Today is Monday, Jul. 24, 2017

Department of

Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry & Microbiology

Admission Process

Admission Requirements for the Doctoral Programs

Candidates for the doctoral program are expected to have a strong undergraduate background in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics with an overall GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. 

The department requires that all applicants take the general aptitude test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). In some instances MCAT scores may be acceptable. Minimal GRE percentile scores of competitive applicants are in the range of 70-80 percent.

Applicants are encouraged to take one of the advanced tests in biology, chemistry, mathematics or physics, but this is not required. 

The GRE is administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, and should be taken so that results are available by Jan. 15 of the admission year.


Admission Requirements for the Master's Program

Candidates for the MS program are expected to have a strong undergraduate background in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics with an overall GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

The department requires that all applicants take the general aptitude test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Minimal GRE percentile scores should be at least 50.

The GRE is administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, and should be taken so that results are available by March 1 of the admission year.

Your goals for obtaining a MS degree in our department are very important towards the admissions process. Students who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. can enroll in the MS program as part-time students. Typically the part-time students complete the non-thesis program (5 year maximum time for MS degree). Courses are typically taught during the day and there are no on-line courses that fulfill the MS degree requirements at this time.

Full time students can complete the MS degree in one year (non-thesis). Students in the thesis-based MS degree may have to do an additional year to complete the research project.


How to Apply

Applicants for the Doctoral Programs are encouraged to submit application materials by December 15, 2017 for matriculation in the Fall Semester of 2018. Applications submitted up until January 15, 2018 will be considered, pending availability of space. Applications for the Master's Program are due by March 1, 2018, for matriculation in the Fall Semester of 2018.

Applications submitted online can take up to two days to process, so please do not contact the department to see if one has been received for at least two days after submission. You will be contacted when your application is complete, or if items are missing.

The following items are to be submitted directly online with the application process found on the Graduate School Online Apply website.

  • A Resumé (or curriculum vitae) outlining your education and work career, publications, honors and awards, previous research activities etc.
  • A One Page Biographical Essay that includes relevant information about your background, your reasons for applying to graduate school and your career aspirations.
  • Names and addresses of three referees Your references will be asked via email to submit a recommendation letter for you using the online submission system. You will not need to provide them with any forms, but you WILL need to provide all of their contact information in your online application.



  • To facilitate review of your application, you should upload your transcripts with your online application. This is for all college-level work taken for credit at any college or university. Transcripts should include evidence of degree conferred (where appropriate) and bear the original signature of the authorized official and the seal of the institution. Questions regarding transcripts and the submission process should be addressed to Andy Upton at the location listed below or may be found at the following website:
  • Andy Upton, Program Coordinator
    The Graduate School-Operations
    University of Cincinnati
  • Official transcripts are be mailed to:

                   Regular U.S. postal mail:

                   Graduate School
                   University of Cincinnati
                   110 Van Wormer Hall
                   P.O. Box 210627
                   Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627

                   Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):

                   Graduate School
                   University of Cincinnati
                   2614 McMicken Circle
                   110 Van Wormer Hall
                   Cincinnati, OH 45221-0627


Regarding Official Testing Scores

  • Official reports of results on the following examinations are sent to the university by Educational Testing Service (photocopies of score reports will not be accepted).
  • Graduate Record Examination. It is suggested that this test be taken no later than December in order for scores to be received by the Jan. 15 deadline. Our institution code is 1833; use either department code 0202 or 0212.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants whose native language is other than English. Our institution code is 1833; department code 07 or 34. A minimum of 100 on the Internet-based exam is required.

If you have any questions regarding these examinations, please contact the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08540.

If you have taken the IELTS exam, you will need to have the testing service mail those scores to the address listed above. In the online application, enter your IELTS score in the Additional Information Mailed section that appears near the end of the application.

Your application is not complete and cannot be acted upon until all of the above items have been received or submitted online. After you have submitted your online application, you will receive an email notice from the Graduate School. The process is then followed up by our department for application reviews only when all of your supporting documents have been received or submitted.

What Happens Next?

Your application materials will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Committee (consisting of seven to eight faculty members and two students nominated by the departmental Graduate Student Association)—decisions on whom to invite for interviews are typically made in December and January.

We usually invite numerous students at a time for interviews—in that way we can best showcase the department and its facilities, as well as giving candidates the opportunity to meet potential future classmates.

During the interview day you will meet both faculty and current students already enrolled in the program, so that many opportunities are available to have your questions answered. In addition, of course, the graduate program will cover all your travel and accommodation expenses. Typically, there are also opportunities to see something of the city of Cincinnati and its surroundings.

Our goal is that at the end of your visit you will have seen both the exciting academic and personal opportunities that being a graduate student in our program extends. For international applicants, the program endeavors to conduct Internet-based interviews with selected candidates via video services such as Skype.

Decisions on admission are made subsequent to interview and are the responsibility of the Graduate Program Committee. Recommendations for admission are reviewed and approved by the department director.

Doctoral students must arrive by Aug. 15 for orientation prior to commencement of the fall semester, and to begin their first research laboratory rotation. However, we strongly encourage students to begin their graduate career in early July (with full financial support) in order to get a head start on their laboratory experiences before their formal course work begins in the fall semester.


International Student Admission

International students who are either in, or coming to, the United States on student (F1) visas can only be granted graduate admission on a full-time basis.

As noted above students whose native language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) before they can be considered for admission.

This requirement may be waived with permission from the university dean for those international students who have a four-year degree from an accredited American college or university and who have studied oral and written English while a student in the American college or university. 

The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 100 (Internet-based test), 250 (computer-based test) or 600 (paper test). In addition, all international students are required to carry student health insurance.

Admission with Advanced Status

Students admitted into the program with previous graduate level training will be notified in writing at the time of admission if they qualify for "advanced status."

Doctoral students can petition the Graduate Program Committee for the transfer of up to nine graduate credits for work completed at other institutions; master's students can petition to transfer up to six credit hours. This may be for course work or for special projects, research or equivalent. For these students the Graduate Program Committee will determine course requirements.

To be excused from an advanced level course at a date later than the time of admission requires a majority recommendation of the Graduate Program Committee.

Advanced status students may also elect to complete the candidacy exam earlier than usual.

Cartwright PIcture

More Information

For more information on our graduate programs, please contact us at:

Brenda Cole
Graduate Program Manager

Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
P.O. Box 670524
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0524 

Phone: 513-558-5510