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What will I learn?

This program provides scientific training in the basic life sciences, with emphasis on the molecular basis of genetics, development, and cell biology. Areas of specialization include membranes, receptors, membrane transport, cell interactions, macromolecular structure, extracellular matrix, cytoskeleton, cell motility, regulation of gene expression, neuroscience, developmental mechanisms, human genetics, plant cell and molecular biology, genetic mechanisms, and genomics.

The program is interdisciplinary and involves faculty from several departments in the College of Biological Sciences, the Medical School, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Institutes for human genetics, plant molecular genetics, biological process technology, genome engineering, stem cell research and a center for developmental biology provide opportunities for graduate study.

PhD students are admitted to MCDB&G under the auspices of Molecular, Cellular and Structural Biology (MCSB), a first-year program administered by the MCDB&G and the Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB) graduate programs. After the first year, students select either MCDB&G or BMBB to complete their degree. MCDB&G does NOT have a freestanding master's program.

The MCDB&G PhD is also part of two joint degree programs: The Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, and Life Sciences; and the MD/PhD program.

The Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, and Life Sciences is unique in the nation and enables students to combine a JD degree with a PhD or MS degree. Students entering this program must be admitted to both the MCDB&G program and the Law School. Admission qualifications for MS and PhD students are identical; only the student's career objectives distinguish the degree that they pursue.

The MD/PhD program emphasizes the integration of the two major components of training--medicine and research--to ensure excellence in both. The program features a special curriculum that facilitates the transition from Medical School to the first year of formal graduate training and the transition from graduate training back to Medical School.

Intake: Fall

Which department am I in?

Graduate School

Study options

Full Time (48 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$27,612.00 per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected September 2023


Graduate School

321 Johnston Hall,

101 Pleasant St. S.E.,



55455, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Anyone who has or will obtain a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or a comparable degree from an officially recognized college or university outside the U.S. may apply for graduate admission. The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.40.

For international students

The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.50.

Applications from students with an undergraduate or master's degree in the biological, chemical, or physical sciences are preferred.

English Language Proficiency Requirements: TOEFL iBT – 107; IELTS Academic – 6.5; MELAB – 80; Pearson Test of Academic English (PTE Academic) – 59; Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) C1 Advanced – 180.

The deadline for receipt of completed applications is December 1st.


About University of Minnesota

UMN is one of the United States’ top public research institutions, where students gain a world-class education on a historic campus in a vibrant city.

  • 150+ undergraduate and 200+ graduate programs
  • Beautiful campus with the Mississippi River on site
  • World-class academics and close personal support throughout
  • Opportunities for scholarships and financial awards

Get in touch