Students applying to the University of Missouri graduate program to earn a PhD in biochemistry should have a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, chemistry, biology or one of the life sciences. Most successful applicants have a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale and undergraduate research experience.
Interested applicants should apply to the MU Biochemistry Department via the MU Graduate School rather than individual professors. Please feel free to contact faculty with specific questions regarding research, but individual professors do not evaluate or accept applicants directly to their laboratories. If you are accepted into our Graduate Program, you will identify three faculty members for research rotations during your first year prior to choosing one for your PhD research.
Applications should include the following:
- Completed graduate school application form.
- Transcripts: Upload unofficial copies of all transcripts to your online application. You will be asked to provide official documents if accepted by the program.
- Letters of Recommendation (3): Provide information for three recommenders in your online application. Letter(s) of recommendation from research advisor(s) are encouraged. Recommenders will be sent a secure link to the recommendation system via email.
- 500-750 word personal statement about your experiences and goals (no more than one single spaced page; upload to your online application).
- Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV) outlining educational background; teaching, research and professional experiences; and if applicable awards and honors, conference presentations, publications (no more than two pages; upload to your online application).
- Official GRE scores (recommended but not required). Send to Mizzou by using the institutional code 6875.
- International applicants: If your first language is not English, please submit your official scores from an English Proficiency Exam, either Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Pearson Test of English (PTE) or the Cambridge C1 Advanced (C1 Advanced) scores. The institutional code is 6875.
Dec. 8, 2019 is the deadline for applicants residing in the U.S. to be considered for the formal interview weekend between Jan. 30–Feb. 1, 2020 leading to admission Fall 2020. An application is not complete until all requested information has been received. We will continue to review applications if they arrive past the deadline, but admittance will depend upon remaining positions. All late applications must still be submitted in full to the MU Graduate School. International applicants will be interviewed by phone or Skype in February and March.
Frequently asked questions
General questions about the Department and application process are listed first. Questions pertaining specifically to international applications are listed at the end of this document.
The Application Process
- Do I need to contact the professors whose research interests match mine?
Please feel free to contact professors in whose research you are interested if you would like additional information about their research. However, in the Biochemistry Department, all applicants are admitted to the Department rather than to individual labs. Therefore, your application should be submitted to the MU Graduate School indicating your interest in the Biochemistry Department. If you are accepted into our Graduate Program, you will identify three faculty members for research rotations during your first year prior to choosing one for your PhD research.
- Should I send my application documents to the Department and/or to the MU Graduate School?
All documents should be sent only to the MU Graduate School. Approved documents will then be forwarded automatically to the MU Biochemistry Department.
- What is the application deadline?
The deadline for all application materials to be received by the MU Graduate School is December 8. Applications will be reviewed if they arrive past the deadline, but admittance will depend upon remaining positions.
- Is there an interview prior to the final admission?
Invited domestic applicants will attend a Graduate Recruitment Weekend, usually scheduled for the last weekend of January or first weekend of February. International applicants will be interviewed by Skype or phone by the MU Biochemistry Graduate Admissions Committee.
- When will I know if I have been accepted into the Department?
The Graduate Admissions Committee will send acceptance notices in mid February to early March.
- Am I eligible for financial support?
All PhD candidates are provided with a graduate research assistantship from departmental sources for a maximum of twelve months of study. Laboratory rotations and the majority of the course work should be completed while students are supported by departmental sources. After departmental support ends, students will be supported by research grants, fellowships or other sources available to their PhD mentors.
Requirements for Applicants
- Do I need to send official transcripts, or can I send copies for review?
Upload unofficial copies of all transcripts to your online application. You will be asked to provide official documents if accepted by the program.
- Are GRE scores required?
No, GRE scores are not required but recommended. The full application package is considered when evaluating each applicant, in that the admissions committee takes into account GPAs, research experience, and letters of reference and if provided, the GRE scores. The department has no fixed minimum GRE score; however, most successful students in our Department have verbal and quantitative GRE scores averaging above 60%.
- Do I need to send official scores of GRE or English language proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or C1 Advanced), or can I send copies for review?
Our Department and the MU Graduate School require official copies of the English language proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or C1 Advanced) or GRE scores.
- Can my recommenders send the letters by e-mail?
Letters can be submitted via an online form at the MU Graduate School (preferred) or sent to the following email address: email@example.com. The authenticity and quality of letters of recommendations are highly important.
- Does your program prefer a master’s degree or Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Programs (PREP)?
A MS degree or PREP participation will be considered as a positive factor when your application is reviewed by the MU Biochemistry Graduate Admissions Committee. However, a MS degree or participation in a PREP program are not expected or required.
- If I applied to your program last year, is my application still on file?
No. All application documents are only valid for three school terms. Therefore, if you are re-applying to our program for any reason, you must submit a new, full application to the MU Graduate School.
- What is the minimum requirement for English language proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or C1 Advanced) scores?
MU accepts TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or C1 Advanced exams. Students whose first language is not English must provide minimum TOEFL exam scores of at least 90 (IBT), 6.5 on ILETS, 59 on PTE or 180 on C1 Advanced.
- Where do I send my application documents?
All initial application materials should be uploaded to the online application. If accepted by the program, you will be asked to send official transcripts to the MU Graduate School.MU Graduate School Admission Office
University of Missouri
210 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211, USAAlso, please note the following information from the MU Graduate School regarding sending transcripts and other information:
Official transcripts or mark sheets
Official transcripts or mark sheets, must be sent directly from each university or college you have attended. (Note that certain international institutions issue transcripts in officially-sealed envelopes only to their students; if this is the case, MU accepts those sealed official documents when mailed to MU by the applicant.) Transcripts/mark sheets for all baccalaureate degrees or equivalents and any additional degrees must be sent in both English and the native language.
If you have questions, please contact us. We are here to help you through this process.
Biochemistry Graduate Admissions Support