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FAQ: Ph.D. Program

1. What is the application deadline for the Epidemiology and Human Genetics Ph.D. Program?

Complete applications are reviewed by the Epidemiology and Human Genetics Admissions Committee and should be received by December 1st for priority review. The final deadline for applications is January 15thInternational Applicants should submit applications no later than January 15th. These deadlines are for the receipt of all application materials.

2. What is Priority Review?

Applications to the Epidemiology and Human Genetics PhD Program that are received by December 1st will be reviewed first. The Admissions Committee can make one of three decisions for each priority review applicant: 1) interview; 2) expedited acceptance; 3) rejection; or 4) placement into the regular applicant pool for review and possible interview at a later time.

3. Do you accept applications for Spring admission?

No, applicants are only accepted for Fall semester admission.

4. How do I apply online?

If you have not already done so, the first step is to create an acccount and then you may apply online.

5. I am experiencing problems with the online application. Who should I contact?

You may contact the Graduate School directly via email at

6. Is there an application fee and how many programs can I apply to with one fee?

Yes, there is a $75.00 (U.S.) application fee paid to the Graduate School. You may apply to one GPILS program per $75.00 application fee.

7. How many students do you accept each year?

The number of students accepted varies from year to year and depends on the number of Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) positions we have available.

8. Will the program accept my MCAT scores in lieu of the GRE?

No. GRE scores are required to be considered for the program. Applications will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee without GRE scores.

9. What is considered a competitive candidate for the Epidemiology and Human Genetics Program?

We prioritize students based on GRE scores, grades, research experience, recommendation letters and expected fit of the student’s interests with program of study and faculty research interests.  A strong personal statement which clarifies the students interests and future goals and expected contribution of pursuing a PhD in the program to fulfilling those goals is essential. We interview the most qualified candidates and our final decisions are based on the written application along with faculty input from interviews.

10. What if my GRE scores are lower than the average?

Although GRE scores are essential in determining an applicant’s qualifications, the Epidemiology and Human Genetics Admissions Committee reviews each application as a complete package. GPA, research background, past grades in statistics courses and recommendation letters also play an important role in the decision.

11. Do you require subject GRE scores?

Subject GRE scores are NOT required and will neither hinder nor aid in an applicant’s chances for admission.

12. Do you offer financial aid?

Students accepted into the Epidemiology and Human Genetics Ph.D. program are provided financial support by GPILS for the first 16 months of their studies.  Subsequently, their financial support is provided by the faculty member with whom they are working. Stipends are competitive nationwide ($28,000 per year) and increase as the student advances. In addition to annual stipends, students receive health care coverage and tuition remission. 

13. Will my application be reviewed if you have not received all of the required materials?

Given that each application is reviewed as a complete package, it is necessary to submit all portions of the application prior to it being reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

14. What are the institution and program codes for reporting GRE?

The institution code for GRE is 5848. The Epidemiology and Human Genetics Program code is 0606.

15. How do I send my letters of recommendation?

Letters of Recommendation should be submitted through the online application.  Once you have created an account you will submit your recommenders emails into the system and they will receive notification to submit letters of recommendation directly into your application package.

16. Where can I find housing information?

Go to the Residence Life website.

17. Is the program a part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine?


18. What is the atmosphere of the campus?

The University of Maryland, Baltimore, the Founding Campus is an urban campus in the heart of Baltimore that is home to graduate students and professionals.  The UMB campus consists of six different schools and programs as well as the University of Maryland Medical Center located right on campus. UMB is separate from the undergraduate college, which is located in College Park, Maryland.

19. Is public transportation available?

Yes. Baltimore has many options including buses, the Metro (Baltimore subway system), the Light Rail (aboveground train), and the Charm City Circulator (free bus that loops within Baltimore city). There is also a free UM shuttle that is available to UMB students and staff. You must show a UMB ID to board.

20. Are there fun things to do in Baltimore?

Yes! Baltimore is home to the beautiful Inner Harbor, where residents and visitors alike can visit, dine, and shop! There are many restaurants, small shops, and a mall located in and around the Inner Harbor. If you want something more than shopping and snacking, there are also many museums within a small radius of the Inner Harbor. Nearby attractions include the Maryland Science Center, American Visionary Art Museum, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, and the Babe Ruth Museum, to name just a few. There are also a variety of different cruises one can take in the harbor, even a Pirate Cruise! Fells Point and Federal Hill are also fun Baltimore neighborhoods that offer a lot in terms of dining, nightlife, and history. We are also located close to other great cities, such as Philadelphia, Arlington, and Washington, D.C..

21. Is there shopping nearby?

Yes, there are grocery stores in Fells Point and Canton that can be reached by public transportation or by car. There are additional grocery stores that are located outside of the Baltimore city limits which are more easily accessible by car.

22. Is it safe to live in Baltimore?

Yes. As with all major cities, awareness of your surroundings is important. UMB has its own police force that is dedicated to keeping the campus safe. Emergency call buttons are located on streets throughout the campus. They even offer vehicle and walking escort services to all students, faculty, and staff.

23. Where do students live?

Students may choose to live wherever they wish. They often live in and around the city to be close to campus. There are many options available, such as apartments, condos, and houses.

24. Are there opportunities to meet students outside of the EPI/HGEN program?

Yes! In addition to some of the classes that are taken with other Epidemiology and Human Genetics students, PhD students interact with other GPILS students in the core course, and Human Genetics students take some classes with Master’s in Genetic Counseling Students.  There are also many fun opportunities to meet and mingle with other UMB students. The Student Government Association and Graduate Student Association regularly hold fun events, such as the Welcome Back to School Social, Crab Feast, Fall Formal, holiday socials, and outings to Orioles’ games!


For International Students Only

1. Do you accept international students, if so, how many each year?

We do accept international students; however, we do not have a particular number or percentage of international students we intend to accept – the application pool varies from year to year and it is dependent upon the applications we receive. We accept the most qualified candidates.

2. What is the deadline for international applicants?

International applicants must submit all application materials no later than January 1st to be considered.

3. Do you provide funding for international students?

Yes, all students accepted into the program are provided the same financial benefits.

4. Is the TOEFL required for international students?

Applicants whose native language or language of home is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the examination of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Further information on TOEFL/IETLS, click here.

5. If I am an international student with a M.S. degree from a U.S. university do I still need to take the TOEFL?

The TOEFL requirement is waived for applicants who have received a M.S. degree from an American accredited university/college. Further information on TOEFL waivers, click here.

6. What are the institution and program codes for reporting TOEFL scores?

The TOEFL institution code number is 5848; use the department code 45 (Biomedical Sciences).


Be sure to visit our 'How to Apply' page as well for information and links.