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The main criteria that we use to judge our applicants are:

  • Research aptitude, experience, and potential.
  • Academic performance: Grade point averages range between 3 and 4.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Interpersonal skills (including interview skills).

Admissions Procedures

All applications to University of Rochester Ph.D. programs are submitted online, via a centralized admissions process. It is not necessary for you to contact individual faculty, although faculty are available to answer any questions that you may have.

Graduate study at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry means engaging in research and training that informs and shapes the world around us. We invite you to explore our numerous graduate degree programs, our facilities and resources, our people, and our community. We welcome your application to our school.

Application Requirements for PhD Programs

It is expected that all application materials (with the exception of official score reports) be scanned and uploaded to your online application. Please note that the University of Rochester reserves the right to verify the accuracy of all transcripts and test scores, and to require submission of official documentation at any point in the admissions review process.

  1. Create an online Admissions Application
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Uploaded copy of transcript(s) to online application.
    Please do not mail a hard copy at this time.
  4. 3 Letters of Recommendation
  5. GRE scores are optional and submission is at the discretion of the applicant.  Applicants may submit their GRE scores if they believe it will add to their application.  Not submitting a GRE will not be held against the applicant.  Please review the following guidelines:

    1. If the applicant is NOT submitting scores please disregard the GRE submission question on the application.
    2.  Applicants choosing to submit GRE scores, scans of official score reports for GREs taken within 5 years of the original test date will be accepted with the original application (SMD School Code: 2948).


The following programs require a writing sample: Epidemiology and Health Services Research and Policy. Otherwise, research papers, publications and other original works, as well as resumes and CVs may also be submitted for consideration, but are not required.

It is expected that all application materials (with the exception of official score reports) be scanned and uploaded to your online application. Please do not include secondary school documentation, financial documentation, etc., as these are not utilized during the admissions process.

Stipends for Ph.D. Students

  • All of our students receive full tuition scholarships plus a stipend throughout their studies from a combination of university and NIH grant funds, with a training grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (ES-07026) accounting for a major part of the support.
  • Doctoral students are typically provided a fellowship award which includes an annual stipend, a full tuition scholarship and single coverage health insurance while they are enrolled and making satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. degree.
  • The 12 month stipend is $29,567 in academic year 2019-2020 (July 1 - June 30). Stipend amounts are reviewed annually and generally increased from $500 to $1,000. In addition, single health plan coverage and travel to scientific meetings are provided to all students.
  • Doctoral students who meet the criteria of other sources of assistance may apply for additional aid through the Financial Aid Office.

History of Toxicology at URMC

The University of Rochester has a long history as an internationally recognized center for research and training in toxicology. The genesis of toxicology at Rochester can be traced back to World War II when the Manhattan Project sponsored critical studies on health problems associated with atomic energy and weapons production.

To read more about the history of the Toxicology program, please read Toxicology at the University of Rochester: From the Manhattan Project to the Environmental Basis of Human Diseases, by Ballatori, Laties, and Gasiewicz.