Part of the admission decision is based on several relatively objective criteria such as GPA, level of difficulty and relevance of coursework to the program, extent, nature and productivity of previous research experience (e.g., publications and presentations), and quality of the educational institutions at which the student studied. More subjective criteria are also taken into consideration: personal statement, letters of reference, the student’s commitment to research, understanding of graduate education, commitment to a career in research, and personal maturity.
Every student accepted is offered an annual stipend and a full waiver of tuition and fees. During the first year, this has been paid by the program, but in subsequent years the student’s dissertation advisor pays the stipend from a research grant, and the College of Medicine pays the tuition and fees. Currently, we have funds to support 30 students during the first year of study, and we have been successful in obtaining fellowships for many.
As a policy, the graduate program will only admit students who have guaranteed funding for at least the first year of study. This funding could be from the Biomedical Sciences program, or individually arranged support, such as from a faculty member sponsoring an international applicant. Support for subsequent years is the responsibility of the student's Dissertation Advisor.
Candidates selected to visit the program usually arrive on a Thursday evening for a dinner with existing students. On Friday morning, the Directors welcome them and give an overview of the day's activities.
Candidates interview with individual faculty members in the morning and then meet current students throughout the day and at lunch. In the afternoon, there is an Areas of Research Emphasis Fair where faculty members explain research opportunities available and answer questions. Students meet with a faculty member in their area of research emphasis and tour various facilities of interest on campus.
Friday night there is a social event with dinner at which time applicants meet with current students, other applicants, and faculty in an informal setting.
Saturday morning is spent visiting research facilities and laboratories at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital where a number of our faculty are located.
The Graduate Studies Committee meets the following week to make the decision to accept or reject the applicant, or to defer the decision until a later time.