Frequently Asked Questions

Although the answers to most of your questions may be found throughout the BBS website, below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.  The Yale Graduate School also has an extensive list of frequently asked questions related to the online application.  Please see   If you have additional questions not answered below or on the Graduate School website, please send an email to us at

Application Process

The BBS Program does not have a pre-application process and therefore cannot tell you in advance how competitive you will be as an applicant.
You should select the Track whose scientific focus best matches your background and interests. Each Track has its own admissions committee and will be able to give your application more thorough consideration if your scientific interests match the Track's.
The BBS Program does not have any specific course requirements. We look for applicants who have a strong background in the biological or physical sciences (plus additional training in computing/informatics for those who apply to the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Track). See each Track's 'Admissions Requirements' page for more information.
Unfortunately, the fee cannot be waived for international applicants, nor can it be paid after the admissions process has been completed. An application cannot be submitted until the application fee is paid. U.S. applicants who request a fee waiver should follow the instructions found on the Graduate School's website
Please upload all application materials, including transcripts, directly into your online application.  Letters of recommendation should be uploaded by the individuals who write these letters.  Do not send any paper materials to either the BBS office or the Graduate School. Please follow the instructions for application submission found on the Graduate School's website:
Although the online application mentions that applicants should submit writing samples, these instructions are intended for applicants to programs in the humanities and social sciences. BBS applicants should not submit a writing sample. (If you have already submitted a writing sample, don't worry about it. It will be placed in your file but won't be read by admissions committees.)
The online application enables you to log into your record and check the status of receipt of recommendation letters and test scores. For more information go to the Graduate Schools Web site:


The GRE General Test is required of all applicants, although the Neuroscience, Immunology, and Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Tracks will allow applicants to use MCAT scores in place of the GRE. The GRE Subject Test is recommended but is not required. The TOEFL is required of applicants who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.
The BBS Program does not publish GPA or GRE data on our applicant pool. Our main guideline to applicants is that although a high GPA and high GRE scores are attractive to admissions committees, they do not guarantee admission. On the other hand, GPAs below 3.0 are detrimental to your application.
There are no minimum GRE score requirements. TOEFL scores must be above 250 (above 100 on the iBT version).
You should take the exam most pertinent to your scientific interests and in which you think you will score the highest. The Subject Test is recommended but not required.
The TOEFL is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. This requirement is waived only for applicants who will have received a baccalaureate degree, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction.
Please use institution code 3987. You do not need a department code.
As long as ETS has the scores on file and can report them to us, you do not need to retake the exam.
If you took the TOEFL within the past two years, ETS should still be able to release the scores to us. If your scores can no longer be released, you will need to take the test again.

Interviews & Decisions

Each Track has a slightly different timeline in notifying applicants, but those invited for on-campus interviews will be notified by mid-January. Although we make every effort to notify all applicants of decisions as quickly as possible, in some instances applicants may receive decisions as late as March. Formal offers of admission are communicated by the dean of the Graduate School and NOT by the BBS Program.

The interview schedule for 2016 is as follows:

February 5th - 6th; MCGD and CBB Tracks

February 12th - 13th;  BBSB and Neuroscience Tracks

February 19th - 20th; MCGD, MMPP, and Immunology Tracks

February 26th - 27th; Microbiology Track

Invitations to attend our recruiting weekends will be made by phone or email beginning in early January. International applicants who are considered for admission will be interviewed by phone in February and March.


For the duration of their studies, all BBS students receive a stipend ($33,700 in 2015-16), full tuition coverage, and health insurance. Students are encouraged to apply for external funding, and those who win competitive awards such as NIH National Research Service Awards (NRSA) or NSF fellowships receive a stipend bonus of $4,000 (for a total stipend of $37,700 in 2015-16).
All students admitted to BBS, regardless of citizenship, receive full financial support from the university. The financial resources we have available to pay for students who are neither U.S. Citizens nor U.S. Permanent Residents, however, is very limited. As a result, we are able to admit only about 5-7% of our international applicant pool, and students should take this into consideration before applying to the Program.

Degrees Offered

The BBS Program is intended only for students pursuing a doctoral degree. Computational Biology and Bioinformatics does offer a Terminal Masters degree, but this degree program is separate from and unaffiliated with BBS.