Application deadline: December 15
During the first year, students rotate through three laboratories before determining their permanent research adviser. Thereafter, students determine their programs of study and dissertations through discussion with their advisers, as well as their qualifying exam and dissertation committees.
Screening is done through BISC 502a and BISC 502b . To advance beyond the second year, students must obtain at least a “B” (3.0) average in these two courses.
A minimum of 24 of the 60 units required for the PhD degree must be in course work, exclusive of dissertation research. These units must include the core courses, BISC 502a (4 units) and BISC 502b (4 units) and BISC 544 (2 units), to be completed within the first year with no less than a “B” (3.0) in each class. Students are also required to take BISC 576 or BISC 444 in their second year. Participation in the research seminar series (BISC 542 ) is required for three semesters and encouraged for the student’s entire graduate career. At some point during their degree, students take an additional 4- unit, 400- or 500-level course in consultation with their adviser.
Students in the graduate program in molecular biology are not required to pass a foreign language examination.
Since most graduates in biological sciences will spend some part of their careers in academic work, teaching experience is considered an important part of graduate training. Each graduate student in the program is therefore required to serve at least one semester as a teaching assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences.
The examinations qualifying the student for candidacy for the PhD in molecular biology must be completed by the fifth semester. The first part of the exam is a written proposal based on the student’s work. The second part is an oral examination. This exam consists of general questions and the presentation and defense of a proposition outlining the student’s proposed research program.
The dissertation is based on original, publishable and significant research conducted independently by the student under the guidance of the dissertation committee.
Defense of the Dissertation
Prior to graduating, students are required to orally defend their dissertation in a public seminar.