VAIGS: Go from student to scientist: Epigenetics


Interested in a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology?

Van Andel Institute Graduate School’s Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology is a research-intensive, interdisciplinary program that prepares students for successful careers as independent investigators. Students receive rigorous training across fields including genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, epigenetics, neuroscience, oncology, immunology, structural biology and metabolism.

At the Institute, students are more than trainees — they are scientists who play an integral role in the transformative research underway in its labs. Additionally, our low student to faculty ratio ensures that student have frequent one-on-one mentorship from their thesis advisor.

Epigenetics at Van Andel Institute Graduate School

Van Andel Institute is a world leader in cancer epigenetics, and is breaking new ground in the application of epigenetics to neurodegeneration, metabolism and many other areas. Our scientists are dedicated to parsing the epigenetic basis for health and disease and leveraging their findings to develop improved therapies and changing the standard of care for patients.

The Institute also is home to the Van Andel Research Institute – Stand Up To Cancer Epigenetics Dream Team, a multi-institutional, collaborative effort to quickly move promising combination therapies for cancer into clinical trials. Learn more here.

Meet Our Faculty Read About Our Research


Start your application to Van Andel Institute Graduate School today!

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Click here to read about our admissions requirements

Bachelor of Arts or Science (B.A. or B.S.) degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university prior to enrollment
Typical preparation includes courses in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physics and mathematics. Applicants with other academic backgrounds may be considered if they provide appropriate evidence of excellent training, qualifications and motivation.

Research experience
As an important part of admission criteria, research experience may include undergraduate research internships, summer research programs, Master’s thesis research or medical research clerkships. In addition, a sample of your writing (such as a research report) will be required on your application. Successful applicants will demonstrate these experiences have provided a thorough understanding of what a research career entails, that they have passion for research, and that they have exceptional talent and aptitude for science.

Overall academic excellence
The Graduate School does not have a GPA threshold; however, students should demonstrate a solid academic record and commitment to academic excellence.

TOEFL score
Official TOEFL scores (for international applicants only). Only scores that are less than two years old will be considered.

Three letters of recommendation from faculty members
It is highly recommended that applicants acquire letters from faculty members who know them and their academic work and, if applicable, who supervised independent study or research. The recommenders’ contact information must be entered in the Supporting Information quadrant of the application, and the system will automatically email the recommenders.

High competence in skills important to a career in scientific research
These skills include critical thinking, writing and public speaking.

A deep passion for understanding the mysteries of life and disease as well as a commitment to the improvement of health.

Good character

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