How to Apply

To Apply

Complete the Online Application in the graduate school admissions portal.  Select Molecular and Biomedical Sciences when applying for one or more of the programs listed below, and then select all programs for which you would like to be considered. You may apply to one or more than one of the following programs for a single application fee: 

  • Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology
  • Neurosciences
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Design
  • Toxicology


See the Graduate School for a guide to the UM graduate school application process.

For full consideration, the application deadline is December 1. In some cases, applications will be considered after this time if positions in the program remain unfilled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are applications considered after the deadline?

Yes, but late applications may not be considered if available positions have been filled.

What makes a particular application stand out?

Research experience! The most successful applicants have significant and productive research experience. They are able to effectively describe the background and rationale for their research in the personal statement as well as summarize what was accomplished. Exceptional research experience (a master's degree, many years of experience, publications, etc.) may offset minor deficiencies in GPA.

What makes a personal statement stand out?

The statement should be about two single-spaced pages in length and should outline your research interests and career goals, work and research experience, personal background pertinent to the application, leadership roles, and qualities that would contribute to the diversity of the program. Indicate where your interests match the research directions of the program faculty. If you intend to apply to more than one program under the MBS umbrella, do the same for each program. Matching interests of the applicant and program faculty often affect admission decisions. If you are particularly interested in working with a specific faculty member, you are encouraged to contact them to determine whether they are accepting new students and what potential research projects are available. List any research publications on which you are an author at the end of the personal statement.

What is the average GPA score needed to be admitted?

A competitive application will have a GPA of 3.1 or better (on a 4.0 scale). If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.1, additional graduate level courses can be taken as evidence of academic ability.

The Molecular and Biomedical Sciences programs do not require the GRE.

Is the TOEFL exam required for international students?

For the most up to date requirements, visit the UM Graduate School.

How many letters of recommendation do I need?

Three letters are required. Letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic and research capabilities are strongly encouraged. Names and complete contact information for the three references must be entered in the online application. References will be sent instructions from the online application system.

Do we admit international students?

Yes, international students will be contacted for a phone interview prior to being considered for admission.

Do I need to provide original transcripts?

Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded with the application. However, official transcripts must be provided as a condition for final acceptance. Official transcripts should be sent directly to the Graduate School.

What do I do if I forgot to upload something and I already submitted my application?

Call (406-243-2572) or email ( the Graduate School Admissions Office as soon as possible.

Do I have to pay the Graduate School application fee?

Yes, the Graduate School does not offer a fee waiver for any reason. The application fee is $70. This fee will allow you to apply to one or more program under the MBS umbrella.

When will I be notified of my application status?

We review applications starting in December and invite our top domestic candidates to visit campus for interviews at our expense in late February or March. Phone interviews are conducted for the top international applicants in February or March. Official offers will be made shortly after the on-campus visits and phone interviews.

How do students find a thesis advisor/laboratory?

All programs assign incoming students a first-year advisor to assist with choosing classes, etc. During the first year, students conduct two or three rotations in laboratories of MBS faculty. Note that students may conduct research rotations with faculty members of any of the programs under the MBS umbrella. This process allows the student to become familiar with the research of potential thesis laboratories, to learn skills and techniques that may be useful in their dissertation research, and for faculty members to evaluate the student for potential fit into their laboratory. The student must associate with a thesis/dissertation advisor by the end of the second (Spring) semester.

Helpful Hints

  • Upload all materials to the online application platform.
  • Do NOT submit until all materials are uploaded.
  • Be in communication with all of your references. Encourage them to submit their references in a timely manner.
  • Frequently check the email you provided. If you are missing materials or if there are any problems with your application, we will only contact you by email.