About the IMSD Program:

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 or via email to
  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.

Download the application:

Download IMSD Application Instructions (Adobe PDF)
Download IMSD Application
Download IMSD Reference Form

Please note that you may not be able to save as 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

Answers to Common Questions:

When is the IMSD Application Deadline?
  • June 01, 2023
When should I apply?
  • SDSU students may apply once they have reached Junior standing by completing the application materials provided above.
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 reserved for students committed to applying directly to Ph.D. programs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) or behavioral sciences (psychology, public health, speech language hearing sciences).
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 an applicant?

We want trainees who are:

  • Committed to applying directly to a Ph.D. program in a biomedical/behavioral science;
  • Passionate about science and research
  • Committed to the mission of the NIGMS, NIH, and a strong appreciation and understanding of diversity in the STEM and behavioral sciences disciplines
  • Committed to mentoring and giving back to your community.
  • Focused, mature, and have a strong work ethic and strong time management skills.
How long can I be in the program?
  • Accepted students will be eligible for funding from the time of acceptance into the program through Spring 2024.
Who is eligible to apply?
  • All majors in the College of Sciences and Engineering may apply, as long as your major and research has biomedical relevance.
  • 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.
  • Students must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals or permanent residents and must be matriculated full-time in a baccalaureate degree program.
  • The IMSD program is committed to increasing diversity in its trainee population and encourages students from underrepresented groups, looking to expand their education in the biomedical and behavioral research fields to apply
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 and addressed to the “IMSD Selection Committee” OR hard copy may be mailed or delivered to our office.
  • Print your unofficial transcript from the SDSU web portal.
  • Send all official transcripts from other universities of colleges attended to our office at :
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 – 3.3 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 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.
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?
  • Call 619-594-3744
  • Email the SDSU IMSD Program Office at: