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Welcome to the Graduate School

Welcome to City of Hope's Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
Earn Your Doctorate Where You and Your Research Will Have the Greatest Impact.
The mission of the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope is to train graduate students in an academically stimulating, collaborative and diverse environment to apply their creativity, curiosity and talents to advance understanding of the complexities of the life sciences and to apply research discoveries to the cures for diseases.
Graduate School History
City of Hope’s commitment to education led to the creation of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, with the first class of students entering in 1994. The Graduate School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
City of Hope’s interdisciplinary research approach provides for ample interaction with peers and faculty and an emphasis on translational research: applying basic science breakthroughs to clinical problems. The program develops a professionally trained scientist, prepared for a career in academia, medicine or industry. Our students have gone on to illustrious careers at major universities, research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.



Dean's Message

Thank you for your interest in the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope. The Graduate School provides a unique and challenging research and learning environment for doctoral training in the biological and biomedical sciences.
City of Hope and Beckman Research Institute (which hosts the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences) have a remarkable history of innovation in science and medical care. Our faculty members have made major contributions in biological sciences and biomedicine and are widely recognized as leaders in their fields.
The biotech industry was launched by investigators at City of Hope when they created the technology that led to the first human recombinant gene products, insulin and human growth hormone, which are now in use by millions of people worldwide. The most recent class of blockbuster drugs, humanized monoclonal antibodies, is based upon a core technology developed by Beckman Research Institute researchers. Both basic science and translational biomedical research flourish here, in a collegial atmosphere in which cross-communication thrives and basic science findings are often applied to the cure of life-threatening diseases.
The Graduate School enrolled its first class of students in 1994. Our graduates have gone on to academic appointments and postdoctoral fellowships at National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute, some of the nation’s best universities, as well as to positions in major biotech and pharmaceutical companies. City of Hope’s interdisciplinary research programs provide students with many opportunities to enrich their graduate education by interacting with other graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty members outside of their own areas of specialization. City of Hope has a strong track record in training both predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. In addition, we host undergraduate researchers in our extensive summer internship program.
This Web site contains links to our web-based application form and all of the necessary information about applying to the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope. We encourage you to visit our beautiful campus to learn more about this exciting opportunity for graduate education.
John Rossi


Program and Deadlines
City of Hope’s Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences offers a Ph.D in Biological Sciences. Applications are due in January 1, 2014. Applications for Fall 2015 will be available in Fall 2014.
Applicants are encouraged to apply early for best consideration. The Graduate Program in Biological Sciences will consider both domestic and international applications. Please note that your application is not considered complete until steps 1-3 below are complete.
Application Procedures
All students must complete an online application at https://apply.gradschool.cityofhope.org/. There is no application fee.
  • Provide additional required documentation by mail.
  • Await possible contact from the Admissions Committee regarding an on-site interview
Application Requirements
  • Online application (biographical information, essays and educational history)
  • 3 letters of recommendation (recommenders can submit online or mail their letters on your behalf)
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • GRE Scores: The graduation record examination (GRE) general test is required, and an appropriate subject test, e.g., chemistry or biology, is recommended. GRE scores must be sent by the Educational Testing Service to the Office of Graduate Education. The School Code for City of Hope is 4076.
  • TOEFL Scores: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are required for all foreign students and must be sent to the Office of Graduate Education. The school code for City of Hope is 2268. Only foreign students who have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree in the United States are eligible to petition to waive this requirement.
Each student’s application should demonstrate the potential to conduct meaningful and significant biological, biomedical and/or chemical research.
The following prerequisites are recommended for admission to the Graduate
Program in Biological Sciences:
  • Two semesters of mathematics
  • One year of general physics, including laboratory
  • Two years of chemistry (general and organic), including laboratory
  • One year each of general biology and biochemistry
  • Significant experience in a research laboratory
  • Additional recommended courses include:
  • Genetics
  • Cell biology
  • Cell physiology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Developmental biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Physical chemistry
  • Differential equations
  • Advanced organic and/or physical chemistry
Review Process
Applications are reviewed by an admissions committee made up of faculty from the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences. The committee reviews applications and supporting documents and decides which of those candidates will be offered an interview. Final admissions decisions are made after the results of the interviews have been reviewed. All admissions decisions are final and there is no appeal process for admissions decisions.
Antidiscrimination Policy
City of Hope does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, color, national and ethnic origin or nondisqualifying handicap in regard to all activities associated with the graduate school. Handicapped access is provided.
Financial Support
All admitted students in the Graduate School of Biological Sciences will receive a stipend of $32,000, with paid medical, dental and vision insurance. On campus housing is available. Housing is also available within the immediate area at a cost of approximately $700 to $1000 per month.
Visa status is administered by the Graduate School and the Department of Human Resources at City of Hope.
Students in this program must pay a registration fee of $50/semester. If a student leaves the program, he/she will be refunded the entire amount of this fee for that semester and have no further financial obligation to City of Hope. There will be no tuition charges made directly to students.

