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Admissions Requirements

Course Requirements

Because BBS students come from a variety of academic backgrounds and receive training at Yale in a wide array of disciplines, there are no common courses required of all BBS applicants. In general, successful applicants will have completed undergraduate coursework in biology, chemistry at least through organic chemistry, physics, and calculus. Each BBS Track may have more specific course requirements, which are described on the Track pages.

BBS does not have a minimum GPA requirement.


The BBS Program does not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, and submitted GRE scores will not be included in the review of an application.

Statement of Purpose

The application will ask you to submit a Statement of Academic Purpose. Here are the instructions for writing this part of the application:

Your statement of purpose will aid the admissions committee in evaluating your application. Succinctly respond in 500-1,000 words. Please discuss your motivation for conducting research, provide a detailed summary of your research experience and how it prepares for you for doctoral study, and include how you have taken initiative on a research project, academic endeavor, or employment responsibility. Finally, please describe your career aspirations.


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. Waivers are not granted for those who have received a masters degree from such an institution. Please review this flow chart to determine whether you are required to submit TOEFL scores. If you do not need to submit the scores, there is no formal waiver process or form required.

Applicants must achieve a score of at least 600 on the paper version of the exam, 250 on the computer-based exam, and 100 on the internet-based exam. Applicants should take the test no later than November and no earlier than 24 months prior to applying to the BBS Program. Please use institution code 3987 when reporting your scores to the BBS Program; you do not need a department code.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are acceptable in addition to or in lieu of TOEFL scores. For details about this testing alternative, please visit At the time of test-taking you will want to specify Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.