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The interdisciplinary Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) Graduate Program awards Ph.D.s in the field of molecular and cellular biology with training in biotechnology and bioinformatics.

MCB students take a 1 year core curriculum together while research training and additional courses are taken in one or more departments often with graduate students outside of the MCB program.

MCB students are brought together weekly for scientific seminars promoting interactions between students and faculty across departments. This system lowers interdisciplinary barriers and allows students the opportunity to collaborate within and between disciplines cultivating the skills and approaches necessary to remain professionally competitive for a lifetime.

MCB Program Requirements 

  • Graduate School requirements.  For more info see Academic Progress page and Doctoral Degree deadlines page
  • Graduate coursework – see MCB course requirements below (36 credits of coursework)
  • Preliminary Oral Examination - Approval form
  • Two Terms GTA 
  • Two Public Presentations - form
  • Final Oral Examination/Thesis Defense

Required Core Curriculum 

See Graduate Catalog for more information on listed courses.

Fall term

MCB525 (3 Cr): Techniques in Molecular and Cellular Biology. This two-week ‘crash course’ exposes students to diverse molecular laboratory skills and computational methods, focused on applications in the postgenomic era.

MCB554 (4 Cr): Genome Structure, Organization, and Maintenance. This course exposes students to fundamental principles and current research focused on the structure, modification, and evolutionary dynamics of genomes.  Microbial, animal, and plant systems are examined.

Winter Term

MCB555 (4 Cr): Genome Expression and Regulation. This course exposes students to fundamental principles and current research focused on gene expression regulation, cell biology, proteomics, and developmental biology. Microbial, animal, and plant systems are examined.

Spring Term

MCB557 (3 Cr): Scientific Skills and Ethics. This course offers instruction, guest lectures and case-study based discussions of ethical issues relevant to scientists on topics such as mentoring, best practices of conducting research, research misconduct and compliance, intellectual property, peer review, ethical use of animal and human subjects and managing conflicts of interest. It also covers training in the preparation and presentation of scientific seminars and grant writing.

Additional Program Requirements:

  • Bioinformatics: 3 or more credits. Students will take one course in the topic of bioinformatics; course approval will be from the student’s committee and be part of the program of study.
  • Statistics: 3 or more credits. Students will take one course in the topic of statistics; course approval will be from the student’s committee and be part of the program of study.
  • Electives: 16 or more credits. Students will work with their Dissertation Committees to develop elective coursework plans tailored to the student’s path of research and study.  This plan can include up to six credits for Research Rotations (MCB610).  For the programs list of recommended electives.