Transcript Request

Transcript Request:  You may request a free official or unofficial transcript. Please allow at least four (4) business days for the transcript process. The following information is required when requesting transcripts:
  • Fill out the Official Transcript Request form, then sign and date it
  • The filled-out Transcript Request Form can be dropped off at the Registrar Office, postal mailed, or emailed with a valid electronic signature.
  • Indicate whether it is an official or unofficial transcript request
  • Indicate whether the transcript  will be picked-up or mailed to a third party, i.e. an institution, business or agency
  • If the transcript will be mailed to the third party, please provide its complete mailing address
Office of the Registrar
Queenie Du, MBA
Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope
Graduate School Administration Office
Beckman Center, #1110
1500 E. Duarte Road
Duarte, CA  91010-3000
626-256-(HOPE) 4673, extension 62479

Student Loan Deferral Request

Student Loan Deferral Request:  The Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope satisfies the definition of an eligible institution under the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended by the US Department of Education. Therefore, as long as a current graduate student maintains good academic standing, the IPEDS (Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System) Key Holder can certify online and/or documents the Student Loan Deferral Request for him/her. Student Loan Deferral Request can be certified for the current graduate students by the IPEDS Key Holder between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. (PST) Monday thru Friday.
The IPEDS Key Holder: Queenie Du, MBA
Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope
Graduate School Administration Office
Beckman Center, #1110
1500 E. Duarte Road
Duarte, CA  91010
626-256-HOPE (4673), ext. 62479

Graduate School Faculty

Graduate School Administration

Our Campus

City of Hope has extensive shared resource facilities, services and equipment, many of which are available to graduate students. These provide investigators with state-of-the-art services and supplies, to support both clinical and basic medical research, thus facilitating the transitional research that is integral to the organization’s mission.

The City of Hope campus features the Center for Biomedicine and Genetics (CBG). This 20,000-square-foot facility is the nation’s largest biomanufacturing facility at an academic institution capable of producing FDA-approved biological therapeutics. The CBG features specialized zones for viral and non-viral biologics and cell manipulation.

In addition, the Graff Library is available for student use. The library provides a far-ranging catalog of scientific and biomedical journals and online databases, as well as a wide array of services.

Additional information and Web sites that may be of interest:
About City of Hope - an overview of the institution; background; mission, and history.
Beckman Research Institute Beckman Research Institute - General information about Beckman Research Institute, its mission and history.
Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences on Facebook - Get social with current students, alumni, faculty and fans.
Maps and Directions - Driving directions to City of Hope and Beckman Research institute; a map of the campus.
Postdoctoral Training Office/Postdoctoral Association - The PTO/PDA encourages postdoctoral fellows to interact with each other and with graduate students and provides opportunities for educational, professional and social growth.
Breakthroughs Blog - Recent news and media including many on research and clinical advances.

Graduate School Events

City of Hope's Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences calendar is easy to navigate - just move your cursor over or click a date or event description. You can also add events to your personal calendar, e-mail event information to yourself or others, set up e-mail and cell phone text message reminders on events and other event actions. Additionally, you can subscribe to the calendar in different ways including Weekly e-mails, RSS and Atom Feeds.

Diversity and Inclusion

City of Hope is a community of people characterized by our diversity of thought, background, and approach, but tied together by our commitment to care for and cure those with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The innovation that our diversity produces in the areas of research, treatment, philanthropy, and education has made us national leaders in this fight. Our unique and diverse workforce provides us the ability to understand our patient’s needs, deliver compassionate care and continue the quest for a cure for life threatening diseases.

Employing a diverse workforce with individual talents and experiences allows us to better understand the needs of our patients, deliver compassionate care and continue quest for a cure for life-threatening diseases.

At City of Hope, diversity and inclusion is a core value at the heart of our mission. We strive to create an inclusive workplace environment that engages all of our employees and provides them with opportunities to develop and grow, both personally and professionally. Each day brings an opportunity to strengthen our work, leverage our different perspectives and improve our patients’ experiences by learning from others. Diversity and inclusion is about much more than policies and campaigns. It is an integral part of who we are as an institution, how we operate and how we see our future.

