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General Admissions Information
Three points of entry: EPB is unique among graduate training programs at Harvard University because a student may enter through any one of three different Host Departments: Physics, Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), or Engineering and Applied Sciences (DEAS). An interested student should submit an application to one or more of these three Departments, as described below. Each applicant will first be considered for admission by the Host Department and then, if admitted, considered for the EPB track. Thus, for example: if a student applies to EPB via the Physics Department, they may be (i) accepted as a graduate student in EPB/Physics; (ii) accepted as a graduate student in Physics but not in the EPB Program or (iii) not accepted.

Student Population. The EPB Program will admit only five students each year. The goal of the Program is to attract "the best and the brightest" young students interested in Physical Biology, worldwide. To provide diversity among the student population with respect to scientific background and overall inclination, each entering class will include one or two students admitted through each of the three Host Departments.

Criteria for Admission. Applicants will be judged on the basis of their overall academic record, GRE scores, faculty recommendations and a personal statement that describes their background and their reasons for wanting to join the EPB Program. Preference will be given to applicants who combine a strong academic record in the quantitative sciences with evidence of imagination, creativity and a desire to push the boundaries of existing knowledge.

Requirements for Admission
An applicant must ordinarily have a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution.

EPB-specific requirements. Students may enter from an undergraduate concentration in either the biological sciences or the physical sciences. In either case, preparation must include least two years of training in calculus (to the level of differential equations) plus strong basic undergraduate training in biology; basic, organic and physical chemistry; and physics.

Host Department-specific requirements. Each prospective student will also need to meet the individual requirements of the Host Department to which he or she applies, which are:

EPB/Physics. Background will include 50-60 credit hours, or approximately half of undergraduate work, devoted to physics, mathematics and chemistry. At least a one-year introduction to quantum mechanics is also highly desirable.

EPB/MCB. No special background requirements beyond those of EPB.

EPB/DEAS. Background will ordinarily include a bachelor's degree in science, mathematics or engineering.

See individual Department web sites for further information:

Application Procedure
GSAS information. Students seeking admission to EPB must apply through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). For information about how to apply, see and click on "Admissions". It is strongly suggested that prospective students utilize the online application process. However, those who prefer to apply via paper can request applications from the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Byerly Hall, 2nd floor; 8 Garden Street; Cambridge, MA. 02138.

Choosing and specifying a point of entry. Each application must specify the Degree Program corresponding to the Host Department through which the student wishes to enter plus, within that Program, the numerical code for "Engineering and Physical Biology". Thus:

- Program 09: Biology, Molecular and Cellular; Code Number 0950
- Program 06: Engineering and Applied Sciences; Code Number 0650
- Program 53: Physics; Code Number 5350.

For further details, see:

In addition, each prospective student should indicate and discuss his or her interest in the EPB Track in the "Statement of Purpose" section of the application.

What will your application include? The GSAS application form asks you to provide biographical and academic information, an abstract of courses you have taken and a personal statement of purpose which describes your goals for graduate study. Supporting documentation will include (i) three letters of recommendation from faculty or others qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate studies in EPB; (ii) official university/college transcripts of your undergraduate record; (iii) official notification of your test scores on the General Test Graduate Record Examination (GRE) from the Educational Testing Service and (iv) an application fee. In addition, you are strongly encouraged to submit a resume or curriculum vitae along with your completed application.
Additionally, each host Department requests or requires certain additional information beyond that required by GSAS. These additional requirements are described in appropriate corresponding web sites:

Due date. Applicants are considered for admission to the fall term only. Applications for matriculation in fall, 2006 are due by December 8, 2005.

To check the status of your application
To determine whether all application materials have been received, contact the Admissions Office by calling 617-496-6100 between 2 pm and 5 pm EST. To determine the state of your application with respect to the admissions selection process, contact the EPB Program Administrator at



2005 daVinci Group retreat. For additional images explore the Retreat Program & Photos section.