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Graduate Admissions & Aid


If you have a bachelor's or master's degree in biology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, engineering, or chemistry, you can apply directly to our MS or Ph.D. programs.

Classes begin in August for the Autumn semester. The University's official application deadline for Autumn Semester admission is January 6.  However, to ensure full consideration, all applicants must have an application on file by November 30 since applications will be reviewed beginning on December 1.  Supplemental application materials (e.g., letters of recommendation) may be accepted through December 15, if needed.  Applications should be submitted through the OSU Graduate School Admissions portal.

Please note: We do not currently offer fee waivers to applicants of either of our degree programs (Ph.D. or MS)

For all applicants, a four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree or its equivalent is required, with at least a 3.0 GPA. The following courses, offered at OSU or courses offered at other institutions that are equivalent in content, are prerequisites to enter the Microbiology graduate program:

  • Calculus (e.g., MATH 1156)
  • General Physics (e.g., PHYSICS 1200)
  • General Chemistry (e.g., CHEM 1210 & 1220)
  • Organic Chemistry (e.g., CHEM 2510 & 2520)
  • Biochemistry (e.g., BIOCHEM 4511)
  • General Biology (e.g., BIOL 1113 & 1114)

An undergraduate General Microbiology course (e.g., MICRBIOL 4000 or 4100) is preferred but is not required.

We do not require the submission of GRE scores for admission to the Microbiology MS or PhD program at Ohio State, although such scores can be submitted if desired to further demonstrate a sufficient foundation of knowledge.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all students whose native language is not English and who have not previously earned a U.S. degree.  The department does not accept the IELTS.  For full consideration, applicants generally need to score 28 or higher on the TOEFL iBT Speaking section.

For a full list of our instructions and competitive information, please follow the application instructions in the provided PDF.

If you need additional information, email the Graduate Program Coordinator at micro.grad@osu.edu.

After we receive your completed application, applications are reviewed by the Microbiology Admissions Committee.  We will inform you of our decision in writing as soon as possible. Information about financial support will be included in the letter of admission.

 In keeping with Ohio State's commitment to diversity and shared values, the Department of Microbiology welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups and encourages all applicants to visit our campus.

Financial Aid

Full financial support is provided for Ph.D. candidates.  All qualified Ph.D. students are guaranteed financial support from the department throughout their first year of our graduate program, at which time you will be expected to have joined a lab. Students must remain in good academic standing to be eligible for support.  After the first year, students are supported as Graduate Research Associates (GRAs) through their advisor’s funding, as Graduate Fellows (recipients of internal or external fellowships), or as Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs).  GTAs spend no more than 20 hours each week teaching undergraduate courses in Microbiology and Biology.

Financial assistance in the form of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA), may be provided to MS degree students (both thesis and non-thesis plans), depending on the availability of positions. Thesis plan MS students may also be supported as GRAs depending on their research advisor’s available funding.

Applicants may be considered for a University Fellowship if they meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 3.6. The University also offers a variety of enrichment student fellowships.  The decision to nominate an applicant is determined by the Microbiology Graduate Studies Committee. To be considered for any of the fellowship opportunities, you must have a completed application on file by November 30.  The final decision to award an applicant a fellowship for which they have been nominated is decided by the OSU Graduate School.

For students of Diverse Backgrounds.

Helpful links:

The Graduate Record Examination

Test of English as a Foreign Language

**Please note that the Department of Microbiology does not offer conditional admission to students missing the TOEFL iBT scores; the department does not accept the IELTS. The GRE is only required for students with cumulative GPAs under 3.0 per University Policy.

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to Adobe .pdf files requiring the use of Adobe Reader. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact micro.grad@osu.edu.