Applications are generally only accepted for Autumn Semester admission.  On average the Program admits about 18 students per year.  The Program employs a holistic approach when reviewing the merits of each application. In other words, the Program reviews all facets of each application to determine a candidate’s overall potential and fit with the program.  Of particular importance are the candidate’s research experience, reference letters, personal statement and academic record.  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.  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.

Our Response to COVID

Ohio State University has a comprehensive and responsible program in place to combat the spread of COVID, including mask wearing, social distancing, widespread testing, contact tracing, and transparent reporting (OSU COVID web page).  Our graduate students are on campus and fully engaged in classes, seminars and laboratory rotations.  Most classes and all seminars are operating remotely using Zoom, but all laboratory rotations are in-person.  Safety is our priority, so mask wearing and distancing are mandatory on campus, indoors and out, and each lab has a plan that specifies lab occupancy limits and cleaning protocols to minimize the risk of spreading the disease.  Interviews and recruitment events will be held remotely.

Application Deadlines

International Applicants: December 1
Domestic Applicants: December 1

The MCDB Graduate Studies Committee will review all completed applications by the end of January and offers of interview and/or admission will follow.   

Application Procedures

Before you apply: Visit the Graduate Admissions website for information regarding the admissions process, step-by-step guide, and frequently asked questions.

  1. Submit an online application
    • ​Attach supporting documentation to your application
      • Personal Statement - 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 disciplines of molecular, cellular and/or developmental biology.  Information about undergraduate or graduate research experiences should be included.  The candidate should also indicate which specific areas of research they are most interested in pursuing for their doctoral research.
      • CV
      • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
      • Official transcript(s) for each institution attended
  2. Submit GRE Scores (optional)
    • OSU institutional code: #1592
    • GRE General Test or Advanced Subject Test scores are not required but may be submitted to augment an application at the discretion of the applicant.
  3. Submit TOEFL scores - International applicants only
    • ​OSU Institutional code: #1592
    • Scores only valid for two (2) years 
    • International students whose first language is not English and who have not received a degree from a U.S. university must submit evidence of adequate training in the use of English. Scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) must be submitted for this purpose. Students must submit a TOEFL score exceeding 85 Internet or 600 paper-based to be eligible for admission and/or financial support.  IELTS scores must be at least 8.0. TOEFL Scores of at least 96 Internet or 600 paper-based are recommended. International students are also encouraged to submit scores from the Test of Spoken English and the Test of Written English.

If applicants are unable to submit items electronically, please send documents to:

Regular Mail
The Ohio State University
Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
PO Box 182004
Columbus, OH 43218-2004


Express Mail
Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
SAS Building
281 West Lane Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1132