Requirements for the Molecular and Cellular Biology Department

A. Course Requirements

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Specialization
1. Molecular Genetics (MCB 503)

2. Graduate Biochemistry (MCB 520)

3. Biomembranes (MCB 517)

4. Cell Biology (MCB 656)

5. Structural Biology and Spectroscopy (MCB 512)

6. One approved elective graduate course

7. Students in their first year also rotate in four laboratories with the goal of selecting an environment for their thesis research.

8. Participation in Journal Club (MCB 531, MCB 532); Student Seminars (MCB 603, MCB 604); Visiting Scientists Seminars (MCB 601, MCB 602)

9. Enrollment in the first year in Ethics (GRD 500)

10. Enrollment in the first semester in Computational Methods in Biochemistry and Structural Biology (BSB 515)

Cell and Developmental Biology Specialization
1. Molecular Genetics (MCB 503)

2. Graduate Biochemistry (MCB 520)

3. Biomembranes(MCB 517)

4. Cell Biology (MCB 656)

5. Developmental Biology (MCB 657)

6. One approved elective graduate course

7. Students in their first year also rotate in four laboratories with the goal of selecting an environment for their thesis research.

8. Participation in journal club (MCB 531/532); Student Seminars (MCB 603, MCB 604); Visiting Scientists Seminars (MCB 601, MCB 602)

9. Enrollment in the first year in Ethics (GRD 500)

10. Enrollment in the first semester in Computational Methods in Biochemistry and Structural Biology (BSB 515)

Immunology and Pathology Specialization
1. Molecular Genetics (MCB 503)

2. Graduate Biochemistry (MCB 520)

3 Biomembranes (MCB 517)

4. Cell Biology (MCB 656)

5. General Pathology (HBP 531)

6. Immunology (HBP 533)

7. Students in their first year also rotate in four laboratories with the goal of selecting an environment for their thesis research.

8. Participation in journal club (HBP 590); Student Seminars (MCB 603, MCB 604); Visiting Scientists Seminars (MCB 601, MCB 602)

9. Enrollment in the first year in Ethics (GRD 500)

10. Enrollment in the first semester in Computational Methods in Biochemistry and Structural Biology (BSB 515)

Students must achieve a B or better in all required courses and must maintain a B average in elective courses.

B. Qualifying Examination
At the beginning of the fourth semester, the student must pass a written qualifying examination.

C. Research Proposal
Following successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student writes a research proposal based on the probable area of the student’s Ph.D. dissertation. The proposal is defended orally to a faculty examination committee that does not include the student’s research advisor. The proposal examination normally takes place by the end of the fifth semester. After passing the proposal examination, the faculty committee and Ph.D. research advisor usually become the student’s Ph.D. thesis committee and meet with the student at least once a year to follow his or her thesis progress.

D. Teaching Experience
All students are required to gain experience in teaching by assisting in laboratory sections, leading discussion sections, or helping to formulate and grade examination papers. The teaching experience may be in either undergraduate or graduate courses, and extends over a period of two semesters.

E. Advancement to Candidacy
When the above requirements have been satisfactorily completed, a recommendation for advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. will be forwarded to the Graduate School.

F. Ph.D. Dissertation
During the second year, the student initiates a dissertation research project in the laboratory of a particular member of the program faculty. After the student has passed the proposition examination, a research committee is appointed to guide the dissertation research, and when the research nears completion, a dissertation examining committee is appointed by the dean of the Graduate School.

G. Dissertation Defense
The dissertation defense, which completes the requirements for the Ph.D., consists of a public seminar presentation of the dissertation work followed by an oral examination before the dissertation examining committee.

H. Residence Requirement
The University requires at least two consecutive semesters of full-time graduate study. The demands of the course of study necessitate a longer period of residence.