Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program
During the first year, each student takes a common Core Program. The Fall Core includes L501 Research Rotations, B501 Integrated Biochemistry, L585 Genetics and Bioinformatics, and L523 Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature. The Spring Core includes L501 Research Rotations, L586 Cell Biology, and L587 Developmental Biology. Through L501 each student participates in research projects in at least 3 different laboratories prior to selecting a permanent research advisor and laboratory at the end of the first year. In addition, students whose native language is not English are expected to become sufficiently fluent to pass the University's A.I. exam during the course of the first year.
At the end of the first year, each student selects a research advisor and laboratory. Together with his/her advisor, the student also selects the other members of an advisory committee of 3-4 faculty appropriate to the student's intended degree . This advisory committee guides and monitors the student's research and course work.
All the MCDB-administered degree programs require a total of 90 credit hours, including the Core Program, and at least 4.5 credit hours of Advanced Course work. The Advanced Course offerings change from year to year, to provide breadth in topics covered. Most Advanced Courses are half-semester 1.5-credit hour courses in areas requested by students. Each student must also take Grant Writing (Z620) and Journal Club (Z620) during year 2, and Research Ethics and Career Development (Z620) during year 3. Each student must teach during at least 2 semesters.
Grades: Every student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2 in order to remain in good standing and retain a merit-based fellowship or award. Courses to be counted toward the Ph.D. degree must be passed with a grade of B- (2.7) or better.
Students in all programs take a Preliminary Examination at the end of the fourth semester. Students who pass this examination are admitted to formal candidacy for the Ph.D. The final requirement of each program is a Ph.D. thesis which must be defended in a public research seminar and in a meeting of the research advisory committee.