Are you eligible for an application fee waiver?

The recruitment, retention, and support of students from underrepresented backgrounds is central to the Graduate School's mission. We strive to develop and promote efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion campus-wide.  Application fee waivers are offered to eligible applicants.

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Admissions Philosophy

The goal of the Molecular Biology Program is to train outstanding research scientists, academicians and educators who will become future leaders in Molecular Biology. To accomplish this goal, students are selected who have strong academic records and a demonstrated aptitude, commitment and passion for scientific research. Applicants are considered based on past academic performance, previous laboratory research experience, recommendations and individual interviews. Students most likely to succeed have traditionally been those with intellectual achievement and creativity, first-hand understanding of laboratory research, and a strong personal desire and motivation to progress in their scientific training.

We are committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical) who meet the technical standards of the program, with or without reasonable accommodations.

If you are an applicant with a disability who would like to engage in a confidential consultation about disability access at CU Anschutz, or who requires accommodations to complete the application or interview process, please contact The Office of Disability, Access & Inclusion. 

Meet the 2023-2024 Admissions Committee

Faculty Members

Neel Mukherjee

Neel Mukherjee

Rytis Prekeris

Rytis Prekeris

Carol Sartorius

Carol Sartorius

Ning Zhao

Ning Zhao

Student Members

Rachel Sachs

Rachel Sachs

Oscar Munoz

Oscar Munoz

Natasia Paukovich

Natasia Paukovic

Destiny DeNicola

Destiny DeNicola

Raymundo Lerma

Raymundo Lerma

Brandon Buck

Brandon Buck

Tips for Crafting a Competitive Application

Application FAQs

Do I need to be vaccinated against Covid-19? 

Yes, The University of Colorado policies require full COVID vaccination for students, faculty and staff on all four CU campuses. This requirement would need to be met at least 4 weeks prior to Orientation at the end of August. Read more about the CU requirement and FAQs. There are NO waivers of any kind for students with specific religious convictions or beliefs. Waivers due to a medical condition require approval at the campus level and must adhere to a strict review process. In the event a student receives a waiver for a medical exemption, it should be noted that the waiver could impact the student’s access to certain clinical sites, engagement in educational activities within close proximity of others, and overall progression in the educational curriculum.

Is GRE required? 

No. GRE scores are NOT accepted and will NOT be used in admissions

Is a specific major required? 

No, but these are the skills students might typically have:

  • Biology (both general and advanced courses e.g., Molecular Biology, Biochemistry)
  • Laboratory in Biology or Biochemistry
  • Chemistry (general and often Organic Chemistry)
  • Physics (a general course)
  • Mathematics
  • Programming

Is a certain GPA required? 

No. There is no absolute requirement for grade point average above that required by the graduate school. We use a holistic evaluation process with GPA is considered only in the context of other criteria. Specifically, we look for signs of consistent progress or an upward trajectory in GPA.

Is there financial assistance for the application? 

Yes. Visit the Graduate School website to learn more about application fee waivers

Do I need to join a lab before I can gain admission to the program?

No. MOLB does not have a direct-to-lab admit track. Students will do three rotations in the labs of molecular biology faculty before selecting a dissertation lab in the spring of their first year. However, you can reach out to faculty you may be interested in rotating with to see if they have a spot open in their lab.

I'm still finishing my masters/bachelor’s degree, is it ok if my transcripts are incomplete?

Yes. We accept unofficial transcripts for application evaluation. You will need to send us official transcripts at the end of the academic year if you choose to attend CU Anschutz. If the transcript was not issued in English, a certified translation must be provided.  

Do I need a masters degree to be eligible for admission?

No. A masters degree is not required to apply for the Molecular Biology PhD program.

Will course requirements be waived if I hold an MS degree?

No. All students must take the required courses for the degree.

Are there other ways, besides the TOEFL/IELTs exam, to prove English proficiency?

Yes. English Language Proficiency (ELP) may be met if you've earned a post-secondary degree that is comparable to a US Bachelor’s degree or if you are a citizen of an exempt country. More information can be found here:

Do I need a visa to study in the US?

The CU Denver International Student and Scholar Services office has dedicated staff for students at the Anschutz campus that will issue an I-20 so students can obtain an F-1 student visa to study in the US. The visa process begins once a student has accepted an offer of admission. More information can be found at:

How to Apply



To apply for admission applicants must submit the following:

  • Online Graduate School application.
  • A $50.00 domestic and $75.00 international non-refundable application fee [credit card (on-line only), check, or money order]. No application will be processed unless this fee is paid.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation. The most informative letters will come from Professors who have mentored you in your research experiences. Professors who have taught science classes you have been enrolled in, or whom you have worked with in an advisory capacity, are also good choices. We do not recommend that you ask postdocs, technicians or fellow students for letters. Likewise, members of the community are generally not good choices, as typically their understanding of biomedical PhD training, and hence their ability to evaluate your potential, is limited.
  • One (1) official transcript of all academic work completed to date. To be considered "official", the transcripts must come from the issuing institution directly to the University of Colorado Denver Graduate Admissions. 

Electronic Transcripts should be sent to:

If sending a physical transcript, please mail to:

Graduate School
Mail Stop C296
Fitzsimons Building, W5107
13001 E. 17th Place
Aurora, CO 80045

  • GRE test scores are not required and will not be accepted.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores and financial support verification (international students only).

International Applicants


Since additional processing is required for international applications, the application may not be complete even if submitted on December 1. Submission by November 1 will ensure time to complete administrative processing before December 1.

Applications submitted between November 1 and December 1 will only be considered if all application components have been received and processed.

International students must meet ALL of the requirements above and those required by International Admissions. 

Visit International Admissions for more information.


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