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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.

Application Deadlines

International Applicants: December 1
Domestic Applicants: December 1

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. 
      • Research Statement (1 page) – The research statement should explain the applicant’s interest in science in general and, more particularly in molecular, cellular, and/or developmental biology.  Information about undergraduate and/or graduate research experiences should be included.  The applicant should also indicate which specific areas of research they are most interested in pursuing for their doctoral training.
      • Personal Statement (1/2 page, optional) – The personal statement should explain how the applicant’s life experiences have impacted their education, goals, and opportunities and how these experiences have prepared them for doctoral research.  The applicant is encouraged to describe challenges that they have faced and the perspective that they would bring to our academic community.  The applicant may explain their reasons for wanting to attend graduate school and/or describe any personal attributes that make them well suited to 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 English language skills. Scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Duolingo English Test (DET) must be submitted for this purpose. The following are the minimum scores required for admission and/or financial support:
      • TOEFL at least 85 (internet-based) or 600 (paper-based) 
      • IELTS at least 7.0
      • DET at least 120
    • International students are also encouraged to submit scores from the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and the Test of Written English (TWE).

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