The Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program within the Department of Biological Science is tailored to the individual needs and interests of students. We encourage students to embark on research as early as possible, so course work is kept to a minimum. Most CMB students complete a core of two courses (Advanced Molecular Biology and Advanced Cell Biology) and then select additional course work in consultation with their supervisory committees. The Graduate Program offers both Ph.D. and M.S. degrees, although preference for admission is given to students applying to the Ph.D. program. Specific requirements for each degree are available online through the graduate handbook.
The Ph.D. in Biological Science program is intended to be completed in approximately five years. First-year students typically start in the Fall and participate in three lab rotations of their choosing. These provide students with exposure to diverse research environments and help them select a major professor. By the end of the Spring semester, students complete rotations, select a lab and major professor and then begin focusing on their research. Faculty research interests can be found on our Cell and Molecular Biology Research Areas page.
Typically, Ph.D. students complete their preliminary written and oral exams near the end of their second year and successfully defend their research proposal near the end of their third year. After completing the research project, each student is required to write a dissertation and to defend it before a faculty committee.
The Master's in Biological Science program typically takes two to three years to complete and requires passing 18 hours of letter graded graduate courses. Each master's students is required to write and defend a thesis presenting their original research, but they do not take preliminary written or oral exams. Additional requirements for master's students vary as described in the graduate handbook.