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Good graduate school locations in general

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 which 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 US, such places would be

  • 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.

In the UK, London (Imperial and UCL), Oxford, Cambridge, and Manchester, and (more for Biochemistry) Aberdeen and Dundee.

In Germany, Munich (both universities), Heidelberg, and Goettingen.

Other places of excellence which are more limited in their scope (but if your subject is among them, they are just as good or better):

In the US:

  • the Cold Spring Harbor laboratory (Genetics);
  • the Janelia Farm research campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Neuroscience);

In Germany:

  • any Max Planck Institute (or Max Planck Research School).

Graduate programs that IUB students have been accepted to and that required applications to a central program office:

  • Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine
  • European Molecular Biology Laboratory PhD program
  • Wake Forest University, Program in Molecular Medicine
  • Goettingen Max Planck International Research School for Neurobiology
  • Goettingen Max Planck International Research School for Molecular Biology
  • Edinburgh University Neurobiology Graduate Program
  • Neurobiology Program of the Charité, Berlin
  • Warwick University Postgraduate Medical School
  • Washington University
  • University of Utah
  • Notre Dame University
  • Edinburgh University
  • Leeds University
  • Liverpool University
  • University of Calgary
  • New York University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Barcelona
  • Life Science Zurich Graduate School

Other universities where BCCB students have been accepted for graduate studies after applying to individual research group leaders:

  • Oxford University
  • Oxford University, Wellcome Trust Graduate Program
  • Cambridge University, Wellcome Trust Graduate Program
  • Cambridge, Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Biology
  • Bath University
  • University of California, San Diego

Other graduate schools that have explicitly expressed interest in Jacobs Life Sciences graduates


  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory - Watson School of Biological Sciences
  • Brandeis University Graduate Program in Biochemistry


  • University of London School of Pharmacy

These lists are not nearly complete. Use the Life Sciences Alumni Space to find out where other Life Sciences Alumni are. Mostly there are no links given here but you can easily find these institutions on Google.

© Sebastian Springer, 2005-7.

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