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Prospective Students

We have strived to build an outstanding group of faculty mentors whose research expertise lies in many areas along the drug discovery and development process. Our group of training faculty consists of 52 members, eleven of whom hold primary appointments in the Department of Pharmacology. The other faculty members hold primary appointments in the Departments of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Chemistry, Clinical Pharmacology, Environmental Health Sciences, Medicine, Molecular Biology, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Urology. Our training faculty are dedicated mentors who foster the inclusive research environment that is key to the success of our training program.

The diverse backgrounds and previous experience of our trainees greatly enhance the Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences Training Program. We are committed to recruiting and training a strong, diverse group of trainees, and welcome all applicants without discrimination, including: applicants from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, groups with disabilities, trainees from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, the LGBTQ community, women, and international students. As a result, the diversity within our training program places our program in the top third most diverse programs of all Johns Hopkins PhD programs.

Currently, over 40 students are pursuing doctoral degrees in the department with over 400 additional Ph.D. candidates in other basic science departments of the School of Medicine.

An equal number of medical students and more than 1,000 students in the Bloomberg School of Public Health share the campus of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.


The Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences Program encourages and welcomes applications from minority applicants, and from students with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students from these groups are encouraged to apply for the Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative (VTSI) as part of their application to the Pharmacology program. See below for more information on the VTSI -- please note the earlier application deadline.

  • All materials must be submitted through the online application. The deadline for applying is December 8 (those also applying to the VTSI must apply by December 1). All applications must include:

    • Unofficial copies of grade transcripts (official copies will be required upon matriculation)
    • Your resume or CV, including research experience, publications, posters, and presentations
    • Three letters of recommendation (we suggest least one letter should be from a past or current academic or research advisor)
    • A personal statement. Within this one page statement you should express your commitment to graduate school, communicate your level of engagement in research, and describe how your career interests fit with those of our Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences program.
      Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Graduate Biomedical Education are fully committed to the shared values of diversity and inclusion in order to achieve and sustain excellence. We firmly believe that we best promote excellence by recruiting and retaining a diverse group of students, and promoting a sense of inclusion and belonging for every member of our community. Please feel free to include any reflections on or experiences with advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in science.

    The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required and scores will not be reviewed if submitted.

    *Failure to submit a complete application may result in a significant delay in the application review process.

    Interviews will be held virtually for invited candidates on February 17, 2023. Candidates who receive an offer of admission will be invited to Baltimore for an in-person visit March 16-18, 2023.

  • In addition to the application requirements listed above, international students must provide TOEFL or IELTS exam scores. We do not accept scores from other forms of proficiency exams. The TOEFL or IELTS requirement will be waived if an international student has completed a degree, or will complete a degree prior to matriculation, at an institution where the primary language of instruction is English. Our ETS Institution Code for TOEFL and IELTS is 5316.

    International students receive the same tuition and stipend support as domestic students.

    It is not necessary to identify an advisor prior to applying.

  • The Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative (VTSI) is an endowed fellowship program at Johns Hopkins for PhD students in STEM fields. It provides full tuition, stipend, and benefits while also providing targeted mentoring, networking, community, and professional development opportunities. Students who have attended a historically black college and university (HBCU) or other minority serving institution (MSI) for undergraduate study are eligible to apply. To be considered for the VTSI, all components of the PhD program application, including the VTSI supplemental components, must be completed by December 1, 2022. All supplementary material, including letters of recommendation, also must be received by December 1.

  • All admitted students (domestic and international) receive a funding package that provides a stipend and full payment of tuition, fees, and individual health insurance benefits (medical, dental, vision).

  • All Johns Hopkins University graduate students who are accepted will be subject to criminal background investigations. Generally, all offers of admission to School of Medicine degree programs will be conditioned on satisfactory criminal background investigations.

  • Are there any prerequisites to applying?

    Applicants should have a bachelor's degree from a qualified college or university with a major in any of the biological, chemical, or physical sciences. Entering students are expected to have completed college-level courses in biology, chemistry (inorganic, organic, and physical), calculus, and physics; a strong background in biochemistry is particularly desirable.

    What are the minimum scores for TOEFL or IELTS?

    There is no required minimum. Most competitive applicants will score at or above 100 on the TOEFL or 4.0 on the IELTS.

    What is the minimum GPA?

    There is no minimum GPA requirement.

    Do you offer fee waivers?

    The School of Medicine offers fee waivers to US citizens and permanent residents meeting eligibility criteria. More information on fee waivers can be found here.

    I don't qualify for a fee waiver. Can I request one directly from the department?

    If you do not meet eligibility criteria described here, a limited number of fee waivers may be granted to students who can sufficiently demonstrate financial need. Requests for waivers must be made no later than November 30th by emailing the Program Administrator at [email protected]. Requests received after November 30th will not be considered.

    When will I hear about the status of my application?

    You may check the current status of your application at any time in the application portal.

    Invitations to interview are generally issued by late December. Most US citizens and permanent residents can expect a decision by the end of January. International students can expect a decision by late February.

  • Questions about the application should be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions at [email protected]. Please note that they are unable to answer questions about the interview or acceptance status of individual applications. Eligibility requirements and instructions for requesting a fee waiver are available here.

    For questions specific to the Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences graduate program, please e-mail [email protected].


Combined M.D./Ph.D. Applicants

Applicants wishing to pursue a combined M.D./Ph.D degree should apply to The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Included with this application package are materials providing information relevant to graduate studies; candidates should indicate on these forms their specific interest in the graduate program in pharmacology. A separate application to the Ph.D. program is not required.

For more information, applicants should visit the AAMC website.

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