Apply to the PhD Program

How to Apply

Prospective PhD students can apply online at the Brandeis University GSAS website.

Application Deadlines

The deadline to apply to the PhD program is December 1. Reviews of applications will begin in early December. Late applications may be considered, but first consideration will be given to applications received by the deadline.

Brandeis University is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. The MCB Program welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The university has support services in place for this population.


Archaeal Multi-Cellular Colony
The molecular mechanisms of how different organisms interact with the environment around them is still an intriguing puzzle. The Bisson lab investigates an unusual phenomenon in which archaeal cells respond to stress by creating highly organized multicellular structures. The movie shows this structure captured from multiple Z planes. Cell membranes were stained with FM5-95 dye, and images were artificially colored from dark blue to light yellow, representing Z-stack depth (0 to 5 µm, respectively).

Video from Alexandre W. Bisson, Assistant Professor of Biology. 


Students are considered for admission based on their application as a whole, not simply on grades and test scores. In addition to the student's academic record (grades and coursework), admissions committees heavily weigh letters of recommendation, the extent and independence of previous work and research experience, and the individual’s statement of purpose. The MCB admissions committee will no longer be considering GRE scores in their admissions decisions. Please do not submit them with your application; the graduate school will remove them if they are received.

International applicants: there are additional requirements for international applicants (non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents), minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, and important information regarding visas. If the student is submitting TOEFL scores, please note that the Brandeis TOEFL institution code is 3261.

Graduate School of Arts and Science provides additional information about the MCB program.  


Visits to Brandeis

Applicants are encouraged to visit Brandeis to meet with students and faculty. Such visits are generally scheduled by the admissions committee. Visits provide an opportunity for prospective students to get a feel for Brandeis' unique social and scientific culture, its approach to student-faculty interaction, and research emphasis.

The day of the visit is filled with one-on-one faculty meetings, time to socialize with current students in the life science PhD programs, and a unique opportunity to see two senior graduate students present their thesis work to the community.

Notification of acceptance to the program

Notifications of acceptance or rejection are sent out as decisions are reached. For PhD applicants, this will occur no later than April 15.


Questions regarding the application process should be directed to the Division of Science Graduate Affairs Office.

Division of Science Graduate Affairs Office
Brandeis University, MS 009
Waltham, MA 02254-9110
Phone: 781-736-2352
Fax: 781-736-2349