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Application Process

Below are a list of common questions and answers about the application process.  Please read through all of this information before applying to the program.

What do I need to do before I apply?

When should I apply?              Research Day 2018 030.JPG

How do I apply?

What does it mean for an application to be complete?

What happens after my application is complete?

What happens if I am invited to visit the program?

How are admission decisions made?

Who can I contact for more information?


What do I need to do before I apply?

  • Admission to the Ph.D. program prefers an undergraduate degree in the natural sciences that demonstrates competence in the areas of biology, chemistry and biological chemistry. Applicants should have had courses that include most (but not necessarily all) of the following: general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, general biology, physiology, genetics, physics, and calculus. Please note that the Biomedical Sciences program does not have a Master's program. Only the Ph.D. is offered, or an M.D./Ph.D. dual degree through the Medical Scientist Program (MSP).

  • NEW as of 11/14/18:  The General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is no longer required. 

  • An earned cumulative grade-point average (GPA) equivalent to at least 3.0 out of 4.0 in all previous undergraduate college-level course work is required by the OSU Graduate School.

  • For international students:  TOEFL: 600 paper, 100 IBT; MELAB: 86; IELTS: 8.0 is required.  On the recommendation of the Graduate School, Ohio State is implementing a graduate conditional admission policy for international applicants whose English language proficiency is marginally below the university’s required levels, i.e. below TOEFL 79-80 iBT, or 550 PBT.

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When should I apply?

  • Applications are reviewed and students are admitted for Summer admission on a rolling basis.  Apply early! 

Our deadlines are as follows:

  • U.S. citizens and fellowship applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by December 1 
  • The final deadline for U.S. students to apply is February 1
  • The deadline for non-U.S. citizens/international applicants is November 1 

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How do I apply?

  • Go to http://gradadmissions.osu.edu/ 

  • Under the "Application Account Menu" create an account.

  • Once you have created an account go to "Graduate Applications."

  • Be sure to select "Summer" and the year you are applying. Please note that the time of entry for students is "Summer" only. The Biomedical Sciences Graduate program will not appear as the program you are applying to unless you select "Summer." Under some special circumstances, students may begin in Autumn. 

  • For any questions or assistance with applying to our program by completing the OSU Graduate Admissions online application, please contact Graduate Admissions directly at 614-292-9444 or visit http://gpadmissions.osu.edu/grad/admissions.html​

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What does it mean for an application to be complete?

  • Online OSU Graduate Admissions application is submitted. 

  • Transcripts from any and all previous undergraduate or graduate education institutions are received by Graduate Admissions (The Graduate School does accept faxed or scanned copies of official transcripts for initial application review) 

  • 3 Reference Letters are received (These must be submitted electronically via the online application).

  • CV containing all research experience is received.

  • A Personal Statement or Letter of Intent is received.

  • International students are required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores and MUST have a designated faculty mentor willing to fund a stipend,tuition and fees for 5+ years of the program before applying.

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 What happens after my application is complete? 

  •  As soon as an application is complete, the Graduate Studies Committee reviews the application.  The Committee decides to invite the applicant to visit the program, to reject the applicant, or to defer action.
  • For applicants invited to visit the program, the office will communicate with the applicant so that arrangements can be made for the applicant to meet with appropriate faculty and visit research facilities of interest. 

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What happens if I am invited to visit the program?

  • A group of students arrive on a Thursday afternoon for a dinner with existing students.

  • On Friday morning, the Directors welcome them and give an overview of the day's activities and the program. 

  • Candidates interview with individual faculty members in the morning and then meet current students throughout the day and at lunch.

  • In the afternoon, there is an Areas of Research In the afternoon, there is an Areas of Research Overview where faculty explain research opportunities available and answer questions.

  • Students meet with a faculty member in their area of research emphasis and tour various facilities of interest on campus.

  • Friday night there is a social event with dinner at which time applicants meet with current students, other applicants, and faculty in an informal setting. 

  • Saturday morning is spent visiting research facilities and laboratories at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital where a number of our faculty are located.

  • The Graduate Studies Committee meets the following week to make the decision to accept or reject the applicant, or to defer the decision until a later time. 

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Admission Decisions

Part of the admission decision is based on several relatively objective criteria such as undergraduate and graduate GPA, level of difficulty and relevance of coursework to the program, extent, nature and productivity of previous research experience (e.g., publications and presentations), and quality of the educational institutions at which the student studied. More subjective criteria are also taken into consideration: personal statement, letters of reference, the student’s commitment to research, understanding of graduate education, commitment to a career in research, and personal maturity.

Every student accepted is offered an annual stipend and a full waiver of tuition and fees. During the first year, this has been paid by the program, but in subsequent years the student’s dissertation advisor pays the stipend from a research grant, and the College of Medicine pays the tuition and fees. Currently, we have funds to support 30 students during the first year of study, and we have been successful in obtaining fellowships for many.

As a policy, the graduate program will only admit students who have guaranteed funding for at least the first year of study. This funding could be from the Biomedical Sciences program, or individually arranged support, such as from a faculty member sponsoring an international applicant. Support for subsequent years is the responsibility of the student's Dissertation Advisor.


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For additional information, contact:

The Ohio State University
Graduate Admissions
PO BOX 182004
Columbus, Ohio 43218-2004
Telephone: 614-292-9444
Fax: 614-292-3895

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
Room 1178 Graves Hall
333 West 10th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210

MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

1190 Graves Hall
333 West 10th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210

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