How to Apply to Dartmouth MCB

Below are guidelines for applying to the MCB Graduate Program. Please take a few minutes to read through this section to familiarize yourself with the application process, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

The online application includes downloadable forms for letters of recommendation for those who cannot submit letters of recommendation online. The mailing address is listed below.

Application Timeline

December 8, 2017 - Application Deadline for all applications
All supporting documentation (transcripts, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores - GRE, TOEFL, etc. - and application fees) are due by December 7.

November 1, 2017 - Start of application review for US-based applicants begins on a rolling basis. Review process will last through February.

January and February, 2018 - The MCB Program conducts in-person interviews with prospective students on campus over two interview weekends. Those applicants outside the U.S. are interviewed by video conference or telephone by members of the Graduate Committee. On campus interview dates are: January 25-28 and February 1-4.

Required Materials

  • Application Essay describing your scientific interests, research experience and career goals.
  • Official College transcripts (undergraduate and graduate, if applicable). Scans of official transcripts will be accepted. Upload scans to application program.
  • Official GRE standard exam scores (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing) from ETS (a subject exam is not required). We can only accept original reports sent by ETS.
  • Official TOEFL (for International students) exam scores from ETS. We also accept official IELTS exam scores in place of TOEFL exams. We require either of these exams for applicants for whom English is not their native language and who have not received a degree from an English-speaking undergraduate institution.
  • Three letters of recommendation. We encourage applicants to provide at least one recommendation letter from a mentor or supervisor who has known the applicant in a research capacity.
  • Application fee of $75 U.S. payable to Dartmouth College by credit card. We will not defer or waive application fees.
  • Support materials not uploaded to the application must be received by the application deadline to be considered. Use the mailing address below for ALL support materials sent by postal mail.

MCB Email and Application Mailing Addresses

  • Email: Use this email address for any questions regarding your application, program requirements, etc.
  • If mailing application materials, send to: School for Graduate and Advanced Studies, 37 Dewey Field Road, Suite 6062, Room 437, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH 03755-1419

Recommended Test Scores and GPAs

To be in competitive range, we recommend the following:

  • GRE: Verbal 150>, Quantitative 150>, Analytical writing 4.5> (or equivalent under former scoring format)
  • TOEFL: Paper exam 550>, Internet exam 100> or IELTS: 7.0 or above (in place of TOEFL)
  • GPA: 3.0 or above.
  • Program codes: GRE: MCB Inst Code is 3351, Dept Code is 0229 and TOEFL: MCB code is 74

General Information

  • Only students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. degree full-time are accepted into the program. Admission into the MCB program is based on appraisal of each applicant's undergraduate academic record, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, involvement in research or other activities which indicate a strong commitment to graduate study, and the essay.
  • For M.D./Ph.D. candidates, the Graduate Committee will allow substitution of the MCAT scores for GRE scores.
  • It is typical that entering graduate students will have had at least one year each of physics, and mathematics (calculus) and two years of biology and chemistry (general and organic). Students with degrees in physical sciences, engineering, and mathematics are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants should note any prior research experience relevant to the scientific programs being pursued in MCB laboratories.
  • Students entering the MCB Program with an advanced degree (e.g. M.A., M.S.) in molecular and cellular biology or with laboratory research and/or graduate level course experience from another graduate program may receive a reduction in the requirements for the degree, to be decided on a case-by-case basis by the Graduate Committee.
  • It is the long-standing policy of Dartmouth College to actively support equality of opportunity for all persons regardless of race or ethnic background, and no student will be denied admission or be otherwise discriminated against because of race, color, gender, religion, age, national or ethnic origin.
  • All MCB coursework and related activities are conducted in English. It is very important that applicants be able to write, read and speak English fluently and without difficulty.

Minority Applicants

The Dartmouth MCB Program is enriched and strengthened by students and faculty from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Prospective MCB students attending SACNAS, ABRCMS, and other minority-focused and scientific conferences are encouraged to stop by the Dartmouth booths to meet and find out more about us. Additionally, applicants are welcome to directly contact Giovanni Bosco, Chair of the MCB Program ( or Duane Compton, Senior Associate Dean of Research ( for more information or with questions regarding opportunities at Dartmouth. Dartmouth is a long-standing member of the Leadership Alliance and we are proud to continue providing educational opportunities that welcome, and are enhanced by, diversity.

Interview Weekends

  • After review of completed application materials by the Admissions Committee, selected applicants who live in the U.S. will be invited for an on-site interview. Selected international students not living in the U.S. will be contacted to arrange for an online video interview.
  • There are two dates for on-site interviews in January and February. These interview weekends provide interviewees the opportunity to interact socially and scientifically with faculty, current MCB students and other interviewees.

Financial Information

  • All MCB students receive a stipend of $29,070 ($29,570 for students who have passed their qualifying exams), a Dartmouth Fellowship that provides a full tuition scholarship, and a prepaid health insurance plan. Stipends for future years will be adjusted for inflation and are contingent upon satisfactory performance in studies.
  • We do not require certification of your financial situation. If admitted to the program you will need sufficient funds to come to the U.S. and then support yourself for one month until the first stipend check which is on October 1.

Additional Information

  • The MCB program receives upwards of 250 applications each year and enrolls between 25 and 30 students each September.
  • We do not release information about our current students such as scores, GPAs, or research interests (average or actual).
  • The MCB academic year is arranged by terms - Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer - and requires attendance on campus for all four terms.
  • For more information, visit the "Path to Your Ph.D." page.

Visa Information

Students are strongly encouraged to contact either the MCB program (link to contact) or the Office for Visa and Immigration Services (OVIS) at Dartmouth for advice.

International students can find assistance in obtaining proper documentation through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

A very helpful site, with information on applying to graduate schools as well as traveling to the U.S., is EducationUSA. There, you will also find locations of the EducationUSA advising centers near you.

Up-to-date information can also be found at the following locations: