The MBSB PhD program is open to all applicants, irrespective of gender, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or creed. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of their academic record, recommendations from their mentors, previous research experience, and a personal interview.

Your application should include the following:


A statement of purpose that addresses your specific interests and/or expertise in Molecular Biophysics and/or Structural Biology. Please indicate as specifically as possible the area of research you wish to pursue.

• A minimum of three letters of recommendation from persons with a detailed knowledge of the student’s research and/or academic background and potential for independent research.  At least one letter must be from a research mentor/advisor of your current undergraduate or graduate program.

• Transcripts for all college-level institutions attended.

• Applicants who are citizens of countries where English is not the official language (and the Province of Quebec in Canada) are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency by submitting the official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum overall TOEFL score of 90 (with a minimum score of 22 in each section), 100 iBT, or a 7.0 on the IELTS is required for admission to the program. Scores must be less than two years old. To submit TOEFL scores, use Institution Code 2927 and Department Code 45. Applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree or a higher degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States are exempt from submitting English language proficiency test results.

• The application fee is $50.

All application related materials should be sent to:  

University of Pittsburgh
School of Medicine, Molecular Biophysics + Structural Biology Graduate Program
Graduate Studies Office
M240 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261-0001

The application for admissions for Fall 2022 opens on September 1st. Applications will be accepted in two rounds. We encourage applications by the early deadline of December 1st, due to constrained interview scheduling. However, applications will be accepted until January 1st, to allow the inclusion of all required information. Please contact the MBSB Program Office with any questions or about any difficulties with assembling your application. Incomplete applications cannot be evaluated.

Please complete and submit the online application, as well as your supplemental materials, by the deadline. Applications are reviewed by our Admissions Committee as they become complete (i.e. receipt of all recommendation letters, transcript(s), and if required, TOEFL score reports). If you have any questions, please contact us at 

All admitted full-time students receive a stipend of $32,000, an educational enrichment account of $2,000, individual health insurance (with an option to purchase additional family coverage), and full tuition remission.



Is it possible for me to obtain a waiver of the application fee?

We are happy to offer a fee waiver to applicants who have participated in the following program for underrepresented minorities in science or have attended any regional or national meeting for the following underrepresented minorities: 

  • MARC program
  • MBRS program
  • McNair program
  • Meyerhoff program
  • RISE program
Please contact if you have a question about the fee waiver!