Application Procedure

Thank you for your interest in the MICaB Ph.D. program. Please note that the MICaB Program only accepts students interested in obtaining a Ph.D., and not a Master's degree.  All materials are submitted electronically through the Graduate School application system.  The online application system should open in early September to apply for Fall 2023 entry to the program.

Admission decisions are communicated to applicants using this system.  A decision for admission notice will be emailed to you once your application is carefully reviewed by the program's admissions committee and your transcripts and any credentials (test reports, diploma copies, etc.) are authenticated by university officials.  You can expect a decision by mid to late March.

MICaB only accepts applications for fall semesters.  When starting an application, make sure to choose FALL 2023 for term of entry.

We review applications in December and invite our top domestic candidates to interview either January 26-27 or February 2-3, 2023.

Required materials

We cannot review your application until all of the required materials listed below are submitted successfully online. Please be sure all materials are uploaded before submitting.

Application deadline:

November 30 for entry the following fall semester.

For further information or questions, you may contact the MICaB program at

Application Fee
  • US Citizen/Permanent Resident: $75
  • International: $95

Click here for more information about fees. 


  • Applicants must have a four-year B.S. or B.A degree (BS preferred) that includes the following coursework: general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and a minimum of two upper level biology courses (e.g. biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, etc).  Although students who do not meet all of these requirements may be admitted to the program, they will have to complete additional coursework to remove any deficiences as directed by the Committee on Graduate Studies.
  • The Committee on Graduate Studies considers LAB EXPERIENCE important, particularly hypothesis-driven research experience.  We strongly encourage applicants to provide letters of recommendation from supervisors of lab work, and to include a description of the focus and goals of their research.  Relevant undergraduate experience includes honors thesis work, paid or volunteer work in a research lab and summer internships.  It does NOT include laboratory courses that accompany science courses.  Postbaccalaureate research experience is preferred but not required.                                                 
  • Students whose native language is not English are required to submit scores from one of the English proficiency examinations.  International students please review the Graduate School's International Student Resources page when considering applying to the MICaB program.   
Required Application Fields
  • Program selection- Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology PhD
  • Term selection- ONLY CHOOSE FALL 2023
  • Biographical information
  • Citizenship information
  • Personal Background
  • Biomedical Sciences PhD Programs Information
  • Academic History
  • Test Scores- English Language Proficiency required for International Students.
  • Employment
  • Employment
  • Personal statement - (Should be no more than 1 page)
  • Diversity statement - (Should be no more than 1 page)
  • Resume/CV
  • Research Description - (Should be no more than 2 pages)
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcript(s)


Unofficial transcripts or academic records must be uploaded directly to the online application.  Please do not mail paper copies of your transcripts; there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.  If you are admitted, the University will request official copies of your transcripts.

Click here for more information about transcripts and credentials.

Recommendation Letters

Acceptable recommendations will come from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work.  Letters of recommendation from supervisors of lab work are strongly encouraged. Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable. Three letters of recommendation MUST be submitted via the online application. Paper copies are not accepted.

Test Scores

International and domestic applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English Language Proficiency.  English profiency exam options can be found here.

MICaB Examination Minimum score requirements
TOEFL: 96-100
IELTS: 7.0


Personal Statement

In your personal statement describe:

- What makes you tick, what motivates you?
- Why do you want to pursue a PhD degree?
- What areas of research are you interested in and why?
- Why are you interested in the University of Minnesota’s MICaB Program?
- What are your future career goals? 

Please limit your personnel statement to one page single spaced 12 point font.

Description of Research

All MICaB students join the program with a significant amount of hypothesis driven research experience. These research experiences can come in a number of forms including, directed research as an undergraduate, participation in a summer research program, internships, participation in a post-baccalaureate research program, working as a technician or scientist in a lab after graduation, or working in research and development within industry. This usually does not include research that was done in conjunction with an undergraduate lab course. In your research statement please describe all the relevant hypothesis driven research that you have participated in during your time as an undergraduate and/or since earning your undergraduate degree.

Please indicate whose lab you worked in, what were the scientific questions you were trying to address, what was your role on the project, what methods were used to answer these questions, and were you able to draw any conclusions from your research. Also, indicate if you presented your research in any fashion (e.g., poster presentation, oral presentation, manuscript, abstract).

Please limit your research statement to a maximum of two single spaced pages with 12 point font.

Diversity Statement

Supporting the development of a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission.  This mission is enacted by the inclusion of academically excellent students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and/or a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.  Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences, such as successfully overcoming obstacles or hardships, that you would bring to your graduate program and how that could contribute to the education and enhanced perspective of fellow students at the University of Minnesota.

International Student Tips

When looking to apply to the MICaB program, please keep the following in mind:

  • You do NOT need to contact a faculty member to secure a lab prior to applying to the program.
  • You are encouraged to apply as early as possible so that your application is processed efficiently.  November 30th is a hard deadline for our program.
  • International application fees are $95.00 USD.
  • GRE scores are not required.
  • Letters of Recommendation:  Plan ahead.  When filling out your application, you will need to include your recommenders names and contact information.  They will then submit their recommendation via the application system.  No letters should be emailed separately to the program.
  • You can submit unofficial transcripts on your application.  Official transcripts/credentials are only required AFTER you are admitted to the program.  
  • Students whose native language is not English are required to submit scores from one of the English proficiency examinations.   MICaB minimum score requirements: TOEFL: 96-100, MELAB: 85, IELTS: 7.0
  • There will be four new temporary English Proficiency testing options to support applicants for fall 2022 semester, including a test from a new provider, Duolingo.

Please review the Graduate School's International Student Resources page when considering applying to the MICaB program.


Big 10 Academic Alliance Fee Waiver Program

The Big 10 Academic Alliance (BTAA) FreeApp Program is designed to increase access to graduate education for students who possess qualities and experiences that enhance the diversity of the intellectual, cultural, and social environments at Big Ten Academic Alliance universities. To qualify, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements below and complete the Application Fee Waiver Request Form.


Applicants requesting a FreeApp from the University of Minnesota’s Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO) must meet the following minimum criteria to receive consideration:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 (4.0 scale)
  • Have an interest in pursuing an academic and/or research career
  • Must not be a current graduate student or have already received a post bachelor's degree (we want to give everyone an opportunity) 
  • Have participated in one of the following programs:    
    • McNair Scholars Program
    • MARC Program
    • IMSD Research Training Program
    • GEM Fellowship
    • National Name Exchange
    • Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Foundation
    • HHMI Programs
    • Gates Millennium Scholars Program
    • MBRS/RISE Undergraduate Scholars Program
    • LSAMP Program
    • Meyerhoff Scholars Program
    • North Star STEM Alliance
    • COR
  • Have applied for admission to a Ph.D. or master's degree program administered by the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota. (The following professional programs are not administered by the University of Minnesota Graduate School: College of Veterinary Medicine-DVM, Business Administration-MBA, Medical School-MD, Law School-JD, College of Pharmacy-PharmD, and the School of Public Health-MPH).


  • The deadline for applicants to submit an Application Fee Waiver Request Form is December 2, 2022, at 12:00 pm CST.
  • Applicants must start their graduate program admissions application by December 7, 2022, at 12:00 pm CST. Note: We are unable to apply a fee waiver if you have not started your admissions application by this date. Please follow your program’s guidelines for application completion deadlines. 
  • Admissions applications must be completed by January 1, 2023, at 12:00 pm CST or by the graduate program deadline, whichever date comes first.
  • Only one fee waiver is offered per person

Questions about the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) FreeApp Program can be directed to