Virology is an area of study within the Division of Medical Sciences, an administrative unit based at Harvard Medical School that coordinates biomedical PhD activities at the Longwood Medical Area. Students who study in Virology receive a PhD in medical sciences. Prospective students apply through GSAS; in the online application, select “Division of Medical Sciences” as your program choice and select "Virology" in the Area of Study menu.

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

This program is one of the few virology graduate programs in the country, and its small size provides the benefits of a smaller program, offering nearly a one-to-one ratio of students to faculty.

You will take advantage of a well-developed curriculum that focuses on analyzing, reading, and discussing papers to generate, present, and discuss research proposals. Most importantly, you will learn how to think as a scientist. You will have the opportunity to participate in state-of-the-art research involving molecular biology, cell biology of viruses, structural analysis, cryo-EM, and genomic analysis of cells and viruses.

Examples of student projects include structure and mechanism actions of antiviral antibodies, including SARS-CoV2, cellular genes that promote and inhibit viral infection, and mechanisms of viral oncogenesis.

Graduates have gone on to faculty positions at prestigious institutions such as MIT, Brandeis University, Duke University, and Yale University. Others have begun careers at leading companies like Moderna, Gilead, Pfizer, and Sanofi Pasteur.


Virology Faculty