QBS PhD program frequently asked questions

How long does it take to earn the QBS PhD?
The average time to earn the QBS PhD degree is about 4.5 years, with a range of 3 to 7 years.

Is it important for me to correspond with a potential supervisor before application?
We do not require students to secure an advisor prior to application or matriculation. However, any type of faculty interaction is strongly encouraged and largely welcomed by our faculty. This shows genuine motivation to discover more about the QBS program and also helps the student determine if specific faculty may be accepting students that next year.

How many admitted PhD students last year are international students?
Typically, one third to one half of the PhD class will be international students.

For the IELTS, do you accept a TRF copy or must come directly from the administering body?
TRF form is acceptable for application, but official documents are required if an offer is made.

Do students report a conflict between doing well in class and making the most of a rotation?
Students do say this can be challenging, but students need to make adjustments and need to communicate if having difficulty balancing course work and rotations. Faculty are well aware students have a heavier course load in their first year, and schedules, courses, and expectations in lab should be discussed before the rotation.

Is it possible to do multiple rotations with the same supervisor?
No, rotations must be with different supervisors. We encourage you to pursue your research interest, as well as experience other areas you might not have previously considered. You should strive to make each rotation meaningful and choose labs you are genuinely interested in where you could carry out a dissertation project. This provides an additional safety net when determining an advisor.

When in the summer does the PhD start?
We generally ask students to arrive on campus about a month prior to the beginning of the Fall term, around mid-August. QBS orientation, programming bootcamp, biomedical sciences seminar, and ethics course take place during this time.

If we come from a MS in Biostats/Bioinfo, can we transfer the credits for overlapped courses?
No, currently students cannot test out of required courses or transfer credits from another institution.

I am self-reporting my GRE scores. Do I need to send them in by the application deadline?
GRE scores are optional, but you may self-report your scores in your application. If you are made an offer of admission, we will require an official report of your GRE scores.

Can I apply to the PhD program if I do not have research experience?
Yes. It is understood that at some institutions there may not be much opportunity for research during your undergraduate degree.

If I don't get an offer to the PhD program, will I be considered for the MS?
You may apply to both programs - there is a separate application process for an MS. If you do not receive an offer for the PhD program let us know if you are interested in the MS.

Does QBS PhD offer concentrations?
No, the PhD program does not offer concentrations. PhD students do rotations and dissertation work with faculty that match their specific interests, and they take advanced electives. You will be cross-trained in all disciplines, and you can highlight your training in a given discipline when applying for positions.

Do students who enter with an MS tend to finish the program sooner?
No. All core course work is required of all students. A student with a specific MS may join a lab with more experience in their background, but this does not predict the timeline of their project and publications.

I correspond with a faculty member, and they think I’ll be a fit to the program; will that influence the admission decision?
While we welcome hearing about positive interactions from faculty, we review applications holistically and where it may place among other applicants. Therefor we cannot definitively say that it will or will not influence a decision.

Is there an option to do research rotations outside of Dartmouth?
QBS rotations must be with QBS faculty. Collaborations and external committee members outside of Dartmouth are a possibility.

For accepted PhD students, is the tuition covered completely?
Yes. PhD students also receive a monthly stipend and healthcare benefits.

Is it possible to work remotely and do the full time PhD?
Currently there are restrictions on this, and it may depend on what grants are funding your PI. Permission for additional employment must be proposed to and approved by the dean of the Guarini School. Please read the policy for international students on the Guarini website.