Section V: Student Admission


The MCDB Program embraces diversity and inclusivity and encourages applications from students of all backgrounds and walks of life that are passionate about science and research.

V.1  Application Procedures

Applications are accepted for Autumn Semester admission. The deadline for admission is December 1 for both domestic and international applicants.  Applications and supporting materials must be submitted on-line on the Graduate and Professional Admissions website.  Applicants must submit:

  1. Transcripts covering all undergraduate and graduate academic work undertaken prior to application
  2. A personal statement, which should include a discussion of the applicant’s motivation for graduate school and previous research experience
  3. A curriculum vitae
  4. Three letters of recommendation from people that are acquainted with your academic program, scholastic ability or professional performance
  5. International students whose first language is not English and who have not received a degree from a U.S. university must submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores. More information can be found on the Graduate and Professional Admissions website. 

Submission of GRE scores, both for the general and subject-specific exam, is optional. However, the committee will still consider GRE scores if they are submitted, and such scores may be helpful for students with gaps or weaknesses in their prior academic records. A non-refundable application fee is required by the University at the time of application.

The personal statement should give background information concerning the factors which have stimulated the applicant's interest in science in general, and particularly in the MCDB disciplines.  Information about undergraduate or graduate research experiences is especially important and should be included.  The candidate should also indicate specific areas of specialization that most interest them as a possible focus for their doctoral research.

All requirements listed above are in addition to general Graduate School requirements as stated in the Graduate School Handbook.

V.2  Entrance Requirements

In general, an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater with fundamental training equivalent to an undergraduate major in the biological sciences is required for regular admission. It is highly recommended that the applicant have at least one course each in biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology.  Courses in developmental biology and genetics are also recommended.  In addition, the student should have taken courses in physics, mathematics (including some calculus), and chemistry (at least through organic chemistry).  Previous research experience is highly desirable. Applicants who have inadequacies with respect to these requirements, but who possess an otherwise promising record, may be granted conditional admission, with conditions determined by the Graduate Studies Committee.

V.3  Academic Unit Transfer

Students may apply for an intra-university transfer from another OSU academic unit by completing the Intra-University Transfer application on the Graduate and Professional Admissions website and by filling out the Transfer of Graduate Program form on GRADFORMS.  Applicants are required to submit the following materials with their application:

  1. A current advising report
  2. A current curriculum vitae
  3. A personal statement
  4. Three recent letters of recommendation (not letters from the original Graduate School application)

Transfer applications are typically reviewed with new applications for Autumn Semester admission.  Transfer requests are not approved automatically by the Graduate Studies Committee and are considered for admission based on the competitiveness of the applicant pool. If the Graduate Studies Committee approves the transfer, it will specify which previously completed courses (if any) will count toward the doctoral degree in MCDB.


Rev: November, 2020