Applications are generally accepted for Autumn Semester admission only, because of the structure of the initial year of coursework.  However, at the discretion of the Graduate Studies Committee, exceptions may be granted.  For example, students may wish to investigate possible Summer Semester admission so as to become familiar with the program and the University.  During Summer Semester, students perform a research rotation while receiving the standard program stipend as well as tuition and fee waivers.  On average the Program accepts 20-25 students per year.

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
      • Statement of Intent - The Statement of Intent 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 biology and cell and developmental biology.  Information about undergraduate or graduate research experiences should be included.  The candidate should also indicate which specific areas of specialization are most interesting to them as a possible focus for doctoral research.
      • CV
      • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
      • Official transcript(s) for each institution attended
  2. Submit GRE Scores
    • OSU institutional code: #1592
    • All applicants are required to submit scores for the GRE General Test (Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical). There is no required minimum GRE score.  However, all applicants compete against the best in the applicant pool. 
    • Desired, but not required, is a GRE Advanced Subject Test score: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemistry or Biology.
    • In some cases, MCAT scores will be accepted in place of GRE scores.
  3. Submit TOEFL (or MELAB) 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 Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) must be submitted for this purpose. Students must submit a TOEFL score exceeding 79 Internet, 213 computer-based or 550 paper-based to be eligible for admission and/or financial support. Scores of at least 96 Internet, 243 computer-based 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