A graduate education that can change your world.

Learn more about the Molecular Biosciences graduate program and the three degree paths you can take. 

Molecular Biosciences degree paths

Three researchers in a greenhouse examining plants.

Biochemistry M.S. and Ph.D.

An image of a brain scan is displayed on a large Mac monitor.

Cell and Molecular Biology M.S. and Ph.D.

Headshot of a person holding a piece of lab equipment to another person's face.

Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology Ph.D.


Program timeline

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, the student and their advisory committee will decide which degree program they will enter.

Year two

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

Year four

  • At the end of year four, the student will defend their dissertation before their committee in order to graduate.

Sample curriculum for year one

A sample curriculum for the first year.

Please note that this is only an example. Please refer to your advisor and the University catalog for the current requirements.

Year two and beyond

At the end of your first year, you and your graduate committee will decide which degree path you will enter—BCH, CMB or CMPP. At this time your graduate committee should meet and approve your program of study and determine your remaining curriculum.


Program entrance requirements

The following admissions requirements are the same for all three paths of Molecular Biosciences.

Application deadlines: Dec 1 (Fall) | June 15 (Spring)

Minimum qualifications for admittance to an M.S./Ph.D. 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)
  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is recommended, but not required
  • Competitive test scores:
    • If English was the primary language of instruction, then no language proficiency exam is needed.
    • If English was not the primary instructional language in the country of origin:
  • Completion of the following courses
    • Calculus, five semester hours (or equivalent)
    • Physics, six semester hours
    • Organic Chemistry, eight semester hours
    • Biology, eight semester hours
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Please note that no faculty member's permission or mentorship is necessary before applying.
  • Official transcripts (Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts provisionally, but official transcripts are required before formal admission into the program can be granted.)

Funding your degree program

Students admitted to the Molecular Biosciences 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 $26,000/yr. In addition, Ph.D. graduate assistants receive a partial tuition waiver, which is worth approximately $18,411 per year. Students on graduate assistantships at the University of Nevada, Reno are also covered by the university health insurance plan, which is worth approximately $3,404 per year.

Therefore, the total value of a Graduate Assistantship package is approximately $48,215.

Funding resources from the Graduate School

The Graduate School maintains lists of additional funding opportunities from both University and external sources

Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association provides various financial support opportunities to graduate students such as scholarships, awards, and loans. 

Funding resources for international students

Information about scholarships and financial aid for international students is also available on the Office of International Students and Scholars website.


Connect with a faculty advisor and learn more about our campus

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Find a faculty advisor

Your faculty advisor plays a key role in your graduate education. Visit our faculty websites, read some of their papers, and find an advisor with interests that really excite you. Contact faculty to express interest, and inquire if they are planning to accept students in the near future.

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Your Gradventure awaits

Prospective students who meet criteria for program admission will be invited to visit the Molecular Biosciences graduate programs at the University for a personal interview and to meet faculty, students and postdocs in our program. Invited students will visit our campus and program early in the Spring semester.


Graduate program directors

Our program directors are active Molecular Bioscience research professors working with faculty and students across campus. Contact the program directors if you have additional questions about the program.

Program Administrators
Monika Gulia-Nuss
Monika Gulia-Nuss
Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director, Biochemistry
HMS 160
Program Administrators
Robert Renden
Robert Renden, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director, Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology (CMPP) Graduate Program
(775) 784-4352
AHS 105F, Laboratory: 110
Program Administrators
Subhash Verma
Subhash Verma, Ph.D.
Professor, Microbiology and Immunology - Director, Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program
(775) 682-6743
Office L-211F | Lab L-212/214

How to apply

You can start your application through The Graduate School website, which provides detailed instructions on the application process.