Prospective Students

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

The online application for Autumn 2023-24 is now open.

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.

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. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, groups constructed on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender indentity or expression, sexual orientation, mental and physical disability, first-generation undergraduate study, and socioeconomic identity. All applicants are considered equally regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual preference, disability, age, or gender.

A goal of the Cancer Bioloy PhD Program is to provide students with the education and training to make significant contributions in this field. To do this, we must also be able to recruit students that are interested in tackling these challenges in cancer biology.

We have started a Preview Weekend Program to help prospective students with their graduate program application. We host a two-day workshop where we focus on different aspects of the application process, to Q&A with current students, and conclude the program with mock interviews with current faculty. This year's schedule will be posted below.

The program is tailored to the application process for the Stanford Biosciences and interactions will primarily be with students and faculty within the Cancer Biology Program. We encourage those that are considering applying to the Cancer Biology PhD to participate. We also highly encourage nontraditional applicants and applicants from underrespresented backgrounds to apply. It is open to all interested students and we would love to mentor all who apply. Keep in mind, this is a volunteer-driven program and spots may be limited.


  • You are considering the Cancer Biology PhD program at Stanford.
  • You are eligible to apply if you are a college graduate or will graduate by this coming summer.
  • You plan on applying to graduate school this coming cycle. (We prefer candidates who are to better utilize the resources we have available).
  • International Students are eligible.
How to Apply
  • Fill out this form by October 14th, 2022.
  • To make the most of this program, we require you to submit the following documents as they are also required for most all graduate program applications. 
    • Statement of Purpose (500-1000 words)
    • Diversity Essay (250-500 words)
    • Academic Transcript
    • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Schedule (2022)
The program will run on November 6th and 7th (Sunday/Monday, all times PST). There will be additional, more flexible meeting times that you and your mentors will coordinate.
Sunday, November 6th 2022
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Opening meeting
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Workshop 1 - Personal Statement /SOP
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Break - Lunch/Coffee break (On Zoom with other students/applicants)
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Workshop 2 - Other materials, references list, letters, etc.
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM Break (get off zoom)
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Workshop 3 - Preparing for faculty interviews - online and in-person
4:45 PM - 5:30 PM - Q&A with current students in the program
Monday, November 7th 2022
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Various scheduled time slots for practice interviews with faculty and feedback
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Closing meeting

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.