Students who want to study biochemistry, biomedical engineering, cell, developmental or cancer biology, genetics, immunology, physiology or pharmacology at OHSU must apply through the Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences. Applications to PMCB are reviewed by our Admissions Committee and assessed on various criteria, including (but not limited to) past academic performance, lab experience, letters of recommendation, GRE scores and GPA.

The deadline for applications is December 1, 2016. Interview notifications will be emailed no later than December 31, 2016.

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

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 lab experience because lab work will be a huge focus of your graduate education. We need to know that you flourish in the research experience and 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. 

Application Instructions

Accepting applications from September 1 – December 1, 2016

To apply, add the Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences to the general application through the SOM Graduate Studies Application Portal (link to come). 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

  • Completed 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.


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


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.


How do I submit my best application?

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



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.


  • Cheryl Maslen, 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, MMI/VGTI
  • Victor DeFilipis, MMI/VGTI
  • Linda Musil, BMB
  • James Chen, BMB
  • Larry David, QB
  • Paul Spellman, QB
  • Jeff Tyner, CanB
  • Sudarshan Anand, CanB
  • Monica Hinds, BME