Application Due Date: December 1, 2018

The MCB Application will open on August 1, 2018

MCB Seattle recruits students who wish to pursue a long-term career in biological research and education in academia, industry, or policy. We holistically consider many aspects of our applicants including prior research experience, the level of enthusiasm and motivation for graduate training, and the strength of the letters of recommendation for research.  We also consider undergraduate transcripts, activities beyond scholarship, and the ability to discuss research and future goals during an interview.  Applicants must have received a baccalaureate degree or higher at the time of matriculation; degrees emphasizing biology, physical or natural sciences, and mathematics are preferred.

Application Instructions

Apply Online for Admission to the Graduate School and the MCB Program

  1. Begin your application here:
    UW Graduate School application
    This application process ensures you will meet the application requirements for both the UW Graduate School and the MCB Program. Through the online application, you must submit the following:
  2. Prior Schools and Unofficial Transcripts
    Please report and upload transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended.
  3. Short Answer Questions
    Please provide answers to the following questions.  Your answers will help us understand who you are as a scientist, your motivation and your enthusiasm for research.  Please include each question as a header for your answer and limit your response to 500 words per answer.

    1. Please list the different research experiences you have had including summer research internships, academic year research, post-baccalaureate, and/or work-related experiences. How many total years of research experience do you have?
    2. Tell us about your most successful or interesting research experience in a lab environment.  Which of your qualities helped facilitate this success?
    3. Why do you want to pursue a PhD?
    4. What areas of molecular and cellular biology research interest you and why are you interested in UW MCB?
    5. What do you expect to be challenging about graduate school? What are your plans for managing those challenges?
    6. Describe a time that you encountered a significant obstacle, scientific or otherwise? How did you handle it?
    7. Graduate school often involves a combination of intense days, long nights, and high expectations. What strategies will you use to manage this combination of demands?
    8. Which UW and Fred Hutch faculty members’ work particularly interests you and why?
    9. Is there any information pertinent to your application that you would like to add that was not covered in the previous questions?
  4. Letters of Recommendation
    The MCB Program requires three letters of recommendation.  These letters should give us a sense of who you are as a scientist.  At least two letters should be from people who are very familiar with your research experience.  These letters should speak to your potential and promise as an experimental biologist.  Through the online application, you will designate people you’d like to submit a recommendation on your behalf.  The Graduate School will email them with a recommendation form to complete and submit electronically.  You will be notified if someone you designate declines. Although the online application process will accept up to five designations, please only submit three letters of recommendation unless special considerations are needed. The MCB Program only accepts online recommendations.
  5. Biomedical Application (Faculty Research Interest Inquiry)
    We ask that you identify six faculty from both UW and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with whom you would like to meet.  The MCB Website can help you find faculty members.
  6. Resume or CV
    We are particularly interested in your broader impacts.  Your resume or CV is an excellent place to highlight aspects of your experience beyond the lab.

Please note:  only fully-complete applications received by December 1 will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

Recruitment Interviews

Selected applicants will be invited to interview with us in January and February.  These compulsory interviews are in Seattle and must be conducted in person.  Video interviews cannot be substituted.

International Applications

International students are required to have at least one year of research experience in a US-based lab.

If English is not your native language, you must demonstrate spoken English proficiency in one of the following ways:

  1. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States where English is the medium of instruction.
  2. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom where English is the medium of instruction. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus.
  3. A test score on file at the University of Washington of at least 105 overall AND 26 on the speaking section of the TOEFL-iBT. PLEASE NOTE:  This TOEFL-iBT overall score is higher than the Graduate School requirement and the speaking score matches the Graduate School Teaching Assistant requirement.  The UW institution code is 4854; you do not need a department code.

If selected by MCB for a recruitment visit, you must be available for travel to Seattle in January or February. You will be responsible for your airfare to the U.S.

Cost of Study

The MCB Program offers a 12-month competitive salary, paid tuition, and health insurance, which includes medical, dental and vision benefits. Students with satisfactory academic progress are guaranteed funding for the duration of study.

Applying to Other UW Programs

Admission to the MCB Graduate Program is highly competitive.  If you are very interested in pursuing graduate studies in Seattle and the University of Washington, we suggest you also apply to the other biomedical departments at the University of Washington that have graduate programs:  Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Genome Science, Immunology, Microbiology, the Neurosciences program, Pathobiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Biophysics Structure & Design.

Concurrent MCB PhD and Epidemiology MS Application

Applicants interested in the concurrent MCB PhD/Epidemiology MS program should submit separate applications to each program by the appropriate deadline.  Please also select “EPI” as one of your faculty member choices in the “Biomedical Application” portion of the application.