University of Heidelberg
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MSc program
Molecular Biosciences
Major Molecular and Cellular Biology

Admission Requirements and Application

Your Bachelor´s degree could be in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology or a related subject, but applicants with degrees in physics or chemistry are also encouraged to apply.
Applicants who wish to participate in the MCB program have to register at the Faculty of Biosciences. The faculty website provides -> detailed information about the application procedure and the link to the application is here:

Please make sure that you read all of the instructions before applying, including these sections


Please do not write to the MCB coordinator to ask if you are eligible to apply! All the information you need is provided on the Web pages. In the formal application, applicants are requested to provide the information and documents listed below.

In the formal application, applicants are requested to provide the information and documents listed below.

1. Secondary school leaving certificate/Academic records

Submit with your application to the MCB Major copies of your Secondary school leaving certificate and official transcripts of academic records from every post-secondary institution attended for at least one year as a full-time student. Academic records should give information on the type and content of courses taken (Diploma supplement) and the grades you received. Your rank in class should be noted whenever possible. If the institution does not issue records in German, English, or French, original language records must be submitted with translations.

2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)

3. Proof of English language ability

If your native language is not English, proof of an adequate command of English is required for admission. You do not have to provide this proof on paper. If you are short-listed, we will test your language ability both in a written (multiple choice) test and in a verbal interview in English.
Nevertheless, if you have a formal qualification it is good to supply it:

a) TOEFL ( Score requirements: Paper based: 570+, Computer based: 230+, Internet based: 90+ (The University of Heidelberg does not have an Institution code.)
b) IELTS ( Score requirements: band 6.5+
c) a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE )
d) a certificate from the Faculty of Biosciences of the University of Heidelberg based on a Bachelor Thesis written in English

4. MCB applicants only: Statement of Purpose

Include a short statement describing why you wish to participate in the MCB Major at the University of Heidelberg, your preparation for this field of study and your future career plans.

This statement should not exceed 500 words.
Hints for the statement:
You should mention which areas of biology, and which parts of the MCB course, you find most interesting. Another important component is your previous research experience, if applicable: what was the biological question and what were your results? Also mention other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for the programme. Do not waste space on quotations or vague philosophical statements!

5. MCB applicants only: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores (optional).

The scores of the GRE Subject Test in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology are not required for application but a good score will strengthen your application. Scores must be from an examination taken within the last four years. For information on test dates and formats, visit


Do not send originals or documents you cannot easily replace since we will not return documents!
Also please do not send any documents directly to the MCB coordinator. It is not possible to add them to your application so any documents sent will be destroyed.

Selection of Candidates

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of scientists participating in the MCB Major. Candidates will be selected according to the following criteria: academic qualifications as stated in the application documents, statement of purpose, and interview.
All applications are considered individually, but we do not usually shortlist students with degrees in pharmacognosy or medical laboratory technology, or pharmacy degrees from outside Europe (except German University of Cairo). This is because we have found in the past that these degrees do not provide sufficient background knowledge. The only reason that we might make an exception would be if you have already had quite a lot of relevant (molecular biology) practical experience. If you have a degree in biotechnology, it should have a strong molecular biology component.
Appropriate background knowledge is essential for you to be able to understand the lectures in the first semester. This will be tested in a multiple choice test at interview. The test is a bit like the GRE and includes molecular biology, chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology aspects. We do not supply further information about the test, and it is by no means the only criterion that we use. We are simply looking to see if you have very approximately the knowledge that might be expected from a German BSc graduate. Interviews are in person or, if that is not possible, by Skype.

6. Funding your stay

Non-EU, non-EEA nationals: please take the financial requirements seriously. If you do not have adequate funding you will not get a visa. (See Expenses and Funding section)

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