How to Apply to the PhD Program

Students interested in earning a PhD in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics may enter the program through two main mechanisms: BSTP and MSTP, as described below:

Apply for admission to the Biomedical Sciences Training Program, or BSTP program at Case Western Reserve University with the Systems Biology and Bioinformatics as your Priority Program of Interest (or PPI). The School of Graduate Studies processes the application and includes a nonrefundable application fee. Priority will be given to applications received by December 1. We will continue to review applications received after the priority deadline, but not beyond the final application deadline of January 15. Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

Please note that our program has limited financial resources for supporting students who are not US citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Application for the SYBB program can also be via acceptance into the Medical Sciences Training Program (MSTP). The MSTP program is a highly selective combined MD/PhD program. Students in the MSTP Program take PhD course work in conjunction with MD course work. The MSTP students have 20 different PhD programs available to them including Systems Biology and Bioinformatics. Upon completion of their PhD course work, the students will work full time on their PhD and then upon completion of the PhD return to traditional medical school to complete their MD.

Admissions Information

We encourage students to communicate directly with our department faculty regarding any individual considerations. In specific and limited situations, a direct admit to the SYBB program can be available through the School of Graduate Studies. Unlike the BSTP application deadline of January 15th, the deadline to apply via the direct admit route is June 1. Students should not consider direct admission as a regular route of application. Prior communication with department faculty is necessary for any consideration of a direct admit. All applications will be evaluated for acceptance on a rolling basis. Apply online through Hobsons as a direct admit SYBB student.

Apply Online 

How to Apply to the MS Program

Students interested in a MS degree in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics must directly apply to the program through the School of Graduate Studies.

Apply Online >>

Direct admission to the SYBB program will follow the guidelines denoted in the General Bulletin. Candidates will be evaluated based on:

  • Overall GPA;
  • Science GPA; and
  • GRE scores (required).

Very important criteria will also include responses to the following:

  • 4 supplemental questions;
  • 3 letters of reference;
  • Prior research experience; and
  • Potential on campus interviews.
  • Personal essay and CV are optional.

All students applying to the SYBB Program will be expected to have an undergraduate or master's degree in one of the component disciplines of the program including biological, computer, or quantitative sciences. The following undergraduate courses are strongly recommended:

  • Introductory Biology (2 semesters);
  • Introductory Chemistry (2 semesters);
  • Biochemistry;
  • Introductory Physics (2 semesters);
  • Calculus through differential equations;
  • Linear Algebra;
  • Introductory Computer Science; and
  •  Introductory Statistics.

The academic background of all students who are offered admission to and are admitted to the program will be evaluated for suitability based on the criteria above. Remedial work to cover any deficiencies in background may be recommended as a condition of matriculation. Remedial coursework will be incorporated into the student's individualized course of study.

For International Students

Our program has limited financial resources for supporting students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States. We give preference to foreign 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. Because of these financial constraints, foreign applicants who do not satisfy one of these criteria will have a small chance of admission.

The TOEFL examination will be required for international students. For direct admit students, we will follow the General Bulletin guidelines regarding the demonstration of the necessary command of English for foreign students.

Contact Us

  • Contact: David Lodowski
  • Email:
  • Phone: 216.368.6971
  • Address:
    Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics
    Case Western Reserve University
    BRB 9th Floor Admin West
    10900 Euclid Ave.
    Cleveland, OH 44106-4988