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Course guide

Visit the CBS course guide for information on available CBS courses, or the University Catalog for additional degree requirements.

Degree Requirements

MCDB&G students are required to participate in two semester-length teaching experiences (~10 hours/week) during years two, three, or four of graduate study. Teaching assistantships may involve courses at the graduate or undergraduate level in the fields of cell biology, genetics or developmental biology.

Each student works with his or her advisor to select a committee of six faculty members, with approval by the Director of Graduate Studies. This committee provides guidance and scientific expertise as they monitor the student’s progress and administer exams.

Students must pass three examinations to obtain a Ph.D. degree:

  • Written Preliminary Examination: Fall Semester, Year II
    Students must create an original research proposal that is not on any topic about which (s)he has previously written, including his or her thesis topic. This proposal is graded by three members of the student review committee.
  • Oral Preliminary Examination: 3 Months After Written Preliminary Exam
    Students must defend their written preliminary proposal before with all six members of their committee. Students must be prepared to field general questions designed to evaluate his or her breadth of knowledge.
  • Final Ph.D. Oral Examination
    Three members of the student’s committee serve as primary readers of the completed thesis and certify that it is ready for defense. The student must present a public research seminar and pass a private oral examination by all members of the student’s committee.

Publication of Thesis Research
Ph.D. theses must encompass substantial and novel research of high significance. Prior to his or her Thesis Defense, each student is required to be the first author on publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals within their research field.

MCDB&G Student handbook

Updated September 2015

2015| 2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

Student seminars

MCDB&G student seminars are held Mondays at 12:15 p.m. in 2-137 Jackson Hall.

Additional resources