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Prospective MCB Graduate Students

Candidates interested in one or more of the departmental programs in MCB (Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Microbiology, or Molecular and Integrative Physiology) should apply directly to the School of MCB. Admission to the MCB Ph.D. program requires a bachelor's degree in biological or physical sciences. Students are only admitted for the fall semester. International students seeking admission into our Ph.D. program MUST first submit a pre-application.

MCB is also affiliated with two robust interdisciplinary graduate-degree programs: the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology and the Neuroscience Program. Both programs have significant MCB faculty participation. Interested students should apply directly to these programs.

Apply to MCB

Application fee: $70 for domestic applicants, $90 for international applicants.

Admission Procedure

  1. Apply Online through the Graduate College system.

    Important Note: Applicants must select Molecular and Cellular Biology as the Proposed Program of Study and then Molecular and Cellular Biology (all units)-PhD under Degree before selecting a departmental Field of Specialization (Biochemistry, Cell & Developmental Biology, Microbiology or Molecular & Integrative Physiology). The Field of Specialization should reflect which department has the most ongoing research of interest to the applicant. The Field of Specialization is not a commitment – admitted students are eligible to rotate in any of the four MCB departments.

  2. Transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions are required. Please review the Graduate College instructions for uploading unofficial transcripts. Do not submit hard copies of transcripts to the MCB Graduate Program or University Graduate College.

  3. Three Letters of Recommendation are required for admission consideration. Recommendation letters must be submitted electronically through the Graduate College application system.

  4. Official GRE and TOEFL Test Scores should be requested from ETS and sent to Illinois using institution code 1836. You may be prompted to select a department code; please select the code that best matches the Field of Specialization selected. However, regardless of which program you have chosen all scores sent to the University can be accessed by all programs.

TOEFL Note: A minimum score of 96 (internet-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of applicants from countries where English is not the primary language. Please note that we do not accept the IELTS in lieu of the TOEFL.

Additional Information for International Students

Pre-Application: International applicants must first submit a pre-application form. Pre-applicants meeting our program requirements will need the following to submit an official application. Pre-application deadline is December 15.

Letters of Sponsorship/Declaration of Finances/Bank Statements The Graduate College application will request your financial information; however, international students do not need to declare their finances in order to apply to MCB. Since MCB offers a stipend and tuition waiver, applicants are exempt from submitting their financial details. Please follow the MCB policy for this section of the application.

Passport: You are required to upload your passport as part of the application. If you do not yet have a passport, you may skip this step in the application. Please note if you are admitted to the program, we will not issue your I-20 until you have provided us with a copy of your passport.

Application Deadline

International pre-application deadline is December 15. If the pre-application system is closed, please proceed to the full application.

Full application deadline is December 31. To ensure full consideration, complete applications and materials must be submitted this deadline.

Mailing and Contact Information

James A. Imlay, Associate Director
Shawna M. Smith, Coordinator of Graduate Programs

MCB Graduate Program
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B103 CLSL (MC-110)
601 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801-3709
phone: (217) 333-1737
fax: (217) 244-6697
email: gradinfo@mcb.uiuc.edu