Admission FAQs

Admission FAQs


Find answers to frequently asked questions about our graduate program.

1. What makes Gerstner Sloan Kettering special?

The Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers training to students and engineers that takes advantage of the integration between the basic science and clinical arms of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Students are exposed to the knowledge required for modern biological research and an appreciation of the challenges of controlling disease. Our approach to science is broadly applicable to all human diseases.

2. Do all students receive financial support?

Yes. All matriculated students receive a fellowship package. This includes a stipend ($48,600 for 2023-2024), a tuition scholarship to cover the full cost of tuition and fees and a comprehensive medical and dental insurance package. Travel awards, which fund student travel to scientific meetings, are also available.

GSK students are strongly encouraged to apply for various competitive predoctoral fellowships, such as the National Institutes of Health’s National Research Service Award. Students who successfully compete for these awards are supplemented to our current stipend level and receive an additional $5,000.

3. Is the fellowship renewed each year?

GSK students who maintain satisfactory progress in the program automatically continue to receive financial support on a yearly basis.

4. Are these full-time programs?

Yes. All students must be matriculated on a full-time basis.

5. In what areas of research are the graduate faculty involved?

The Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School faculty are from departments and research programs of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. These include the Sloan Kettering Institute’s eight research programs – Cancer Biology and Genetics, Cell Biology, Computational Biology, Developmental Biology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry, and Structural Biology – as well as the Memorial Hospital’s departments of Medicine, Pathology, Pediatrics, Radiology, and Surgery, and the hospital-based Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program.

Our faculty are scientists, physician-scientists, and engineers who conduct research in all areas of biomedical sciences including developmental biology and genetics; signals and pathways involved in the control of cell proliferation; genetic engineering, cell engineering, and immune engineering; cell-cell interactions, adhesion, and protein targeting; tumor immunology, immunotherapy, and transplantation biology; genomic integrity and human cancer genetics; nanotechnology and biomaterials; imaging and theranostics; drug development, drug resistance, clinical therapeutics; chemical biology and structural biology; and integrative computational biology and oncology.

6. Is housing available for students?

Yes. All graduate students are provided affordable housing accommodations in apartment buildings nearby the school that are owned by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Studio apartments, as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments for family housing are available. Apartment assignments are made based on individual needs. Single students generally share apartments with other students.

7. What are the admissions requirements for the two programs?

The cancer biology and cancer engineering programs each have distinct admissions requirements, which should be reviewed prior to choosing the program to which you would like to be consider

Both programs are open to highly qualified, well-prepared students who are driven by a motivation to become successful scientists. Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic credentials, recommendations from research mentors/advisors, and a demonstrated interest in participating in cancer and/or biomedical research. Students’ prior research experiences are of particular interest to the Admissions Committee.

Submission of General and Advanced Subject Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores is optional and not required for admission.

If English is not your first language, you may need to submit official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. Please see question and answer no. 12 on this list for details.

The Admissions Committee considers all data from each applicant before making its decision.

8. How do I apply to the PhD programs?

Applicants are required to submit an online application. When starting the application, applicants must choose the PhD program to which they would like to be considered. In addition, three letters of recommendation must be submitted online by the recommenders.*

Applicants must also upload copies of their official transcripts (showing proof of degree(s) as applicable) from ALL institutions attended beyond secondary school and that are properly signed and authenticated. International students with degrees from universities that do not use a 4.0 scale should upload a copy of their WES converted transcript onto the index page. 

The application for admission opens in August. The deadline for submission is December 1.

 *We do not accept these documents coming directly from applicants.

9. May I apply to both PhD programs? 

Applicants must choose one program to which they would like to be considered. However, applicants who meet the eligibility requirements for cancer engineering and cancer biology will be considered for both programs.  

10. I believe I meet the admissions requirements for both programs. Which should I choose? 

If you have reviewed the admissions requirements carefully and believe that you meet the requirements for both programs, select the program based on your interest in the curriculum and specific research areas.   

11. May I change programs once I enroll?  

No. Applicants must remain enrolled in the program to which they were accepted.  

12. What is the application deadline?

The application for admission to the PhD programs closes on December 1. All application materials must be received by this date.

13. Can international students apply?

Yes, we do accept international students.

We assist all international students with visa requirements once accepted into the program. 

Please visit this page for more information.

14. Who must take the TOEFL Exam?

Proficient command of spoken and written English is required for admission. TOEFL scores are required for all individuals whose first language is not English, unless they have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college or university in the United States or US Territory, in which case this requirement is automatically waived.

Exemptions may also be granted to those who receive the equivalent of a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a non-US college or university where all instruction is provided in English. To request an exemption please contact the graduate school office at [email protected].

15. What are the GRE and TOEFL codes?

The GRE School Code is 2837 (Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences). The TOEFL code is 8756 (Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences).

16. Is there an application fee?

No, there is no application fee.

17. What is an official transcript?

Please submit copies of your official transcripts (showing proof of degree(s) as applicable) from ALL institutions attended beyond secondary school and that are properly signed and authenticated. International students with degrees from universities that do not use a 4.0 scale should upload a copy of their WES converted transcript onto the index page. Transcripts should be uploaded in the application portal as non-encrypted PDF files. Uploading a transcript with any type of protection or encryption may prevent us from viewing the file and will delay processing of your application. Matriculating students will be required to provide an Official Transcript (sent directly from the institution) prior to entry into the graduate program.

18. How can I contact the Graduate School?

If you have questions or would like more information about the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, please contact us.

[email protected]
[email protected] (for the Mechanistic Biology Summer Program)


Mailing Address
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue, Box 441
New York, NY 10065