Application Information


Application and admissions procedures for the PhD program in integrative biology and physiology (IBP) at the University of Minnesota Medical School

Admissions procedures

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program. At this time, we are a small program, but we hope to continuously grow over the next few years. If you fit any of the categories below, or, even if you do not but still have a unique interest in the Twin Cities IBP Ph.D. Program, then proceed to the next section.
Quick IBP Grad Program Facts:

  1. Application deadline is December 10.
  2. All application materials are submitted through the ApplyYourself system.
  3. Three letters of recommendations are mandatory.
  4. Research experience in laboratory is significant.

Questions? Please contact Jane Barnard, Graduate Program Coordinator - 612-624-8151

Categories of Applicants

  1. We do have some slots open for very well qualified independent individuals. If you believe you are well qualified (appropriate Calculus, Physics, Biochemistry prerequisites, excellent grades, high GRE scores, preferably with research experience…….) then we invite you to apply.
  2. We are also accepting applications for Ph.D. training from people with previous medical training who are already at the University of Minnesota or are considering the University of Minnesota Medical School for residency or fellowship training. For instance, a surgical resident, a renal or cardiology fellow, or other comparable student may be interested in bundling their required research into a Ph.D. program. The new Physician – Scientist program is an option here.
  3. We are also trying to establish ties to local private industries that are engaged in relevant Physiological projects. For instance, there are people working in various biotechnology and bioengineering companies in the Twin Cities that are already doing work in Physiology, and who may benefit from formal training.
  4. Also, people already affiliated with our graduate faculty are encouraged to apply for admission. For instance, appropriate undergraduate students, lab techs, or other people already working in a graduate faculty laboratory may be good candidates for the Ph.D. program.

Questions? Please contact Jane Barnard, or 612-624-8151


  • Undergraduate degree with at least one year (3 quarters or 2 semesters) of Calculus, one year of Physics, one year of Biology, and two years of Chemistry. (For the Ph.D., Physical Chemistry is not required, but is recommended). Previous research experience is not required, but is highly recommended. Prerequisites are not absolute, and often a tailor-made program can make-up for a particular deficit.
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE, general test is the only requirement; for more information go to ) are mandatory.  The Center for Online Education has put together a resource link: GRE Test & Prep Study Guide.  As a general requirement of the Graduate School, international student applicants whose native language is not English are also required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The IBP Graduate Program does not use an automatic reject threshold for applicants below a set GRE score. We use the GRE scores to help identify potential strengths and weaknesses so that if the applicant is accepted, we can tailor an academic program that best fits the student’s needs.
  • Three letters of recommendation are mandatory.

Admission is on a competitive basis. Admission decisions and decisions on financial support are made separately. However, for maintaining a high quality program, the faculty requires that all entrants be free to devote full-time to scholarship for the Ph.D. Generally, this means that virtually all students admitted to the Ph.D. program are afforded full financial aid for the duration of their studies.

In considering your application we look at more than your academic record and scores on standardized exams. We search for evidence of creativity and initiative in letters of recommendation, previous laboratory experience or other work experience.

The due date for applications to be submitted is December 10.

Application process

All materials are submitted electronically through the ApplyYourself application system. Admission decisions are communicated to applicants using this system.

A decision for admission notice will be emailed to you once your application is carefully reviewed by the department's admission committee and your transcripts and any credentials are authenticated by Graduate School officials. You can expect a decision by late March or early April.

Apply Online

All admissions decisions are made after an individualized review of the applicants’ completed application files. Your application is only complete if you have completed each item below:

A Checklist For Applying for the Ph.D. Program in Integrative Biology & Physiology

  1. Before beginning your on-line admissions application, please visit the Graduate School's Application Instructions site which has very useful instructions. When you are ready to begin your application go here. First time users must create an account. Choose a password and a PIN will be generated for you; then follow the directions.
  2. Application Fee: This is done electronically via ApplyYoursef. Click here for more information about fees.
  3. The electronic application form asks if our program requires electronic (online) submission of (3) letters of recommendation. Our program does require 3 online letters of recommendation.
  4. Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded directly to the online application. Do not mail in paper copies.
  5. The current application requires two separate written statements to be uploaded. You do not have to write extensively for each statement. However, we do need to know why you are applying, if you have any specific graduate educational plans, and if you have a research area you hope to specialize in or a specific mentor you hope to work with. If you have anything you want us to consider or any unique experiences, feel free to let us know. This can be accomplished with statement 1. You may briefly answer statement 2, although it is optional.
  6. The Application for Admissions form asks what semester you expect to enter if admitted. Carefully choose the semester (and year) you wish to enter. Please note that you should understand that the graduate school assumes you will be registering for at least one course in the semester you enter. If you get admitted for a given semester and do not register for a course in that semester, then you must switch your admission to the Graduate School to a latter semester via the admissions office. It is sometimes possible to take graduate level classes (in consultation with Stephen Katz) before official admission, and apply them towards your degree after you are admitted.
  7. The application will ask for your proposed Major and degree objective. Click on Integrative Biology and Physiology or Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Ph.D. Use the following: (Major code = 015360208).
  8. TOEFL Scores: These should be entered electronically into ApplyYourself. Click here for more information about TOEFL Scores.
  9. GRE scores: Scores should be entered in the Test Information-Self Reported field in ApplyYourself. Here is more information from the Graduate school about the GRE.
  10. The application form will allow you to upload a resume or curriculum vitae. We ask that you upload a brief resume that lists what you have been doing since high school in chronological order. Please do not leave any gaps in time.
  11. You do not have to apply for a fellowship via the online application. The PhD program in Integrative Physiology and Biology typically supports all of our Ph.D. students with a monthly stipend (competitive with other nationally ranked schools) as well as free tuition, and fringe benefits. Financial support is provided through the IBP department and associated graduate program.

Questions? Please contact Jane Barnard, Graduate Program Coordinator - or 612-624-8151