Prospective Students

Please visit the Biosciences PhD Admissions page for detailed information on the admissions process and requirements.

Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at 11:59:59 pm (PST). Late applications will not be accepted. 

Any questions or concerns about the application process should be addressed to: 

The Cancer Biology Home Program is one of fourteen Biosciences PhD programs at the School of Medicine. We welcome applications from students with a variety of scientific backgrounds and believe that diversity of previous experiences enriches our multidisciplinary environment.

The Cancer Biology Program recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision. 

The Cancer Biology Program welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. The review process is holistic and individualized, considering each applicant’s academic record and accomplishments, letters of recommendation, prior research experience, and admissions essays to understand how an applicant’s life experiences have shaped their past and potential contributions to their field and how they might enrich the learning community at Stanford.

Qualified applicants will have completed a bachelor's degree in biological sciences or related fields; applicants with majors in physics, chemistry or mathematics may be admitted on condition that they complete background training in biology during the first two years of study. Students who wish to pursue a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree will be considered for admission into the Cancer Biology Program after they have been admitted to the M.D. program in the School of Medicine. We invite all interested students, and especially those from backgrounds underrepresented in academia, to apply. 

The Stanford Cancer Biology PhD program is inviting talented individuals from underrepresented in academia or sciences to participate in a one-day, graduate application workshop. Join us for a day of *virtual* workshops led by current graduate students. Receive advice on submitting a competitive application to graduate programs and learn how to develop your own career as a scientist. Applicants will be paired with a graduate student in the Cancer Biology program to go through application workshops and intensive editing sessions. Additionally, applicants may have the opportunity to partake in casual practice interviews with Cancer Biology faculty members.

Please note that participation in this preview program is not a requirement for prospective Stanford Cancer Biology applicants, nor is it a guarantee of being accepted into the PhD program.

All applicants are welcome. We are especially looking for students from historically excluded backgrounds who are passionate about studying cancer biology. Applicants should be U.S. citizens or permanent residents planning to apply for graduate study for the upcoming cycle. Undocumented and DACA-mented students are welcome to apply.






10:00AM - 10:30AM — Opening meeting

10:30AM - 11:30AM — Workshop 1 - Personal Statement/SOP

11:30AM - 1:00PM — Break for Lunch/Coffee, chat with people on Zoom) 

1:00PM - 2:00PM — Workshop 2 - Other materials, reference lists, letters of recommendation, etc.

2:00PM - 3:00PM — Break (get off Zoom)

3:00PM - 4:00PM — Workshop 3 - Preparing for faculty interviews

4:00PM - 4:45PM — Closing remarks, Q&A with current students


Q: Is participation in the Preview Weekend Program required as part of the official Stanford Biosciences PhD application?

A: No.

Q: Does participating in the Preview Weekend give me an advantage with my application to Stanford Biosciences PhD?

A: While we will help you edit your application package, there is no inherent advantage to the official application.

Q: Is there a fee to participate in the Preview Weekend Program?

A: No. It’s free.

If you have any additional questions, please email —



PhD Program

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program awards full funding to Stanford graduate students from all disciplines, including Cancer Biology, with additional opportunities for leadership training and collaboration across fields.