Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What factors are considered in the selection of PEMM applicants?

A: Selection factors include proven academic achievement, experience in and commitment to research, and strong personal qualities. While the PEMM Admissions Committee does not require a minimum GPA or GRE score, competitive applicants to our program typically have a cumulative undergraduate GPA >3.2, a total GRE scores of >1200 (or >305 on the new test), and analytical writing score of >4.0. Qualified applicants generally have strong research backgrounds, consisting of one or more years of research laboratory experience. The applicant's research aptitude is evaluated primarily through letters of recommendation and through the applicant's ability to clearly and intelligently communicate his/her research expertise in his/her written application, and during the interview. Applicants should also display why this course of study is appropriate to meet their career goals.

Return to top

Q: How many students do you admit? I want to know what my chances of being admitted are.

A: PEMM typically receives 120-150 completed applications per year; of those we interview 20-30. Of those interviewed, our goal is to admit 10 students per year.

Return to top

Q: What is the evaluation process for PEMM applicants?

A: The evaluation process is handled by the PEMM Admissions Committee. Highly qualified applicants are invited to Dartmouth for one of our recruitment weekends held mid-January and early March. We review applications on a rolling basis, and start inviting candidates for interviews shortly after the application deadline (January 7th). Once all candidates have been interviewed, we will start to make our first round admission offers, usually within 2 weeks of the interviews being completed.

Return to top

What are the course requirements for admissions?

A: Because our program is broad in scope, our candidates come from diverse academic backgrounds, so we do not have a specific list of requirements. We do require all candidates to have a Bachelor's degree with adequate preparation in chemistry, biology, and biochemistry (or equivalent). If you have specific questions about your transcript, feel free to contact the Program Coordinator.

Return to top

Q: Do applicants from certain schools have an advantage?

A: No. All applicants are evaluated based on their merits.

Return to top

Q: How do I apply?

A: You can link to our application from our Admissions page or directly from the ApplyYourself webcenter.

Return to top

Q: Do you offer application fee waivers?

A: The application fee is a cost incurred by the Graduate School for processing applications and as a consequence, PEMM cannot waive application fees.

Return to top

Q: When is the application deadline?

A: January 1

Return to top

Q: Does PEMM require an in-person interview, or can I have a phone/video interview?

A: We do require that Dartmouth faculty interview all students in person. Our usual interview lasts two days and involves interactions with students and faculty. One of the evaluative criteria we use is the potential compatibility of an applicant within the program and this becomes very evident during the two-day period. This is important as the applicant will be a member of a close student body for at least 5 years, and will also have a very close student-mentor relationship during this time frame. One of the biggest problems in recruiting most international students is the inability to interview them unless they are already in this country. However, our faculty often interview foreign students during their international travel. Please visit this page for a list of international locations where we will be interviewing this year (if any).

Return to top

Q: What do the interview days consist of?

A: Our interview weekend are held mid-January and early March. Applicants invited for interview weekend typically arrive on the Thursday before their interviews, and depart on Sunday. Typically the schedule is as follows:

Friday begins with an overview of the program and breakfast with the Director. This is followed by a tour of the facilities at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The bulk of the remainder of the day is dedicated to a series of 30 minute interviews. After all interviews are complete, there is a tour of the Hanover campus. In the evening, applicants have an opportunity to mingle with current students during dinner.

Saturday starts with breakfast and a symposium. The symposium presenters are generally faculty members from each of our research tracks that are actively recruiting to their lab. Following the symposium, the applicants will be treated to lunch by some of our current students. They will also give applicants a brief tour of the Upper Valley. In the evening, we have a poster session and dinner with both faculty and current students.

Return to top

Q: Who pays for travel and lodging costs associated with the interview?

A: PEMM covers domestic airfare, ground transportation, parking, accommodations while in Hanover, and meals on Friday and Saturday. Invited applicants generally lodge with other applicants at the Hanover Inn. Applicants may request their own room, but it would be at the expense of the applicant.

Return to top

Q: What expenses should I expect to incur if I attend interview weekend?

A: As we cover travel and accommodation, applicants would only pay for their meals while travelling to/from Hanover.

Return to top

Q: If I have a conflicting interview on the same weekend, do you have an alternate weekend?

A: We do have two interview weekend; one in mid-January and another in early March. If you can’t make either of these weekends, we understand that some applicants will have conflicts, and under these circumstances we can certainly arrange for you to come another day for an interview, it just won't be quite the same experience as the weekend event.

Return to top

Q: Does PEMM pay for international travel?

A: Regrettably, we do not have the resources to pay for international travel to Hanover. If an international student is already visiting the USA we may be able to help with the additional cost incurred with traveling to Hanover.

Return to top

Q: Is financial support available for international applicants?

A: Yes, all admitted students get the same financial support, regardless of country of origin. The support includes a full tuition scholarship, competitive stipend and a health insurance plan.

Return to top

Q: How many international students do you admit each year?

A: We do not have a set number that we admit; applicants are admitted based on qualifications and ability to meet our admissions requirements, not country of citizenship. We are proud of the diversity of our students from many different countries and backgrounds.

Return to top

Q: Does PEMM accept transfer students?

A: PEMM accepts domestic transfer students, on a case-by-case basis. However, we strongly discourage students from transferring to Dartmouth during their first year, in the same way that we would be disappointed if a PEMM student were to transfer to another program after we had made a substantial financial investment in recruiting and supporting his/her stipend.

Return to top

Q: What is the financial support at Geisel?

A: PEMM provides a full tuition scholarship, health insurance and a competitive stipend for its trainees. For the 2017-18 academic year our student stipend is $29,070 for students that have not completed their qualifier. Post qualifier, the student stipend is $29,570.

Return to top

Q: What is there to do at Dartmouth?

A: This is addressed on our Dartmouth Life page.

Return to top