PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology

Female student holds pipette while sitting at lab bench.The Ph.D. program in Molecular and Cell Biology (MOCB) combines the substantial faculty resources and research facilities of several departments of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and the College of Engineering at UMBC to offer an interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art educational experience for those desiring advanced training in molecular and cell biology. The program provides participants with the conceptual and technical background to investigate basic or applied problems at the molecular and cellular levels, in the life, biomedical, and bioengineering sciences.

The intent of the MOCB program is to provide an intensive, innovative but broadly-based training in molecular and cell biology. To assure that students have a proper grounding the program prescribes a set of advanced graduate classes in biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology (prokaryotic and eukaryotic). In addition, students get specific training in some aspect of molecular and cell biology by participating in at least one three-credit graduate seminar and by continued participation in research seminars (or journal clubs) in their area of concentration.

Degree Requirements

The degree requirements include a total of 8 graduate level courses and completion of 12 credits of research:

  • Two-semester course in biochemistry
  • One course based on the principles of genetic analysis
  • One course in prokaryotic molecular biology
  • One course in eukaryotic molecular biology
  • One or two 700-level graduate seminars (included in the 18 credits of 600/700 level courses)
  • Elective courses to bring the total of courses taken to 8
  • 12 credits of research. At least one research credit each semester
  • Beginning with the second year, students are required to participate in a research seminar (journal club) every semester and to take one credit of research seminar (journal club) each year

In addition, students who complete the degree will have completed

  • Three (3) research rotations on a short research project lasting 10-12 weeks under the supervision of a faculty member in the program
  • Two semesters as a teaching assistant
  • Most important, the student will complete original research under the direction of their faculty mentor and overseen by a committee knowledgeable in the student’s area of specialization

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