The Ph.D. program trains students to pursue a career in independent biomedical research. Applications to the Ph.D. program are considered for fall semester admission only. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis from January-April. Most admission decisions are made during the months of February-March so please submit your completed application prior to March 1. We typically offer admission to 2-3 students per year.

Applicant qualifications for Ph.D. Program

Undergraduate degree

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited US institution, or a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree from a college or university of government-recognized standing. Applicants must have an overall GPA ≥3.0 (based on a 4-pt scale) and demonstrate ≥3.0 GPA performance in life science coursework.

Graduate Record Exam (Optional)

The GRE is now optional. If applicants chose to submit a GRE, they must take verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing sections of the general GRE. Competitive scores are ≥60% (value represents percent of individuals that scored lower in a given section). For further information on registering for the test, visit The GRE Tests ( The Wayne State University Institution Code is 1898. The Requested Departmental Code for the Department is 0201.

Research experience

Evidence of undergraduate or graduate research experience is considered one of the most important predictors of success in our program. Students who do not have any research experience beyond coursework laboratory assignments are encouraged to volunteer or work in a basic science laboratory for several months prior to submitting the application.

Faculty recommendations

Three letters of recommendation must be obtained from faculty who can evaluate the research and academic potential of the student. It is recommended that 1-2 letters originate from faculty who supervised the student's research. 1-2 letters can come from faculty with first-hand knowledge of performance in scientific coursework. Letters that focus primarily as character references are not recommended.

Personal statement of career goals

Applicants must prepare a carefully-written Personal Statement that explains his/her rationale for applying to the Anatomy & Cell Biology Ph.D. Program. The student should elaborate on what led them to choose our specific program as well as identify faculty that they are interested in working with. A statement of long-term career goals beyond the Ph.D. should also be provided.

Research experience statement

Several paragraphs should be devoted to various research projects the student has worked on including a discussion on data that was obtained and conclusions that were made.

Resumé (Curriculum Vitae)

Applicants must submit a carefully-prepared resumé that summarizes the student's academic and research experiences. If applicable, appropriate manuscript and abstract citations must be provided for purposes of confirmation. Research techniques that the student has mastered should also be listed.

Evidence of english proficiency

If the undergraduate education was completed in a country where English is not the native language, proof of English proficiency is required. The TOEFL is the most frequently used standardized indicator of English proficiency. For further information on registering for the test, visit Where to Study | TOEFL iBT Test ( The TOEFL must be no more than two years old upon application date. Please report your score to Wayne State University (Institution code 1898). The Departmental Code for Anatomy is 32. To be considered qualified for admission, the minimal score on the internet-based TOEFL is 100.

Interview with Graduate Program Committee

Competitive applicants will have the opportunity to be interviewed by members of the Graduate Program Committee. Depending on the circumstances, interviews will be held either in person or via zoom. Applicants should come prepared to discuss how they feel our program will enhance their long-term career goals.  

Now that you understand the requirements for admission to our program, you may be ready to apply. All applications to our program are processed electronically by WSU's Office of Graduate Admissions. The department no longer accepts hard-copy paper applications. You must apply for the Fall semester of the upcoming year. Do not apply for the Winter or Spring/Summer semesters.

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