Child pages
  • Interesting Graduate Programs in the life sciences
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Finding a good graduate program

Generally, the choice of place depends on your interest. Some places are strong in some disciplines but not so strong in others. So, you have to do your own research.
But there are also institutions that offer very good graduate training in almost every field of the life sciences. These also tend to be generally very highly respected, and therefore quite competitive - if you apply to these it is worth having a backup option. 

In the following, I'll mention a few good graduate programs that either have taken BCCB/MCCB students in the past, or that I feel are very suitable. To find out more about them, look at the web pages (I do not provide all direct links because they often change) and ask our BCCB alumni who study there (or have studied there). How do you find such alumni? Ask in the LinkedIn group (new in 2016), and/or ask your professors. 

Of course, many more graduate programs exist. 


  • VBIO, the union of biological societies, has a database of all life science Master programs in Germany. The search is in Germany only, but it contains all the English-language programs too. 
  • the Max Planck International Research Schools (IMPRS), which are cooperations between Max Planck Institutes and Universities, for example
    • International Max Planck Research School for Neurobiology, Göttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, Göttingen (we've sent one BCCB graduate every year to that program on average, and they know us well)
  • the Neurobiology Program of the Charité, Berlin
  • the European Molecular Biology laboratory (EMBL) PhD program
  • the life sciences graduate schools in Munich (both universities)
  • the life sciences graduate schools in Heidelberg
  • the Master program in Immunology in Magdeburg (small, good, but in German (smile))

Europe outside Germany

United Kingdom

  • London (Imperial and UCL)
  • Graduate Student Programme at the Cancer Resarch UK London Research Institute
  • Oxford
  • Cambridge
  • Manchester
  • Aberdeen and Dundee (more for Biochemistry)
  • Edinburgh University 
    • Neurobiology Graduate Programme
  • Warwick University Postgraduate Medical School

United States

  • on the West Coast, the University of California system (UC Berkeley, UCSF, UCSD, UC Santa Cruz), Stanford University, and the University of Washington in Seattle;
  • in the Boston area, Harvard, MIT, and Boston University;
  • in the New York area, Rockefeller, Columbia, Princeton, and Yale universities;
  • in the Washington, DC area, 
    • the National Institutes of Health.
    • the Cold Spring Harbor laboratory (Genetics)
    • the Janelia Farm research campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Neuroscience).
    • Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine
  • Wake Forest University, Program in Molecular Medicine
  • Washington University
  • University of Utah
  • Notre Dame University
  • New York University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Brandeis University Graduate Program in Biochemistry


© Sebastian Springer, 2005-20.

  • No labels