Degrees & Admissions

Program Info and MilestonesApplyingProgram Entrance RequirementsAssistantships

Program Info and Milestones

Year One

  • All students share a common core curriculum and participate in research laboratory rotations, seminars and journal clubs.
  • At the end of year one you and your advisory committee will decide which degree program you will enter.

Year Two

  • At the end of year two you will complete a qualifier exam in your chosen field of study.

Year Four

  • At the end of year four you will defend your dissertation before your committee in order to graduate.


Application Components

  1. Graduate School online application through Apply Nevada
  2. Statement of research interests and career goals
  3. Three professor's letters of recommendation

Applying is easy—go to the graduate admissions website, create an Apply Nevada account and fill out the online application.

Designate the BCH, CMB or CMPP degree tracks when applying (regardless of your distinction, you will have access to labs and mentors across all three degree areas).

You will also submit

  • A statement of your research interests and career goals
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors

December 15th is the application deadline to receive full consideration for admission beginning the next fall semester. Applications will be accepted after this date with acceptances conducted on a rolling basis as space permits.

Unfortunately, the application fee cannot be waived.

Program Entrance Requirements

Minimum qualifications for admittance to an M.S./Ph.D. degree program

    • Undergraduate degree in a related area
    • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 for the M.S. program or 3.0 for the Ph.D. program on a 4.0 scale (transcripts will be required)
    • Combined Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores of 300 or higher (a GRE subject test—e.g. Biology—is not required)
    • Competitive TOEFL or IELTS exam score if English is your second language
    • Completion of the following courses
      • Calculus, 5 semester hours (or equivalent)
      • Physics, 6 semester hours
      • Organic Chemistry, 8 semester hours
      • Biology, 8 semester hours

Students are required to have a minimum composite scores of 79 ibt. Preferred TOEFL exam scores as listed below if English is your second language:
Reading 23, Listening 19, Speaking 23, Writing 24.

Note: If you are offered a Graduate Assistantship you must have a Speaking score of 24 or higher. If you do not, you will be required to take the Speak Test once on campus.


Students admitted to the MB Ph.D. programs are automatically offered research or teaching assistantship positions during the first year (a separate application for financial assistance is not required).

Currently, the assistantship carries a stipend of $22,000/yr. In addition, Ph.D. graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver, which is worth approximately $12,000/yr. Students on graduate assistantships at the University of Nevada, Reno are also covered by the university health insurance plan, which is worth approximately $1,400 per year.

Therefore, the total value of a Graduate Assistantship package is approximately $35,400.