students using scientific device

How do organisms function at the molecular and cellular levels? The goal of Brandeis University's Molecular and Cell Biology graduate program is to train aspiring scientists interested in solving this fundamental question. Students acquire a broad knowledge about current developments in molecular and cell biology, learn to be effective scientific communicators, and are trained to perform independent scientific research. Research areas include genetics, molecular biology, developmental biology, cell biology, and neurobiology.

Students in the PhD program are eligible to participate in the interdepartmental graduate program in Quantitative Biology, which provides training in new research fields that cross the traditional boundaries between the life sciences and the physical sciences. Graduate students can engage with BioMaterials research by taking courses within the Quantitative Biology Training Program and then joining research laboratories funded by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).

Brandeis, a leader in research in the life sciences, offers the rare combination of an internationally recognized research university in a small college setting that promotes close interactions with prestigious faculty. Our suburban campus is just 20 minutes from the bustling academic and biotechnology centers of Boston and Cambridge.

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We encourage you to explore one of the department’s greatest assets through our faculty pages.

Directors of Graduate Study

James Haber

James Haber (Doctoral Program)

Maria Miara

Maria Miara (Master's Program)

Courses and Degree Requirements

For the most updated course listing, course descriptions, and degree requirements, please visit the Registrar.

How to Apply

Application Deadlines

  • MS: For fall admission: rolling through May 1; application review begins January 15. For spring admission: November 15 for domestic students, and October 15 for international students (due to time constraints in visa acquisition). Please note that the fall application may be closed earlier if the desired cohort size is reached prior to May 1; questions can be emailed to
  • PhD: For fall admission: December 1. Late applications may be considered, but first consideration will be given to applications received by the deadline.

Admission Requirements

To apply for all programs, you need to submit:

  • An online application;

  • An application fee;

  • Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not mail official transcripts to our office. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions;

  • Letters of recommendation, submitted electronically. PhD: 3 required; Master's: 2 required (3 recommended).

  • curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé;

  • statement of purpose indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the academic program and your objectives in undertaking this program. Also, please outline your research interests and how they would complement those of our faculty.

  • PhD applicants should be prepared to attach to their application a listing of previous research experience, which should include the name of the company/university, the name of PI/professor/supervisor, location, dates started and ended, and topic(s) studied.

  • GREs are not required, but if you choose to submit them, they will be considered. Our GRE institution code is 3092 (please note: this institution code only applies to GRE scores).

  • International applicants: Additional requirements for international applicants (non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents), minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, and important information regarding visas. If you are submitting TOEFL scores, please note that our TOEFL institution code is 3261.

For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Financial Aid

Generous financial aid is available; for more information please visit Financial Aid.

Careers and Alumni

Students and alumni can work closely with Career Services for an array of resources, including CV/resume help, job search, and networking.