How to Apply to
Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Contact BCB Admissions

Application for Fall 2024 is now closed. Applications for Fall 2025 will open in Fall of 2024.

Application Deadline

  • Applications submitted by December 1 will be prioritized for early evaluation.
  • The application deadline is December 31.
  • Candidates who miss the early evaluation deadline will be in a less competitive position.

Admission to the graduate program includes a research stipend. The application to the program covers both admission and the research stipend; there is NOT a separate financial aid application for the Biochemistry & Cell Biology doctoral program.

Application Materials: (All below items are required for a complete application)

Rice Biochemistry & Cell Biology Graduate Program Application

Please note that applicants applying to more than one graduate program must submit separate applications for each program.

Official Transcripts
All offers of admission are contingent on receipt of the official transcript or transcripts of all previous college or university work (including previous graduate study). Official transcripts should be sent directly to the BioSciences Department (address below) by the institution or institutions attended. An unofficial transcript may be uploaded to the online application for preliminary evaluation, but once an applicant is selected for an interview, the official transcript must be submitted. A final transcript, covering work in progress at the time of application and any later work, must be furnished to the Department as soon as possible (if not submitted as part of the original application).

Recommendation Letters
Recommendations should be requested from four persons (preferably professors in the applicant's major field) who know the personal and scholastic qualities of the applicant. Letters should be submitted online through the application software. Applicants can send requests to recommendation writers directly through the application. If the online option is not selected, hard-copy forms for recommendation letters can be requested at Hard-copy letters should be mailed by the writers directly to the BioSciences Department. Applications will not be reviewed until at least three recommendations are received.

Personal Statement
A personal statement is required for all applications. Personal statements can be uploaded directly to the online application in PDF format. The personal statement should include a brief description of the applicant's intended plan of study or the particular sub-division of the major field in which the applicant would like to specialize.The statement should also include discussions of any scholarly research, writing, or similar research completed or in progress. Applicants should include in the statement any other information that may be helpful in evaluating the application. If applicable, applicants should briefly describe any additional factors that they would like to have the admissions committee consider in evaluating the application (e.g. personal background, work experience, leadership roles).

Submission of GRE scores is optional for applicants to the BCB program. Scores submitted by an applicant will be reviewed along with other application components as part of the wholistic admission review process. Applicants who do not submit scores will not be at a disadvantage. Applicants who wish to submit scores should have them sent directly to the BioSciences Department by Educational Testing Service (ETS). The ETS institutional Code is 6609; the department code is 0202.

Applicants whose native language is not English should also have TOEFL scores reported directly to the BioSciences Department. The minimum scores for each type of TOEFL test are 600 (paper-based test), 250 (computer-based test) and 90 (Internet-based test). For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7. The TOEFL institutional Code is 6609; the department code is 34.

Application Fee
An application fee waiver is available for United States citizens and permanent residents. If you are in this category, please request a fee waiver before submitting your application by sending an email to Fees cannot be refunded after they are paid. In addition, fee waivers are granted to students participating in certain programs (e.g., McNair Scholars, Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS), Mellon Mays Fellows, Project 1000, Nankai University Hundred Young Teachers Program, Vietnam Education Foundation). Please indicate participation in such programs in the University Programs and Fellowships field in the application to receive one of those waivers. The application fee is $85.

Application fee waivers will not be processed between December 23 and January 3. Applications requesting a fee waiver during this period will be processed after January 3.

Minimum Scores
GRE: There is no set minimum score for the GRE. The admissions committee examines GRE scores on a case-by-case basis. The entire application is considered, including GRE scores if they are submitted, GPA, recommendation letters, and research experience. A low evaluation in one area can be offset by very strong evaluations in the other areas. Only the admissions committee can make the evaluation. GRE subject-matter tests are not required, but a high score on a subject test in a relevant field will strengthen your application.

GPA: In general, applicants should have at least a 3.0 (B) grade point average in their undergraduate work.

TOEFL: Minimum TOEFL scores are 90 (iBT), 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based).

International Student Applicants
The Biochemistry & Cell Biology Graduate Program seeks diversity in its graduate student body, and international students are welcome to apply. Our average intake of international students is approximately 1/3 of our incoming doctoral students. Applicants who have independent funding sources are encouraged to apply.

Admissions Committee
All students in our graduate program must be admitted through evaluation by the faculty members of the Biochemistry & Cell Biology admissions committee and by making application through our online process. Applications are made to the departmental graduate program and not to a specific faculty member or professor. Please DO NOT send application materials to individual faculty members.

Please have your transcripts and test scores sent directly to the BioSciences Department at the address below:

Graduate Program Administrator
Biochemistry & Cell Biology Graduate Program
Rice University, MS-140
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892

FedEx, UPS, DHL and other couriers:

Graduate Program Administrator
Biochemistry & Cell Biology Graduate Program
Rice University, MS-140
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005