Welcome to the Ohio State Biochemistry Program (OSBP)!  This interdisciplinary graduate program trains students to investigate the biochemical basis of life and disease.  In the program, students earn a Ph.D. in Biochemistry after conducting original research in world-class laboratories.  The OSBP is a broad-based graduate program involving research faculty from six different colleges at the university.  The interests of our faculty range from understanding fundamental biochemical pathways to dissecting molecular mechanisms that underlie human diseases.  The training of our students is therefore equally broad, from basic physical biochemistry, structural biology and molecular genetics, through designing treatments for disease.  Our students learn theoretical and practical aspects of biochemistry, gain skills in presenting their research, attend national and international scientific conferences, and participate in a seminar series with world-renowned speakers.

Application Deadlines


  • All applications are due December 1.  Recommendation letters will be accepted after the application due date. 

  • Applications from international students must be received by December 1 to be considered for Graduate School fellowships.

  • ****Due to the hardships and internet shut down happening in Iran, OSBP will extend the application deadline for all Iranian applicants.  We will work with you on an individual basis to ensure you are able to apply for the 2020-2021 academic year.***


How To Apply

Visit the Graduate Admissions site and read the Step-by-Step Guide. OSBP is listed as Ohio State Biochemistry Program - Doctor of Philosophy. All applications must be completed online.  If you are not currently an OSU student or employee, you will need to create an account first with the "create an account" link. Once in the application system, search for "biochemistry" and be sure to choose OSU Biochemistry Program - PhD.  The Biochemistry - MS program is not affiliated with OSBP; OSBP only accepts student applying for the doctoral degree.

Please upload all supplemental application materials including your Statement of Intent, Curriculum Vitae or Resume, and three Letters of Recommendation online. The Statement of Intent should describe the applicant's interest in graduate studies in biochemistry and any undergraduate research experiences. It should also describe reasons for interest in OSBP, as well as the specific areas of interest and some exemplative faculty of interest. Do not mail hard copies.

Please upload your official transcripts from all institutions directly to the Graduate Admissions web site.

The GRE General Test is no longer required for OSBP applicants. If you want to submit GRE and/or GRE Subject Tests scores, please have ETS submit scores directly:

  • GRE Homepage (institutional code is 1592, you may use 0000 for the department code)

The TOEFL is required for international students unless they are U.S. citizens or have obtained a 4-year bachelor's degree or higher from a U.S. institution (or an approved English-speaking country: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean or British West Indies, Canada except Quebec, England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales).  The TSE is NOT required.  Applicants who do not submit a TSE score will have an opportunity to take the SPEAK test at Ohio State.  The university minimum score requirement is 75. The OSBP average score is 99. TOEFL scores should be submitted directly:

  • TOEFL Homepage (institutional code is 1592, you may use 99 for the department code)

Admissions Timeline

Applications are due December 1. International students must apply by December 1 to be considered for Graduate Enrichment Fellowships and University Fellowships from the Graduate School. Domestic students will be invited to visit on a rolling basis, with most visits in early to mid February. Most applicants will receive their admission decisions by mid March. Fellowships and NIH traineeships are typically announced between late February and late March. Acceptance decisions are due by April 15.

Financial Support

OSBP students are guaranteed support throughout the entire time they are earning their degrees, provided they are in good standing and are making reasonable progress.  Student funding is typically provided by the program or a Graduate School fellowship in the first year.  After the first year, funding is guaranteed by the advisor. Students may be supported as a Graduate Research Associate, Graduate Teaching Associate, Trainee or Fellow.  OSBP students may apply or be nominated for an array of internal and external fellowships.  OSBP students can also be selected as trainees of an NIH Training Program.

Training Programs

NIH Training Programs provide financial support for students, and also provide a community of scholars and increased interactions with students in a variety of graduate programs with similar research interests. Currently, OSBP students are eligible to be selected for the Cellular, Molecular, and Biochemical Sciences Program (CMBP), the Molecular Biophysics Training Program (MB), and the Neuromuscular Diseases Training Program. Students are typically selected as applicants to the program or nominated by their participating advisors in the second or third year, and typically recieve one or two years of suport, depending on the program.


All OSBP students take core classes during their first year in molecular biology, protein and nucleic acid structure and function, enzymes, and membranes. After that, the curriculum is highly tailored to the student's research area with a large number of possible biochemistry electives in departments across the university.  Electives are completed in the fall or spring of the second year.  First year students participate in a mentoring and ethics seminar, and first and second year students participate in a student seminar series.  All students participate in the Molecular Life Sciences seminar series, or some other appropriate seminar series.

Students typically do three 7-week lab rotations and join a lab in mid-spring. It is possible to do the first rotation in the summer before fall of enrollment, and if necessary it is possible to do additional rotations. A minimum of three different rotations is required.

All students must advance to candidacy by the end of their second year, and then meet with their committees annually until graduation.  The historical time to graduation is about 5.7 years, but we expect that number to fall some with the recent change to an earlier candidacy exercise. All students must gradaute within 5 years of advancing to candidacy.

The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is the flagship university of the Ohio public system, and it is an entirely comprehensive university, with Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, Food, Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, Education & Human Ecology, Business, and Law (in additional to five others) all represented on the 1,700 acre campus north of downtown Columbus. Almost 50,000 undergraduates and 14,000 graduate and professional students attend the university, which has almost $1 billion in annual research expenditures. Access to resources, facilities and collaborations is virtually unparalleled.

Ohio State also provides extensive resources for enhancing the student experience, such as housing and career services, and it provides outstanding recreational and cultural experiences for the community. Ohio State is committed to a diverse learning and research environment, and strongly encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Columbus and the Surrounding Area

Columbus is the 15th largest city in the U.S. The University helps bring a diverse group of people that makes Columbus both an affordable, friendly, and safe Midwestern city, and an ever more interesting place to live and work. Areas like Short North, Downtown and German Village are bustling with galleries, shops, and restaurants, and there is excellent shopping at Polaris and Easton Town Center. Columbus has a mix of great college athletics at Ohio State and professional soccer, hockey and minor-league baseball.  It is home to arguably the best zoo in the world, as well as very nice museums of art and science. Columbus is also a short drive from spectacular hiking, camping and other outdoor activities.

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