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The Ohio State Biochemistry Program

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 three different colleges and 15 different departments 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.

2023 Info Sessions



Application Deadlines


  • Domestic and International applications are due December 1.  Recommendation letters will be accepted after the application due date; however, applications will not be reviewed until they are complete.


How To Apply

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

Upload all supplemental application materials online including:

  • Statement of Intent*
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Three Letters of Recommendation** 

*The Statement of Intent is your opportunity to share why you are a strong candidate with the admissions committee.  Be sure to state why you are interested in graduate studies in biochemistry and what you plan to do with your degree. Highlight your undergraduate research experiences and be able to communicate the scientific impacts of your work. Tell us about your future research interests. Identify any faculty who you would be interested to meet or work with at Ohio State. Share any experiences such as extracurricular activities or community outreach that shows soft skills like leadership, teamwork, perseverance, and/or independence.   Address any anomalies in your academic performance like an off semester or break in studies. It is not necessary to share your personal information such as your specific health issues, but it is informative to say that a personal illness affected your progress. Sharing how you overcame adversity is a strong asset, and an indication of future success both in the program and as a future scientist.

**Recommendation letters will be accepted after the application due date; however, applications will not be reviewed until they are complete.

Upload official transcripts from all institutions directly to the Graduate Admissions web site.



The GRE General Test is not required for OSBP applicants. 

If you would like to submit GRE and/or GRE Subject Tests scores to be considered with your application, please have ETS submit scores directly:

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


English Proficiency

The Graduate Admissions English Proficiency site has the most up to date requirements for the university's English proficiency for international students. Applicants who are citizens of, or who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher by the time of matriculation from, one of the following countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Ghana, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Singapore, Scotland, the United States 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. 

OSBP requires a TOEFL score of 620 (paper) or 105 (IBT) and speaking scores of 26-30, IELTS scores greater than 7.0, and DuoLingo scores higher than 120 are desired.


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.
  • OSBP Visitations in February. There are 2 visitation events held on the first and third Friday of February.  Domestic students and international students living in the US will be invited to visit OSBP on a rolling basis. International students abroad will be invited to a Skype meeting.
  • OSBP Admission Decisions in March. 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 funding throughout the entire time they are earning their degrees, provided they are in good standing and making reasonable progress. Funding includes:

  • 100% tuition and academic fees
  • a monthly stipend
  • 100% subsidized health insurance

In the first year, student funding is provided by a Graduate Research Associate position or a fellowship. In the second year and beyond, funding is guaranteed by the student's 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:

Students are typically selected as applicants to the training program or nominated by their participating advisors in the second or third year, and typically receive one or two years of support.



All OSBP students take core classes during their first year in molecular biology, protein and nucleic acid structure and function. 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 spring of the first year, the fall and/or the spring of the second year.  First year students participate in a mentoring and ethics seminar. First and second year students participate in a student seminar series and in the Molecular Life Sciences 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 advising committees annually until graduation. The historical time to graduation is about 5.7 years. All students must graduate 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 55,000 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 is the 14th 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 the 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

Didn't find an answer to your question yet?  Try our FAQ, or email us at osbp@osu.edu.