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Institute for Biomedical Sciences The George Washington University

  • Washington, DC
  • Private
  • Urban
  • 60%40%
    student ratio
  • 58
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition


Institute for Biomedical Sciences

The Institute for Biomedical Sciences (IBS) is an interdisciplinary program at George Washington University (GWU) providing graduate students with outstanding educational and research opportunities to prepare for a wide variety of biomedical careers.

The institute offers 3 Ph.D. programs: Biochemistry and Systems Biology, Molecular Medicine, and Microbiology and Immunology. Students join faculty in researching the cellular and chemical interactions that are behind diseases ranging from HIV, heart disease, and cancer to the function of the memory, the neural mechanisms of drug abuse, and the development of vaccines that can prevent the spread of disease.

The George Washington University Medical Center

The IBS is part of the highly renowned George Washington University Medical Center's (GWUMC) School of Medicine. Founded in 1824, the school is the 11th oldest medical school in the country and is internationally recognized for being at the forefront of medical research.

The campus is located in the vibrant heart of Washington, D.C., just blocks from the White House, the National Mall, and the historic Georgetown section of the city.

Multidisciplinary Faculty from Leading Institutions

The IBS was established in 1996 to create a multidisciplinary teaching environment led by faculty from the GWUMC, along with the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the Children's Research Institute of the Children's National Medical Center. In addition to those institutions, the programs bring in faculty from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Students enjoy access to state-of-the-art research facilities at GWUMC and collaborate in labs at the various other faculty-affiliated institutions.

First Year Students Immersed in Core Curriculum

IBS students at George Washington University take a first-year core curriculum of rigorous coursework, complemented by practical career skills courses focusing on topics such as scientific writing, speaking, biomedical ethics, and careers in the biomedical sciences.

Research Rotations

Research rotations are also a central component of the first year of study. Students take part in 3 research rotations that are 11 weeks long and offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Following completion of the rotations, students select faculty mentors and labs in which they will go on to complete their dissertations. In addition to expanding students' research skills and experience, the rotations give students familiarity with research projects taking place in the institute. Students are expected to be in the lab for 30 hours per week.

Seminars Provide Additional Learning Opportunities

The 3 programs at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences each offer highly informative research seminar series featuring distinguished speakers and investigators, and students also benefit from regular seminars and special lectures at GWU's Columbian School of Arts and Sciences and Medical Center, and Children's Research Institute of the Children's National Medical Center.

Biochemistry and Systems Biology Program

The Ph.D. program in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics is designed to prepare students for careers in research and teaching in which the principles and methods of biochemistry and genetics are applied to the study of biological and medical problems. Our students are provided a strong knowledge of modern biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics followed by development of an individualized program. Faculty members interact with the clinical departments in such areas as cancer, immunology, heart disease, vascular biology, cerebral resuscitation, blood disorders, inherited diseases, and problems of aging.

Systems biology is an area of academic endeavor defined as the integration of multiple disciplines enabling modeling of biological systems in health and disease. The application of systems biology to human physiology and pathophysiology is the focus of this concentration. Students will be trained in an emerging academic discipline focusing on multi-scale modeling of the physiome in health and disease. A key new scholarly area of theory and practice within this field is data integration, where genome-enabled methods in DNA, RNA, and protein are understood, and able to be intellectually and technically integrated.

Molecular Medicine Program

The Molecular Medicine program prepares students for careers in biomedical research involving the analysis of the human organism and its role in health and disease, at the molecular level.

Students in the program enroll in 1 of 3 tracks: molecular and cellular oncology, neurosciences,or pharmacology and physiology.

Research projects in the program address issues such as the molecular mechanisms of cancer progression; the neural processes involved in receiving, storing, modifying, and retrieving information; synaptic connectivity in developing frontal cortex; cardiovascular physiology and neuropharmacology.

Microbiology and Immunology Program

The Microbiology and Immunology program's research efforts include vaccine development, T lymphocyte development and activation, cancer immunology, molecular parasitology, genetic and parasite epidemiology, molecular retrovirology (HIV/AIDS), and microbial genomics and proteomics.

Some researchers in the program are involved in international collaborations with research labs in places such as China, Brazil, and Honduras. The Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at George Washington University is also home to the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative.

GWU-NIH Graduate Partnership Program

Several highly qualified students are selected each year to take part in the GWU-NIH Graduate Partnership Program, in which participants perform their dissertation research in pairs of research laboratories -- one at a GWU campus and one at the NIH campus.

In the unique program, at least 50 percent of research time is spent at the NIH, and students have the opportunity to take part in different, complementary approaches to research questions while acquiring highly valuable professional skills for the management of research collaborations.

Students interested in applying to the program apply at both the NIH Graduate Partnership Program and GWU's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

Research Background Helpful for Applicants

Applicants to the Institute for Biomedical Sciences should have a strong background in coursework that prepares them for a rigorous core curriculum in modern molecular and cellular biology and laboratory research.

A minimum of a 3.0 grade point average is usually required, and applicants are required to submit 3 letters of recommendation, along with GRE general test scores.

Fellowships that Cover Tuition at George Washington University

Fellowships carry a stipend to cover living expenses and 24 credit hours of tuition reimbursement for the first year are available to IBS students on a competitive basis. Additional financial aid to George Washington University students is available in the second year depending on a satisfactory academic record during the first year.

A Presidential Merit Fellowship in the biomedical sciences, carrying a stipend and 24 credit hours of tuition per year for 2 years is also available on a competitive basis.

Location & Contact

Institute for Biomedical Sciences

The George Washington University

2300 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Dr. Linda Werling


Phone: 202-994-2918
Fax: 202-994-0967

Phone: 202-994-2179
Fax: 202-994-0967

Request More Info

Departments & Programs

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Molecular Medicine Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) [molecular and cellular oncology]
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) [neurosciences]
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) [pharmacology and physiology]
    • Biochemistry And Systems Biology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Microbiology And Immunology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 2
    • Doctoral Degrees 16
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


7% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 188
    • Accepted 15
    • Acceptance Rate 7
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $60
    • Application Fee - International $60
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline December 15th December 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 600 paper based, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableTuition Waivers, Federal Work-Study, Institutionally-sponsored Loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students58
    • Female Percentage60%
    • Male Percentage40%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students58
    • Part-time Percentage78%
    • Full-time Percentage22%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino2%
    • Black / African American2%
    • White / Caucasian77%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native2%
    • Asian9%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown8%



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