The Molecular Biosciences Program offers an interdisciplinary program towards a Doctorate in Philosophy in the Life Sciences. Students in the MBSP program are able to pursue research across department boundaries, before selecting a specific area of study at the end of the first year.  

This program allows graduate students to rotate in three different laboratories during their first year, within their chosen area of research. By the end of the first year students should determine who their dissertation advisor will be and be formally admitted to a department to conduct a research project leading to the completion of a Doctorate of Philosophy.

Research Areas:

Biofilm Sciences & Engineering  |  BioInspired Materials  |  Bioinformatics/Genomics/Proteomics  |  Biomedical Sciences | Biophysics  
Cell, Developmental, & Molecular Biology  |  Chemical Biology  |  Environmental Microbiology  |  Immunology & Infectious Disease
Life in Extreme Environments  |  Biological & Mathematical Modeling | Neuroscience | Plant Sciences  |  Virology

This interdisciplinary program brings together faculty departments and research centers across campus: Cell Biology and Neuroscience; Chemical and Biological Engineering; Chemistry and Biochemistry, Earth Sciences, Ecology, Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Center for BioInspired Materials, Computer Science Department and the Thermal Biology Institute to provide students with laboratory instructions to become successful research scientists.

Application Procedures:

Applicants should be prepared to submit the following materials during the online application process.  Any additional documents can be mailed to: Montana State University, The Graduate School, P.O. Box 172580/108 Montana Hall, Bozeman, MT, 59717.

Every applicant to MSU is required to fill out and complete an application and pay the $60 application fee (US Currency).  The fee must be paid before the application will be processed. Only completed applications will be reviewed

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. These scores must be received directly from ETS. For Montana State University, use code 4488.
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation. During this online process, applicants will be asked to provide information about their references. The electronic process will prompt each reference to submit a signed reference letter. Letters should be written by people who are able to judge your ability to succeed in graduate school, e.g., your undergraduate professors, an advisor or supervisor during an internship, other faculty. Please do not ask for letters of recommendation from family members, friends, roommates, etc. 
  • GPA. A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required (on a scale of 4.00=A).
  • Research experience and previous coursework. Upload this during the application process.
  • Transcripts from all previous universities attended. Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded by the student during this online process, however MSU must receive official transcripts directly from the university(s) attended. Please have them sent electronically to: or by mail to: Montana State University, The Graduate School, P.O. Box 172580/108 Montana Hall, Bozeman, MT, 59717. (Applicants who are undergraduate alumni of MSU do not need to submit official transcripts).

International Applicants:  please see International Application Process for additional information and requirements.

*It is recommended that applicants for the Ph.D. program have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with a solid foundation of science courses.