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Students of the molecular life sciences seek to understand and explain biological processes in chemical and molecular terms. This requires that the expertise from many diverse traditional disciplines be directed along converging experimental lines.


Vision and Mission

• Provide education and training to students in molecular techniques to study biological and chemical processes, structures and functions.
• Prepare students for applied biological science jobs in industry, academic and government.

Students on snowy day in front of window


We invite you to make a contribution in support of the students of the Molecular Biology & Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Program. Your gift, of any amount, makes a difference. Thank you.

Reichert & Baldwin Molecular Biology Endowment Fund





Academic Offerings

The Molecular Biology & Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Program (MOLB-ILS) offers curricula leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the areas of biochemistry, molecular genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, bioinformatics, and microbiology. Because research is central in both the M.S. and Ph.D. curricula, early selection of a research adviser is required.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact at least three individual program faculty before applying to identify a prospective advisor and laboratory in which to pursue graduate research. Previous course records and GPA standings (typically minimum of 3.3/4.0), TOEFL scores of foreign applicants (typically minimum of 550 on the paper-based or 213 on the computer-based), a letter of interest from the applicant that identified faculty laboratories of interest, and three letters of reference regarding research performance or potential are weighted heavily during the selection process.

Students with a B.S. degree in one of the disciplines listed above can expect to earn the M.S. degree in about 30 credits, including at least 6 credits of thesis research.

The Ph.D. degree can be earned in about 30 to 40 credits of formal course work, plus additional thesis research credits, for a minimum total of 75 credits beyond the B.S. The Ph.D. program in molecular biology is designed to facilitate an interdisciplinary approach to graduate research, utilizing both traditional techniques and the latest advances in biotechnology and recombinant DNA methodology. Participants in this program will take core courses in biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. Subsequent course work will be tailored for the individual student, depending upon his or her research emphasis. Ph.D. degree candidates will successfully complete a written and oral qualifying examination based on their proposed research and the subject matter in the core courses at the end of the first year of study. Ph.D. candidates will subsequently complete a comprehensive written examination and oral examination approximately at the end of the second year of study.

A final, formal presentation and oral defense of the original research documented in the M.S. or Ph.D. thesis completes the degree requirements.

The MOLB-ILS Program also offers formal minors in molecular biology or bioinformatics. The bioinformatics minor is jointly offered with the Department of Computer Science and consists of 9 credit hours for Master’s students and 12 credit hours for Ph.D. students. The courses selected will depend on whether the student is majoring in a biological or non-biological science and include courses from the graduate Computer Science and Molecular Biology curricula. Please inquire with the Molecular Biology & Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Program office for the most recent requirements for the bioinformatics minor.

Master's Accelerated Program



Application Deadlines

NOTE:  GRE Scores - no longer required

DEADLINE FOR FALL APPLICATIONS: For best fall consideration, it is recommended you submit your application by January 30th.  The process will continue until all positions are filled.


The Recruiting Committee is under no obligation to review incomplete applications. All items, needed to complete an application, must be processed by the Graduate School and be received by the MOLB-ILS Office by the deadlines.


MOLB-ILS Director:

Dr. Jennifer Randall,



Contact Us

Campus Address

Molecular Biology & Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Graduate Program
MSC-3MLS, P.O. Box 30001
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001

Shipping Address

1175 North Horseshoe Drive
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001

Phone: 575-646-3437 Nancy McDow:

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