What happens between the time you click “submit” and when a final decision is received?
Each of us on the admissions committee appreciates how much time candidates put into an application. It shows in your essays and the comments that recommenders make on your behalf.
Your future in the quantitative biomedical sciences is important to us, and we use the application review process to prepare you for the next step of your career. Here's an inside look at how we build a diverse class of quantitative professionals dedicated to improving data-based outcomes around the world.
Our admissions committees are made up of a combination of faculty, staff and alumni. Multiple committee members read each application for a thorough initial review. We look at everything you have submitted and take a holistic view of your entire application.
In our review, we pay attention to each element and take notes on:
- Your essay plays an important role in helping us understand your interests and goals and how those relate to the content and objectives of our program. We’re looking for you to draw a path from where you are now to where you want to be in your career. How will our PhD or MS help you?
- How you build relationships with others – this comes through via your recommenders' comments.
- Your academic performance, including trends over time. Do your grades improve from year to year? Are you able to sustain strong academic achievement? Are your standardized test scores (if applicable) consistent with your undergraduate experience?
- Research experience - if you have any type of research experience, describe your project or role in a project. What skills, methods, and techniques did you learn? Was there anything novel you contributed independently? Discuss your role in listed publications or presentations. If applicable, describe how this experienced helped shape your trajectory regarding applying for a PhD or subsequent career and learning goals.
After their initial independent review, the two admissions committee partners meet to discuss the application and make a recommendation, write summary comments, and identify any questions they have.
Our admissions director reviews every recommendation with one to three other admissions committee members in a Decision Committee meeting. Together, we decide on the next step, which could be:
- PhD applicants: An interview
- MS applicants: A final decision
Remote interviews with faculty, students, and alumni are held mid-January. Each applicant self identifies faculty of interest for the interview. We are purposeful in scheduling each applicant with their choices of self-identified faculty but we cannot guarantee this will happen 100% of the time. Applicants and faculty are paired for individual interviews. Interviews with current students may occur in panel format.
After interviews, the admissions committee meets to review each applicant to make final recommendations for admission. Admissions notifications are sent by mid-February.
The admissions review process happens separately but similarly for each deadline for the MS Program. Admissions notifications are sent three weeks after each deadline.
Before any decision is final, it is reviewed again by the Decision Committee. As a group, we weigh the benefits of each application, what the candidate may bring to the class, and the current class composition. We strive to assemble a group of students with different background who all want to make a positive impact in the quantitative sciences. We value students with different backgrounds and experiences. During your time in our program we expect that you will inhabit both learner and teacher roles. As a learner, you will be exposed to novel content in health and healthcare. As a teacher, you will coach and support your peers in areas which you may have deep expertise. Together, you and your peers will experience an intense relationship-based learning opportunity.
We try our best to have a process that is rigorous and fair. We trust the qual and quant data we collect in the review process. Having every decision go through multiple people helps to ensure the process is thoughtful and thorough.
Lead the Future of Quantitative Biomedical Sciences at Dartmouth
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If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us.