The Chemical Biology PhD Program is one of the programs in the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences, which facilitates collaboration and cross-disciplinary research. Visit HILS for additional application instructions.

Chemical Biology is a rapidly growing field that combines the rigor and quantitative aspects of traditional chemistry with the excitement and medical relevance of modern molecular, cellular, organismic, and human biology. You will be encouraged to develop your own ideas, drawing on the expertise available in the community to make exciting new discoveries. You will be able to take full advantage of the unique opportunity to work with a renowned faculty to devise novel approaches to important biological, medical, and chemical problems.

As part of the program, you can interact with the entire campus, including Harvard Medical School, any of the hospital labs, and the Broad Institute. This flexibility enables you to choose the path that most interests you without restriction.

Examples of theses and dissertations completed by students in the program include “All-Optical Neurophysiology in the Photon-1 Regime,” “Biophysical Studies of the LPT Pathway,” and “Chemical Tools to Study Bromodomains in Cancer.”

Graduates of the program have gone into private industry at biotech companies like Novartis, Merck, and Biogen. Others have secured academic positions at prestigious universities like MIT, Stanford University, and Vanderbilt University.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Chemical Biology PhD Program and requirements for the degree are detailed in GSAS Policies.

Admissions Requirements

Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Chemical Biology PhD Program.

Academic Background

Typical students have a strong background in one of the disciplines relevant to chemical biology and a strong interest in interdisciplinary research. Be sure to indicate the faculty that interest you in the Faculty section of the application for admission. Students are not required to contact any faculty in advance but are welcome to do so.


Applicants who have been selected for an on-campus interview will be notified directly by the program in Chemical Biology. These visits allow students to meet with faculty and current students to get to know our community and the types of research conducted here. Applicants invited for an interview who reside overseas and cannot visit the Harvard campus may interview remotely.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Chemical Biology

Chemical Biology Faculty