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Program of Study

The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center offers a doctoral program that trains laboratory scientists to work in research areas directly applicable to human disease and in particular, cancer. 

The unique curriculum integrates Memorial Sloan Kettering's basic science and clinical arms to maximize the potential of future basic scientists to improve human health.

During the first year, students complete a core course that introduces recent findings in relevant topics through didactic lecture and discussion of research papers. Students will also complete three five-week laboratory rotations, with each one culminating in an oral presentation of their findings; three visits with clinicians; course work in logic and critical analysis; and two semesters of the President's Research Seminar Series Journal Club, which introduces students to the published works of world-renowned speakers.

After completing the didactic portion of their education in the first year, students focus full time on thesis research. Students are expected to present a written and oral thesis proposal by mid-April of the second year. Continuing throughout their graduate careers, students take part in the Current Topics Journal Club, along with the Graduate Student Seminar, in which students present their own research. 

Students also have the opportunity to select a clinical mentor who directs the student in participating in hospital-based academic activities such as grand rounds and conferences with pathology and disease management teams.

Research Facilities

Memorial Sloan Kettering's research space totals approximately 575,000 square feet, with many cutting-edge laboratories and facilities housed within the Rockefeller Research Laboratories building and the Zuckerman Research Center, a building with open, spacious floors designed to encourage collaboration.

There are dozens of research core facilities that serve both basic and clinical research needs, offering state-of-the-art instruments and technical staff support to graduate students. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center library subscribes to a full range of science, medical, and healthcare resources. Students have access to more than 2,800 journals, with the majority of these titles available electronically. The library's website provides access to an extensive collection of resources, including an online catalog, databases, electronic books, and electronic journals.

Financial Aid

All matriculated students receive a fellowship package that includes an annual stipend ($41,000 for 2019-2020); a first-year allowance to be used for books, journals, and other school expenses; a scholarship that covers the full cost of tuition and fees; comprehensive medical and dental insurance; a laptop computer; relocation costs (up to $500); and membership in the New York Academy of Sciences.

Students may also apply for independent funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Recipients of one of these fellowships receive an additional award of $5,000 from the school; this is in addition to any supplement necessary to bring the stipend to the common level. Travel awards are given to students who present a poster or a short talk at a scientific meeting.

Living and Housing Costs

Affordable housing in proximity to the research buildings is provided to all students by Memorial Sloan Kettering. Housing units are located in family-oriented neighborhoods on or near Manhattan's Upper East Side. Students who have spouses or significant others can apply for family units. The housing contract runs for the student's duration of study and is automatically renewed each year.

Student Group

Currently there are 77 full-time students (42 women, 35 men), with 18% of domestic students who are underrepresented minority; 43% of the student body are international. Applicants are expected to hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and have significant basic science research experience. College-level coursework in the following areas is required: biology, chemistry, physics, organic chemistry, mathematics, and biochemistry.

Student Outcomes

Graduates of the program are expected to enter into careers as researchers, scientists, and educators in excellent laboratories, hospitals, medical schools, and research institutions throughout the country and around the world.


The campus is located on Manhattan's Upper East Side, home to some of New York City's best shopping and dining. Several world-famous museums are within walking distance, and Central Park is a few blocks away. New York also offers theater, live music, outdoor recreation, and cultural attractions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, all accessible by public transportation.

The Graduate School

The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, offers the next generation of basic scientists an intensive Ph.D. program to study the biological sciences through the lens of cancer. The Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is accredited by the New York State Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education, located at 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12234; phone: 518-474-3852.


Prospective students must submit the online application, official transcripts from all colleges previously attended, three letters of recommendation from advisers and/or research mentors. The submission of Graduate Record Exam scores is optional and not required. Official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exams are required for applicants who do not speak English as their first language (can be waived for those who earned their undergraduate degrees in the United States). An in-person interview is requested from those applicants being seriously considered for admission, but the requirement may be waived if geographical constraints are overwhelming and may be substituted with video interviews. The deadline to apply is December 1, and interviews take place the following January.

Correspondence and Information

Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

1275 York Avenue, Box 441
New York, New York 10065

Phone: 646-888-6639
Fax: 646-422-2351



The Faculty and Their Research

Information regarding the faculty members is available online at:

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Doctoral Degrees 14

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Doctoral Degrees Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required



applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline December 1st December 1st No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Doctoral Degree Requirements Transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, GRE optional

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required

Tuition & Fees

Calculator icon

Financial Support

Types of financial support available

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 8.11%
Black or African American 1.35%
White or Caucasian 41%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 6.76%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 0%
Unknown 2.7%


Male (54%)
Female (45%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 130
Part-time - 0
Male (100)
Female (30)


Focus of faculty research: Structural biology, computational and systems biology, cancer biology and genetics, immunology, chemical biology
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 1275 York Avenue, Box 441
New York, NY  10021
United States
Contact Ms. Linda Burnley
Associate Dean
Phone: 646-888-6639

Update my info
Your submission to Program in Cancer Biology has been sent.
Update my info
Your submission to Program in Cancer Biology has been sent.
Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Update my info
Your submission to Program in Cancer Biology has been sent.