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Only those students who have completed a 2-year accredited master’s degree with experiential learning and professional development components may apply for admission to the PhD in Applied Life Sciences. Examples of such degrees include KGI’s own Master of Business and ScienceMaster of Engineering in Bioprocessing, or the Master of Science in Applied Life Sciences as well as some professional master’s degrees like those in genetic counseling.

If you meet the degree requirement, you must also have experience or skill related to KGI’s areas of research. Before applying, please review our faculty research areas to ensure fit. You may also contact the Admissions staff to learn about specific research projects available for the upcoming admissions cycle.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Start Terms: Fall
  • Application Deadline: December 15 Priority Deadline, February 28 Final Deadline

Application Requirements

An online application form is required that contains questions about your personal and educational background. Additional requirements (below) can be submitted along with your online application or separately:

  • Personal Statement

    The personal statement gives you an opportunity to describe your academic, career, and personal objectives. Please use the statement to outline the basis of your interest in KGI’s program, to demonstrate your potential for making research contributions in the biosciences, and to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee other significant matters. This statement should include your technical skills and touch on your relevant work experiences. This statement should also address the available project for which you are applying and your fit with that research area. Please limit your response to the equivalent of three double-spaced typewritten pages.

  • Resume
  • Letters of Recommendation

    Contact information for two recommenders is required during the online application process. If you have a sponsorship company, please request a letter from an industry supervisor/sponsor. At least one letter should be from a person who can comment on your potential to effectively carry out independent research leading to a PhD degree. One of these letters could be from a KGI faculty member if they have interviewed the applicant and have funds to support the student. Two recommendations are required, but additional recommendations may be submitted if desired. Recommenders will be contacted via email to submit their recommendation online. If they prefer otherwise, they can email or mail a copy to the Admissions Office along with this recommendation form.

  • Transcripts

    Unofficial transcripts may be submitted for evaluation purposes. If admitted and you choose to matriculate, official transcripts must be submitted from all colleges or universities attended. Translated copies must be submitted for International students.

    Note for international applicants, SpanTran has created a custom application for Keck Graduate Institute that will make sure you select the right kind of evaluation at a discounted rate. You can access their application here: SpanTran Pathway – Keck Graduate Institute

  • Standardized Test Scores

    The following tests are NOT required for admissions, but if the applicant has taken one or more of these exams, submission of scores could strengthen the student prospects for admission as this is a competitive program. Unofficial copies and self-reported scores may be submitted for evaluation purposes. If admitted and you choose to matriculate, official copies must be submitted.

    • GRE: School code 4166
    • MCAT: Scanned or mailed printout is required and must include a verification code and AAMC ID.
    • GMAT: Provide Keck Graduate Institute as the school name when prompted
  • English Language Proficiency

    International students are required to submit official scores from one of the following tests of English language proficiency: TOEFL, PTE, IELTS, or iTEP. Students who have studied at a U.S. institution for more than 2 years and those from a country where English is the primary or official language are exempt from this requirement. Unofficial copies and self-reported scores may be submitted for evaluation purposes. If admitted and you choose to matriculate, official copies must be submitted.

    Duolingo English Test: The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $59. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with Keck Graduate Institute when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.

  • $75 non-refundable application fee

Application Review

The PhD Admissions Committee is made up of faculty and senior administrators who will thoroughly and conscientiously review each application. Applications will be considered in the context of the total applicant pool, as well as in relation to our general admissions standards. We do not use arbitrary grade points or test score cutoffs.

All admissions decisions are final for the academic year in which they are rendered.

Admitted Students

Admitted students are required to submit a $400 non-refundable enrollment fee to hold their spot in the program. Additionally, counselors maintain contact with admitted students to ensure all official documents are received.

Admitted students also receive regular communication from the Admissions Office with important information about preparing for study, student life, housing, orientation, and other topics of interest.

Scholarship and Loan Info

We also encourage you to review the Funding Your Degree page for valuable scholarship and loan information and relevant deadlines for both domestic and international students.