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  Approximately 10 students join the Watson School Ph.D. program each year.  Watson School students come from all over the world, with more than 20 US states and 25 countries represented.  The Watson School encourages applicants with backgrounds in any area of biology as well as those with non-bioscience backgrounds, such as computer science, engineering, math, chemistry, and physics.  Students must have recieved a bachelor's degree or equivalent by the time they enroll in the program.  The application consists of official transcripts, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation.  Students from non-English language universities must submit TOEFL or IELTS test scores.  The GRE general test and subject test(s) are not required.  Applications must be submitted online by December 1st.  For more information about the application process, read our application guidelines.

The Watson School recruits a diverse student group, including individuals from a range of academic, geographic, social, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.  The program especially encourages students from groups not traditionally represented in the biological sciences.  The Watson School faculty and administration and the CSHL community work together to provide mentoring and guidance to ensure all students achieve their goals in the program.

The Watson School is funded largely by an endowment provided by generous private donors. The Ph.D. program stipend is currently $34,000 per year.  Students who are awarded an external fellowship - NSF, NIH, or other government or private organization - receive a stipend of $37,400, or the amount of their fellowships stipend (whichever is higher).  The Watson School pays all tuition costs and associated study fees for its students.  Students receive a new laptop and all necessary software and textbooks, roughly $3,500 of materials.  Once students join a research lab, they receive an $8,000 per year research cost allowance, intended to help support their thesis work, paid to their lab.  Students are eligible for full health and dental benefits and have access to affordable campus child care. Students are also eligible for a sports and fitness refund. CSHL offers relocation costs and housing subsidies.  Dining services at the Laboratory are also subsidized.


Sexual Respect and Title IX

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Watson School of Biological Sciences provide a learning, living and working environment free from gender-based discrimination. CSHL complies with applicable state and federal statutes, including Title IX of the federal Higher Education Amendment of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal assistance, including NIH funding. Sexual assault and sexual harassment are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. In accordance with NYS Education Law Article 129-B, the Laboratory is committed to providing options, support and assistance to victims of sexual assault, domestic vioence, dating violence and/or stalking to ensure that students can continue to participate in Laboratory programs, activities and employment. The Laboratory encourages victims and witnesses of sexual misconduct to report such incidents in accordance with the CSHL Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy (pdf).

Brochures and Publications

The application for the 2018 Ph.D. program is now available. To apply, click here.
For more information about the application procedure, read our application guidelines.