Contact Us

Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
Department of Professional Education
Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
The City of Hope Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences prepares students to become outstanding research scientists in chemical, molecular and cellular biology.

City of Hope and Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope offer a unique and challenging research and learning environment for graduate education. Find out more about our program.
From New Haven to Nanjing, our students come from diverse backgrounds, with the United States, Canada, Argentina, India, Iran, Korea, China, Russia and Taiwan all represented in our student population. This diversity brings to our campus a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and creative potential.
Download the Housing Handbook which outlines everything from communication to mail service.
Situated just northeast of Los Angeles, City of Hope combines the best science and the most innovative and highly compassionate patient care. Stretched across more than 100 acres in the City of Duarte, lushly landscaped gardens surround state-of-the-art facilities.
The Helix Blog gives voice to City of Hope graduate students and their research.
  • For breast cancer survivors, a common worry is a recurrence of their cancer. Currently, these patients are screened with regular mammograms, but there’s no way to tell who is more likely to have a recurrence and who is fully cleared of her cancer. A new blood test – reported in Cancer Research, a journal of the...
  • Metastasis — the spreading of cancer cells from a primary tumor site to other parts of the body — generally leads to poorer outcomes for patients, so oncologists and researchers are constantly seeking new ways to detect and thwart this malicious process. Now City of Hope researchers may have identified a substa...
  • Deodorant, plastic bottles, grilled foods, artificial sweeteners, soy products … Do any of these products really cause cancer? With so many cancer myths and urban legends out there, why not ask the experts? They can debunk cancer myths while sharing cancer facts that matter, such as risk factors, preventi...
  • Cancer risk varies by ethnicity, as does the risk of cancer-related death. But the size of those differences can be surprising, highlighting the health disparities that exist among various ethnic groups in the United States. Both cancer incidence and death rates for men are highest among African-Americans, acco...
  • George Winston, known worldwide for his impressionistic, genre-defying music, considers music to be his first language, and admits he often stumbles over words – especially when he attempts languages other than English. There’s one German phrase he’s determined to perfect, however: danke schön. Winston thinks h...
  • Few decisions are more important than those involving health care, and few decisions can have such lasting impact, not only on oneself but on relatives and loved ones. Those choices, especially, should be made in advance – carefully, deliberately, free of pain and stress, and with much weighing of values and pr...
  • Using a card game to make decisions about health care, especially as those decisions relate to the end of life, would seem to be a poor idea. It isn’t. The GoWish Game makes those overwhelming, but all-important decisions not just easy, but natural. On each card of the 36-card deck is listed what seriously ill,...
  • Young adults and adolescents with cancer face unique challenges both during their treatment and afterward. Not only are therapies for children and older adults not always appropriate for them, they also must come to terms with the disease and treatment’s impact on their relationships, finances, school or ...
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancer, among women in the United States. It’s also the second-leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer. In the past several years, various task force recommendations and studies have questioned the benefits of broad screening guidelines fo...
  • Paternal age and the health effects it has on potential offspring have been the focus of many studies, but few have examined the effect parental age has on the risk of adult-onset hormone-related cancers (breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer). A team of City of Hope researchers, lead by Yani Lu,...
  • Hormone therapy, which is prescribed to women for relief of menopausal symptoms such hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, has recently seen a decline in popularity (and use) due to its link to an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer. But City of Hope researchers have found that menopausal h...
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms can’t be narrowed down to a single cancer, but they can be described by a defining characteristic: too many blood cells. The diseases bring with them a host of frustrating, potentially life-altering symptoms, and management of the diseases and their symptoms is crucial. An upcoming ...
  • More than 18,000 researchers, clinicians, advocates and other professionals will convene at the 105th American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting taking place in San Diego from April 5 to 9. With more than 6,000 findings being presented over this five-day period, the amount of information can...
  • Cancer of the prostate is the No. 2 cancer killer of men, behind lung cancer, accounting for more than 29,000 deaths annually in this country. But because prostate cancer advances slowly, good prostate health and early detection can make all the difference. Many prostate cancer tumors don’t require immedi...
  • Despite advances made in detecting and treating nonsmall cell lung cancer, its prognosis remains grim. Even patients whose cancers are caught at their earliest stage have only a 50 percent chance of five-year survival. This poor prognosis is due in part to the cancer’s ability to resist treatment, renderi...