Applying to the Cell Biology Graduate Program

GPiBS - Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences

The gateway to the Ph.D. Program in the Department of Cell Biology is the GPiBS Program. Students who apply to and are accepted into the GPiBS Program participate in a year-long interdisciplinary curriculum, as well as lab rotations, that give them the exposure to the breadth of biomedical science programs and faculty mentors available at OU Health Sciences Center. This allows the students ample time in a variety of courses and labs to make an educated decision on which graduate program and mentor they wish to complete their Ph.D. studies with. To view more details about the GPiBS program, how to apply, deadlines, and more click here



Direct Admission to Cell Biology

In specific circumstances a student MAY be considered for Direct Admission to the Cell Biology Graduate Program (without first completing GPiBS). Applications for direct admission to the Ph.D. program in Cell Biology are accepted from students who have identified a faculty member in the Department of Cell Biology under whom they wish to train. The faculty member must be willing to provide mentorship and financial support for the duration of the student’s Ph.D. training.   Prospective direct admission students must have received a bachelor’s degree or equivalent training and have a record of introductory courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Applicants are not required to take the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  If the applicant has GRE scores they may include them in their application, but scores are not required.  

Online submission of the application is required. Applications are accepted at any time, however, submission of completed applications with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, on or before March 31 is recommended to ensure consideration for admission the following fall. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Well-qualified candidates are invited to campus (or interviewed by Skype if overseas) by the Cell Biology Departmental Graduate Education Committee. 

Financial Support

All Directly Admitted Cell Biology Students must have a full commitment of financial support by their prospective mentor for the duration of their graduate work. Students are expected to complete graduate work to obtain the Ph.D. within five years.

Admissions Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant major
  • Minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of their undergraduate degree program and a minimum GPA of 3.0 on any Graduate coursework
  • A WES or ECE report to confirm GPA is required for applicants who are graduating, or have graduated, from foreign institutions.
  • GRE general exam scores may be submitted but are not required
  • The TOEFL exam is required for foreign applicants.  Any applicant whose first language is not English must certify proficiency in English when applying. Such applicants must submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A TOEFL score of at least 600 on the paper and pencil test, 220 on the computer-based test, or equivalent score on the web-based exam is the minimum required to be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program in Cell Biology.
  • A letter from the prospective mentor in Cell Biology.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals other than the prospective mentor
  • A personal statement of goals/purpose

 Application Procedure

To apply directly to the Department of Cell Biology, complete the online application (the departmental code for Cell Biology is 0417R. The institution code is 6902). Send the following items:

  1. Printed Copy of the Online Application
  2. Official Transcripts
  3. Letter from Prospective Mentor
  4. 3 letters of recommendation
  5. Goals/Purpose Statement
  6. GRE Scores (optional)
  7. International Students also need to send TOEFL Scores and a WES or ECE grade report

Once the application is complete, it will be reviewed by the Graduate Education Committee of the Department of Cell Biology. The Committee will make its recommendation for acceptance or refusal to the Department for further action.

Please send all documentation to:

Pete Marley

Senior Student Coordinator

940 Stanton L. Young Blvd

BMSB 1053

Phone: 405-271-8001 ext 44559