your scores. Our recent classes average in the 70th percentile in each area. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for foreign students unless they are from an English-speaking country or have a degree from a university program where the instruction is primarily in English. 

Step Two: Interview

The Admissions Committee reviews applications when they become complete (all required components received). Successful applicants are invited to CWRU to visit our program in the Winter/Spring at our expense. This visit allows you to

  • meet with faculty members whose research you would like to explore
  • interview with faculty advisors
  • experience the research power at CWRU
  • meet current graduate students
  • meet other prospective graduate students
  • experience life in Cleveland

Step Three: Enroll

After interviewing on campus with faculty, staff and students, it's time to enroll and officially accept your place in the upcoming class! Share your intent to enroll with the Office of Graduate Education and obtain instructions on how to register for classes, find housing, select a mentor and begin rotations.

Step Four: Begin your Journey as a Student at Case Western Reserve University! 

Being a student at CWRU is exciting. You will be a member of a world-class institution in a culturally diverse and exciting city. Learn more about student life and life in Cleveland and you will quickly see what is in store.