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How to Apply

Note: All applications are made online through the Rackham Graduate School. Applications open in September.

Application Deadline:  December 1.

The application fee must be paid online for your application to be accepted.

[Waivers are available for domestic students. 
Email to obtain the code for your application.]    

Completed application form

  • Academic Statement of Purpose:  A precise, concise description of your background and career goals, and a detailed description of prior research experience.
  • Personal Statement: Experiences that have shaped you and your career choice.
  • Recommendations: Three (3) letters of recommendation from professors or others qualified people who can evaluate your potential for graduate research
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • TOEFL scores MUST be supplied by international applicants from non-English speaking undergraduate programs; institutional code 1839, department code 35
  • Note: we do NOT require the GRE.

Application evaluations and Interviews:

  • All aspects of the applications are considered carefully by at least 3 MCDB admissions committee members.  
  • Top candidates are invited for interviews.

How to Apply to MCDB

We have two tracks for Ph.D. applications: 1) the direct path for applications to MCDB and 2) through the Program in Biomedical Sciences. Both tracks use the Rackham Graduate School Admissions process.

Track 1: Direct Applications to MCDB- Simply apply to MCDB through the Rackham Graduate School link. This track is for domestic and international students.

Track 2: Apply to MCDB as part of the Program In Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) Another way to apply is to use the Rackham Graduate School to apply through the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) administered by the UM Medical School. PIBS is an interdisciplinary program that coordinates admissions and first-year graduate studies for 14 doctoral programs.

MCDB does not accept international students through PIBS. All international students should apply using Track 1 and apply directly to the MCDB department.

Domestic students: Domestic students can apply to MCDB through Track 1 or Track 2. We recommend that domestic students interested in MCDB apply using both tracks (i.e MCDB directly and through PIBS).

Application Links


General queries about your application:
Rackham Graduate School
Phone: 734.764.8129

For specific MCDB questions:
MCDB Graduate Coordinator