Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions | Academics and Curriculum | Student Life


1) To initiate the application process to MCLS see:

2) Is there a minimum GPA or GRE requirement?
Admission to MCLS is highly competitive. However, every application is treated on a case-by-case basis. Thus, great strengths in certain areas may outweigh relative weaknesses in others. Since there is no fee required in the initial application process, we encourage all motivated and qualified students to initiate the application process.

3) When is the last date by which I can apply to MCLS?
Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all required materials by no later than January 1st. However, provided that slots are still available, we will continue to review and accept applicants on a rolling basis through the spring. We therefore encourage qualified students to submit applications to MCLS, even if they are late, as indicated above. To inquire as to whether we are still accepting applications after the soft January 1st deadline (for the following fall), you may email

4) When will I be notified of a decision?
As stated above, we will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, meeting every few weeks or so to go over the completed applications. We will notify students as soon as a definitive decision has been made regarding their applications. Therefore, the specific time frame for this may vary. Note that only completed applications will be considered.

5) Can I visit the University of Wyoming and the MCLS faculty?
Domestic students that have been officially accepted to MCLS will be given the opportunity to visit the university and to meet with MCLS faculty and students. If accepted, you will be notified about this opportunity and instructed on how to proceed.

Academics and Curriculum

1) For a general overview of the MCLS program see:

2) For an overview of the expected time course and duration of the program see:

3) For a detailed description of the MCLS curriculum you may download the following PDF document:

4) For a general overview of the MCLS course requirements see:

5) For a complete listing of available courses at the University of Wyoming see:

6) When do I register for courses?
Course registration occurs after you arrive. Generally, courses do not fill up, so there should be no problem with fulfilling your course requirements. You will also be aided in the selection of appropriate courses by the MCLS steering committee.

7) For a general overview of MCLS student research see:
Graduate Scientific Research

8) For details regarding faculty research see:
Areas of Research

9) How many research rotations are required?
Four. Each lasting about eight weeks.

10) What if I have not found a permanent lab after four rotations?
For students in good standing who have completed four successful rotations, a fifth rotation will be allowed. Note, that in some cases, acceptance into certain labs may be quite competitive. Thus, entering students should maintain flexibility and make strong efforts to be productive in their laboratory rotations.

11) As an accepted student, is there anything I can do to aid in my success before arriving in Laramie?
Yes. For one thing we encourage you to prepare ahead by familiarizing yourself the basic concepts you've previously learned in the areas of molecular and cellular biology. Also, foreign students should make strong efforts bone up on their English skills associated with this area. Most textbooks in the area of molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology would likely be appropriate. You can also familiarize yourself with the research of faculty members with whom you are interested in carrying out rotations and download some of their papers to learn more about their systems.

Student Life

1.)What is the stipend and benefits given to MCLS students?
All MCLS students receive a living-wage stipend for the duration of their graduate studies. The annual stipend for MCLS students is $24,000 per year in year 1. Once students join their permanent dissertation labs in year 2, their stipend increases to $26,000 per year (above the level recommended by the NIH). In addition, tuition, university fees, and student health benefits are also covered by the program.

2) Is it possible to support myself completely on the stipend allotment?
Yes. Moreover, given the relatively low cost of living in Laramie (compared to many locations), as well as the lack of a state income tax in Wyoming, the stipend goes farther here than in many other places in the U.S.

3) Is there student housing available through the university?
Yes. However, it can be competitive to get into some of the apartment complexes. For general information about student housing see:

4) What is it like to live in Laramie?
For many of us who have chosen to live here,
it's wonderful. Laramie, however, is probably not a good choice for those who feel they must live in a large metropolitan area. If you enjoy the great outdoors, small college town living, the American west, and don't like to commute long distances to where you work and study, Laramie is hard to beat. For additional details see:

5) Is there an international community in Laramie?
Yes. The university attracts students and faculty from all parts of the world to create a diverse cultural environment. For more information about international students and student organizations see:

Contact Us

Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences

University of Wyoming

Department #3354

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3300


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