The 2017 admissions cycle has ended

Applications to PMCB are reviewed by our Admissions Committee, which is comprised of representatives from all academic programs. Applications are assessed on criteria including (but not limited to) past academic performance, lab experience, letters of recommendation, GRE scores and GPA. We look for motivated students who can communicate articulately about their research experience.

To apply, create an account and add the Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences. Applications for Fall 2018 will be accepted starting September 1, 2017.

Apply Now

Program Eligibility

Qualified applicants will have

  • Completed a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution, or international equivalent
  • Earned a 3.0 or higher GPA on a 4.0 scale, or international equivalent
  • Prior research experience

While we do not have a required list of pre-requisite courses, we suggest that candidates have successfully completed undergraduate courses in general biology, general chemistry, physics, genetics, organic chemistry, and/or calculus I.

Our admissions committee is interested in research experience because lab work will be a huge focus of your graduate education. We need to know that you flourish in the research environment and that know what you're getting into if you join our program. An ideal lab should give you opportunities to work on experiments, collect data, interpret results, understand the basic questions of your experiments and why they are relevant, and perhaps allow you to see the data through to publication. You wouldn't need to engage in all of these aspects of research but we will be looking for hands on familiarity with several of these facets of your research and evidence that you were successful. An experience akin to data entry alone or clerical work in a research lab wouldn't give you a sufficient breadth of experience to appreciate the many expects of research that come with a PhD education in biomedical science. 

Sound like you?

Apply now

Application Instructions

To apply, add the Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences to the general application through the Application Portal. You may apply to more than one program simultaneously. Applications for Fall 2017 admission close December 1, 2016. While there is a small grace period for trailing documents (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.), plan to have all documents submitted and received prior to the deadline.

Application Requirements

  • Online application
  • Current CV or resume
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended sent directly to UniCAS
  • Minimum three (3) letters of reference, requested through the online application
    • Request recommendations from individuals who have a thorough (and personal!) knowledge of your background and qualifications, and who can address your potential for research and further academic study
  • GRE test scores no more than five (5) years old
    • OHSU's code is 4865
    • Subject tests are not required
    • GRE scores are waived if you have earned a previous graduate-level degree
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international students whose native language is not English and who have not earned a degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution)
  • $70 application fee

International Applicants

English Language Requirement

We require TOEFL or IELTS scores, taken within the past two (2) years, for international students whose native language is not English. This requirement is waived for international applicants who have received a degree from a regionally-accredited institution within the United States.

OHSU's code for TOEFL scores is 4865.

Degree Equivalency

While not required at the time of application, a World Education Services (WES) International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) credential evaluation may eventually be required for all foreign colleges attended, regardless of country of origin. You are responsible for the full cost of this service. If you have already completed a similar credential evaluation through WES or another company, the may evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether a WES ICAP will be needed.

Office of International Affairs

For more information about OHSU's resources on visa statuses, immigration services, and international student resources, contact the Office of International Affairs.


After the application period has closed, the PMCB Admissions Committee will examine all complete, eligible applications. Each application will be reviewed by at least two (2) committee members during the first round of reviews. You will be informed whether or not you've moved on to the interview round before the end of December 2016.

Interviews will be held in February 2017 over a two (2)-day period. During that time, candidates will have the opportunity to meet faculty and students, tour OHSU's campus(es) and facilities, and explore beautiful Portland, Oregon.

Want a chance to interview with us?

Submit an application


Frequently Asked Questions


How many students are admitted each year?

Admission to PMCB is very competitive. We receive roughly 200 applications each year, interview 50 candidates, and aim for a class size of 15 - 20 students.


What are your minimum GRE scores or GPA?

GRE scores and GPA are just a part of the criteria used by the Admissions Committee in making admissions decisions. A weakness in one area does not automatically disqualify an applicant, if balanced by strong performance in other areas. We encourage scores greater or equal to

Verbal: 153
Quantitative: 148
Analytical Writing: 4.5
Undergraduate GPA: 3.0


How do I calculate my prior research experience?

To convert part-time research positions and to calculate this number, the Prior Research Experience Calculator.


Who should write my letters of recommendation?

Request letters from individuals who know you well and have worked with directly with you, who can speak of your research/lab experience. Letters from previous and current PIs are strongly encouraged. Letters from course instructors carry very little weight.


May I contact faculty?

You are free to contact faculty. However, this does not guarantee your admission.


Where do I send my official transcripts?

As part of the online application, you will be asked to enter any and all current and former academic institutions you've attended. That list will be used to generate a barcode cover sheet for those institutions to include with your official transcripts. The cover sheet will include information on where to send the transcript, in either electronic or paper format.


I want to study Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Which program should I add to my application?

The majority of students interested in biochemistry apply through the Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences. However, there is a separate biochemistry track available through the Division of Environmental and Biomolecular Systems. Do not choose the EBS Biochemistry program unless you are specifically interested in studying with EBS faculty or conducting research relating to the environment.


I believe I qualify for a application fee waiver. How can I be sure?

To check your eligibility and request a fee waiver, email when you are nearly finished with your online application. Once applied, the fee waiver will expire after 30 days. Trailing documents like transcripts and letters of recommendation can still be received after that time window, but your online application must be complete and submitted within the 30-day timeframe.

*The deadline to request fee waivers is November 28. Requests made after that date may not be accommodated.


How do I submit my best application?

Learn from others who have been in your situation and avoid these common mistakes.


Where do I start?

Create an account, provide your information and submit your supporting documentation--all through our online application portal.



At OHSU, we embrace the full spectrum of diversity, including age, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. We respect and support diversity of thought, ideas and more.

To fully leverage the richness of our diversity at OHSU, we must create, maintain and promote a community of inclusion. Inclusion means we honor, respect, embrace and value the unique contributions and perspectives of all employees, patients, students, volunteers and our local and global communities. It also includes removing barriers to individual success.


PMCB is able to provide appropriate accommodations during the application and interview process if requested. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in PMCB Admissions, please contact  no later than November 1, 2016 for the application stage and January 1, 2017 for the interview stage. We cannot guarantee an accommodation if your request is not made in a timely manner.

Please begin an application  prior to requesting accommodation.


For more information regarding application requirements and program information, contact

Anne Peasley, PMCB Coordinator

503 494-3467

Mon - Fri, 9:00a - 4:30p PST

For technical questions about the online application, contact

Customer Service

857 304-2017

Mon - Fri, 9:00a - 5:00p EST

Admissions Committee

Each of PMCB's academic programs, plus the Quantitative Biosciences emphasis track and the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute, are represented on the PMCB Admissions Committee, which oversees the admissions process to ensure a thorough review of all applications.


  • Robert Duvoisin, PMCB Director, Chair
  • Eric Barklis, MMI
  • Jeff Nolz, MMI
  • Julie Saugstad, MMG
  • Mushui Dai, MMG
  • Sara Courtneidge, CDB
  • Alex Nechiporuk, CDB
  • Catherine Morgans, PH2
  • Michael Cohen, PH2


  • Dan Streblow, VGTI
  • Victor DeFilipis, VGTI
  • Linda Musil, BMB
  • James Chen, BMB
  • Larry David, QB
  • Paul Spellman, QB
  • Jeff Tyner, CanB
  • Sudarshan Anand, CanB
  • Monica Hinds, BME