become an imsd scholar apply here

Become an IMSD Scholar: Apply Here

Headshot of IMSD Scholars at Explore SDSU


Students are expected to enter the program at least a year before their graduation. Those with less than one year left until graduation will only be accepted into the program under unusual circumstances.

If you are a community college transfer student, you must apply after you complete at least one SDSU semester as a full-time student.

To apply to the SDSU IMSD Program:

  1. Complete application. Read cover page instructions.
  2. Submit completed applications to GMCS 322C.
  3. All completed applications are reviewed by the IMSD Advisory Committee.
  4. Selected students from reviewed applications are invited for an interview.
  5. Advisory Committee recommends and appoints selected students after interviews.
  6. Students selected into the program will interview with their top 3 faculty mentors who match their research interests and then they are finally placed into a research laboratory.

Download the application:

Please note that you may not be able to save the PDF form if you do not have Adobe Acrobat Professional. We recommend the following:

1). Type your responses in Microsoft Word than copy and paste in your responses.
2). Use and fill/save/email.  Delete your information online after you email your application to




When is the IMSD Application Deadline?

  • The IMSD Program has a rolling deadline, which means that we accept applications year-round.
  • If a position should open up (a student graduating or requesting a leave of absence), only selected COMPLETED applications on file will be invited to interview.
  • Students are encouraged to submit completed applications anytime .
  • It is each student’s responsibility to follow up on his/her application status.

When should I apply?

  • Sophomores, juniors and seniors are encouraged to apply if your goal is to earn a Ph.D. in a biomedical or behavioral science

What if I am not 100% sure I want to earn a Ph.D. in a biomedical or behavioral science?

  • We encourage you to volunteer in a lab to gain experience before applying to the program.
  • IMSD slots are highly competitive and students must be committed to applying directly to Ph.D. programs.

How many slots are available?

  • The number of available slots depends on the budget and the number of students graduating in December or May.

What do you look for in a applicant?

  • Commitment to apply directly to a Ph.D. program in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field,  biomedical field, or a behavioral science field
  • Passion for science and research
  • Commitment to the mission of the NIGMS, NIH, with a strong appreciation and understanding of diversity in science
  • Commitment to mentoring and giving back to the program, campus and community now and in the future
  • Strong work ethic and time management skills

How long can I be in the program?

  • Students may be funded for 1-2 years, depending on when they enter the program and their timeline to apply to Ph.D. programs.

What majors are eligible to apply?

  • All majors in the College of Engineering and College Sciences may apply, is undergraduate research and graduate degree program of interest if biomedically relevant.
  • Students in the College of Health and Human Services may apply if their goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Behavior or Speech Language Hearing Sciences.

Letters of Recommendation

  • We recommend asking faculty or other persons who can evaluate your research potential, accomplishments, scholarship and commitment to obtaining a Ph.D degree.
  • Letters may be e-mailed to addressed to the “IMSD Selection Committee” OR hard copy may be mailed or delivered to our office.

Official Transcripts

  • Print your unofficial transcript from the SDSU web portal.
  • Send all official transcripts from other universities of colleges attended to our office at SDSU IMSD Office, College of Sciences, GMCS 322C, San Diego, CA 92182-1016.

Should I apply if I am slightly below a 3.0 grade point average?

  • All students are recommended to apply, even if they do not meet the 3.0 grade point average minimum.
  • Program activities are open to all students and our program may benefit students in various ways toward professional or scientific development.

Is the IMSD financial support considered a “stipend”?

  • Students complete W-4 and receive W-2 forms.
  • Students are considered salaried research assistants.
  • IMSD support may decrease your financial aid. For questions about your financial aid, please contact or visit the SDSU Financial Aid Office in person.

How are students notified of acceptance?

  • Students are notified by phone and/or email after the interviews.

Whom do I contact if I have questions?