Our 1:1.8 ratio ensures that faculty know each entering student, fostering the close mentorship and relationships that we believe make studying at Stanford special.
Rotations are arranged directly by students and their faculty of interest, highlighting our commitment to student-faculty interaction and our informal, interactive environment. Students can opt for shorter rotations to gain a wider breadth of experience or proceed more rapidly to their thesis lab and research.
Our students begin their graduate careers with Foundations, an experience designed to transform students into knowledge creators. The course emphasizes the value of communicating, learning, and thinking across disciplines. During three three-week cycles, students work in small teams to develop an original research project and compose a brief written proposal explaining the research. Teams are coached by faculty to hone skills that will be integral throughout their graduate training and beyond. Substantial face-to-face discussion with faculty—opening multiple mentorship possibilities—and the collaboration between students from different backgrounds are two key strengths of the course.
These intensive 2-3 week courses allow students to tailor their education across disciplines without requiring a full quarter's commitment. Students explore new directions for current research, potential postdoctoral avenues, or just topics of interest. Stanford Biosciences students and postdocs have highlighted these offerings as among the most exciting parts of their education, for the way in which they catalyze interdisciplinary learning.
Students are able to go beyond Stanford Biosciences' 14 Home Programs, taking advantage of one of the world's best universities. With your academic, professional, and personal development in mind, we encourage our students to take advantage of programs within the Humanities, Sciences, School of Law, School of Business, Engineering, Design School, and more. We believe these opportunities open new avenues for students as they carry out their thesis research and pursue their careers.
Our philosophy is that each student should make a difference in her or his "career of choice." Individuals do their best when they are passionate about their work—and when they are supported through encouragement, training, and outlets to pursue their interests. The skills you learn with a Stanford Biosciences PhD are transferable to any field, industry, or problem, and our programs and career center will help you prepare to be a passionate and innovative difference-maker wherever your interests take you.
From learning how to ask important scientific questions to developing a prosthetic knee for Ethiopian amputees, our alumni reflect on the lasting effects of their Stanford Biosciences education. Learn more
"From designing experiments and thinking about scientific problems, to the importance of pursuing what I'm passionate about and learning from setbacks, I am confident that the skills I have acquired at Stanford will help me find meaning and success in whatever I do next."
—Raghuvir Sengupta, Biochemistry