How to Apply

What are the requirements to apply?

The BioMolecular Sciences Gateway does not establish minimum cut-off values on any indices. Rather, we attempt to select those applicants with the most promise for superior achievement. The following standards serve only as general guidelines. The successful applicant will typically have:

  • Equivalent to a four-year bachelor's degree that includes coursework that demonstrates proficiency in math and science
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.5
  • Research experience
  • Strong letters of reference that include evaluation of the applicant's research experience
  • The required GRE is only a small part of the decision-making process and is used as one metric to compare applicants from all different backgrounds. Successful BMS applicants have had GRE scores that range from 25 to 99% Verbal, 40 to 99% Quantitative, and 13 to 99% in Analytical writing. 
  • International students will have TOEFL scores of at least 600 with no sub-score below 60 (paper-based test) or 90 with no sub-score below 20 (23 writing section) (internet-based test)


Are Subject GREs required?

Though the subject test is encouraged, it is not necessary. In fact, only a small percentage of our applicants take a subject test. Taking into consideration recent research regarding the value of these tests and the GRE in general with respect to their predictive power as to an applicant’s success in graduate school, we have started de-emphasizing the GRE in our decision making. Our admissions committee will use all of the available information you can provide to reach a decision on your candidacy.

Step 1:

Application deadline for Fall Semester 2019 is December 1, 2018, 5:00 PM

All application materials must be submitted so that they are received by the BioMolecular Science Gateway Program NO LATER than 5:00 p.m. on the posted deadline.

Submit an online application form, which may be obtained through the Michigan State University Graduate School at Online applications for both domestic and international students are available at this site. If for some reason you cannot submit an electronic application, please contact the BioMolecular Sciences Program for more information.

During the application process, you will be asked to supply a code for the program which most interests you. The BioMolecular Science Gateway is home to 6 different possible degree-granting Departments/Programs. Please select a code that is most aligned with your interest:

Department Code
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 7028
Cell and Molecular Biology 3964
Genetics 3788
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics 7030
Pharmacology and Toxicology 4796
Physiology 3861

During the first two semesters of enrollment, you will have the opportunity to choose and complete at least four courses in appropriate disciplinary subjects. In the spring semester of the first year, you will have the opportunity to continue with the Ph.D. program you initially selected, or you may change to one of the other five programs which align most closely with your educational goals.

Step 2:

The online application has sections for you to write the following:

  • Academic Statement
    • The Academic Statement should convey your motivations for pursuing a graduate degree and your experiences and/or accomplishments pertinent to your application to the BMS program (i.e. undergraduate research, publications, workshops, etc.). Be sure to include a brief description of the nature of your research experiences and what you have learned from them.
  • Personal Statement
    • In your personal statement, you should concisely discuss any aspects of your history beyond academics that support you as an excellent candidate. These could include, for example, what you have derived from extracurricular activities, a demonstration of leadership, your potential contribution to a diverse educational community, and, if appropriate, any obstacles you have encountered in your pursuit of an education and how you have dealt with them.

Step 3:

The application requires these additional materials:

  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
    • The application will allow you to submit the name and email addresses of faculty that you would like to provide letters of recommendation on your behalf. The system will automatically notify the recommender of your request and instruct the recommenders of the procedure to submit the letters electronically. The recommendation letters may be addressed to the BMS Admission Committee.
      • The recommenders should submit the letters electronically in PDF format through the MSU Admissions Student Portal.
      • If they experience technical difficulties, the recommenders can send their letters directly to the BMS office ( Please note, however, this might delay the processing of your application.
      • Letters submitted by applicants will NOT be accepted.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • GRE Scores
    • The General Test is required. Institution 1465, Program Code GRE 0202. A subject test in chemistry, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, or biology (depending upon your interests) is strongly suggested for all programs except Pharmacology and Toxicology.
    • A Subject Test is welcome but not required. 
  • MCAT Scores
    • Required only if the applicant is applying for dual enrollment in a medical college & a Ph.D. Program.
  • TOEFL Scores for International Students
  • OFFICIAL Undergraduate/Graduate Transcripts
    • Most successful applicants will have a GPA of at least 3.3 over their last two years of study. Request the Registrar of EACH college/university attended to send one copy of each "official transcript." Transcripts sent by applicants will NOT be accepted. Transcripts of work taken at Michigan State University need not be requested. Colleges and Universities generally require both fees and time to process requests for transcripts. To be considered "official," the transcripts must have a university seal or notarization mark and be sent directly by the institution to the following address:  

Michigan State University
Office of Admissions
Hannah Administration Building
426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
East Lansing, MI 48824

Step 4:

International Applicants

The BioMolecular Science Gateway does NOT require proof of financial support. DO NOT include bank statements or affidavits of support. Please leave this section blank.


Applicants request their universities to submit CERTIFIED COPIES (sealed and stamped by institutions) of all post-secondary transcripts, graduation certificates, and degrees directly to:

Michigan State University
Office of Admissions
Hannah Administration Building
426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
East Lansing, MI 48824

Michigan State University requires these documents in the original language (Chinese) as well as an official English translation. Michigan State University will require all incoming ADMITTED students pursuing degrees or who have earned degrees from universities in China to submit a verification report (English version) through the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) for their final bachelor degree transcripts and certificate of graduation.

If you accept our admission offer, the BioMolecular Science Gateway will reimburse the cost of the CDGDC certification.

Please refer to the CDGDC website for more information:

China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center Verification Division
B-17, Tongfang Scientific Plaza
No.1 Wangzhuang Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, P.R.China
 Telephone: 86-10-82379480
 Fax: 86-10-82378718