Cell and Molecular Biology Program

Description of the Discipline

The Graduate Program in Cell and Molecular Biology provides training opportunities for students interested in the study of cellular functions ranging from molecular mechanisms to functional behavior. The Program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to research, which covers a variety of areas, including but not limited to:

  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Systems biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomathematics

Advanced courses, Journal Clubs, symposia, Works-In-Progress seminars and intensive training in the development of independent research projects prepare students for completion of the Ph.D. degree and future success in the career of choice. This is facilitated by diverse, active, and collaborative faculty committed to mentoring the next generation of scientists.

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Special Requirements for Admission

Students wishing to join the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program must be enrolled in the Division of Basic Science and be in good standing academically. Usually students seek enrollment in their second semester, following completion of a set of research rotations and selection of a mentor who will assist in the development of the research project for the Ph.D. While most students do their doctoral research with a faculty member of the Program, Cell and Molecular Biology students may do their doctoral research with suitable mentors from other Pro­grams. Prior to formal entry, the Graduate Pro­gram Chair will occasionally encourage a student to consult with faculty members to ensure that this Graduate Program is the most appropriate for the student’s interests.

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All students in the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program must satisfactorily complete the core curriculum offered in the fall term including the cell thread and two laboratory rotations. In the remainder of the first year, students are expected to complete 7.5 credit hours of advanced course work, which require a grade of B or better. Three credit hours consist of two required courses; the additional 4.5 hours may be selected from offerings by other Programs within the Division of Basic Science. For exceptional reasons, these course requirements may be altered with per­mis­sion of the Program Chair. In addition, students participate in a student seminar and Journal Club each semester.

Near the end of the second year, students take a qualifying examination that consists of an oral defense of a written research proposal. Admis­sion to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree requires satisfactory performance in the core, advanced courses, the qualifying examination and research.

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Advanced Courses

Course requirements and descriptions are listed on the Course Descriptions page.

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