For Prospective Students

Molecular and Cellular Physiology (MCP) is one of 14 Stanford departments participating in the Stanford Biosciences Admission Program.  This unique program provides graduate students the best of all worlds, placing them into a home program (such as MCP), while giving them access to all of the Stanford biosciences departments and more than 350 associated faculty and labs.   Under this program, you may enter the small and close-knit Department of Molecular & Cellular Physiology while reserving the opportunity to rotate through labs in any of the Biosciences departments during your first year before selecting your thesis advisor and program.

What is Molecular and Cellular Physiology?

We study how proteins and cells communicate and do work. MCP scientists tackle open problems in cell biology, immunology, and neuroscience. We draw on concepts and techniques from multiple fields including biophysics, biochemistry, computational biology, genetics, and structural biology to develop a next generation of scientists skilled in interdisciplinary research, mentoring, and communication.

Is MCP a good fit for me?

The best way to evaluate fit is to browse our faculty’s research interests and see if they are a good fit for you:

Find out why our graduate students chose MCP here:



  • Admissions Requirements:
    1) Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association or equivalent international degree
    2) Research experience in academia and/or industry, particularly in the biological science
    3) At least one year of university coursework in each of the following: Physics; Differential and integral calculus; Organic and inorganic chemistry

Additional Admission information:

Coursework gets considered as part of your holistic application, along with other factors including letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, research experience, fit with our program, life circumstances.

No GRE requirement since 2018

The TOEFL is required:
The TOEFL is required by Stanford University for applicants whose first language is not English.

The Mol/Cell Physiology program/department recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision.

The Mol/Cell Physiology program/department welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. The review process is holistic and individualized, considering each applicant’s academic record and accomplishments, letters of recommendation, prior research experience, and admissions essays to understand how an applicant’s life experiences have shaped their past and potential contributions to their field and how they might enrich the learning community at Stanford.

See the Stanford policy here for details:

See our admissions FAQ page

Additional Resources