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How to Apply

PREP is a one-year program that provides enhanced research training, academic support and mentoring to recent postbaccalaureate students who are planning to apply to PhD programs in biomedical research. Entry into the program is competitive and based on past research experience, research interests and career plans. The application opens in early fall with a deadline of Feb. 1. The program begins July 1.

The portal for applications for the 2024-2025 academic year is now closed. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at



Applicants must have received their bachelor’s degree within three years of PREP’s start date (July 1, 2024) and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Northwestern University follows the guidelines for eligibility set by NIH. Please see the NIH PREP website for more information.

To participate in the PREP program, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a baccalaureate degree in a biomedically relevant science field from an accredited U.S. college or university awarded no more than 36 months prior to applying to a PREP
  • Not be currently enrolled in a graduate degree program.

NU PREP Information Session

We will be hosting a virtual program information session, Tuesday January 10th 1:00 - 2:00PM. Join to learn more about our program and ask any questions you may have!

Please RSVP for the virtual session HERE



PREP Application Form

The online application form includes information regarding educational and academic background, personal statement, current curriculum vitae, unofficial transcripts, list of recommenders and NU PREP faculty of interest. Submission of GRE scores and a diversity statement are optional. You will receive a confirmation email upon submission of your application. Please contact  if you do not receive a confirmation or have any questions regarding the application. 

The portal for applications for the 2024-2025 academic year is now closed. Please reach out to with any questions.


Faculty Recommendations

Please arrange for two to three individuals to submit a recommendation on your behalf. Once you have selected your recommenders, please provide them with the below link for submission of their materials.  

 Link for submission of NU PREP letters of recommendation


IMPORTANT NOTE: Although you will list them in your application, we do not contact your recommenders. You will need to provide your recommenders with the link for submission of their materials.

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