Melanoma is a life threatening condition, which mostly effects cocassions despite the advancements in current chemotherapeutic techniques. The aim of present study is to investigate the apoptotic inducing potential of oleanolic acid (OA) in A375 human melanoma cells. The anti-proliferative effects of OA (12.5-200 μM) were assessed by cell growth and XTT assay. The morphological and nuclear damage studies were carried out by Wright-Giemsa and DAPI staining, respectively. Further, the apoptotic inducing potential of OA in A375 cells were measured by DNA fragmentation ELISA. The results showed a dose-responsive effect of OA by inhibiting the cell growth significantly (P< 0.05) at 24 and 48. h with a decrease in cell viability (XTT data). The significant morphological changes included cellular annihilation, which was observed in A375 cells when compared to the control cells. Quantitative dose-dependent increase in apoptotic-DNA fragments in ELISA and nuclear fragments in DAPI results, further demonstrated the potential of this triterpenoid to induce apoptotic cell death at a concentration, particularly higher than 50 μM. Thus, we conclude that OA has wielded both anti-proliferative and apoptotic inducing potentials against A375 melanoma cells and can be a better choice for its progression. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.