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Biological Sciences - Cell Biology - Ph.D. Program Requirements PDFDownload to print

Required coursework for the doctoral program includes research hours for a total of 60 credit hours beyond the master's degree or 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, of which 20 credits must be formal courses. Students are required to present a departmental seminar about their research.

  1. Students must enroll in appropriate coursework for their focus area, including courses in their major area. Students majoring in Cell Biology must take appropriate, available courses in cell and molecular biology.
  2. Students in the Cell Biology program must take at least one course in each of the following areas: Cell biology/molecular biology (such as Eukaryotic Cell Biology) and biochemistry (such as Bioenergetics). Students are required to enroll in at least one graduate level statistics course.
  3. All students are required to attend seminar; pre-candidacy doctoral students must enroll in seminar each semester in Physiology.
  4. Students should enroll in additional courses that provide necessary skills for completion of research projects and that will be beneficial for their professional development.
  5. Students who will serve as teaching assistants are required to take BSCI 70184 Responsible Conduct in Research and Teaching-Biological Sciences their first semester (or for those starting in Spring, the following Fall).
  6. Students must complete the required OSHA Training Session prior to working with radioactive materials.
  7. Students with coursework deficits in curricula of prior degrees, should enroll in appropriate graduate-level courses (permission must be obtained form the department to enroll in undergraduate-level courses)

After completing their coursework, a student completes the doctoral program by being admitted to candidacy, by proposing a research project to the faculty, and by completing and defending that research with a written dissertation before a faculty committee.

Candidacy Exams: The student is admitted to doctoral candidacy following successful completion of both written and oral candidacy examinations. These exams are based on prior coursework and coursework taken in this graduate program as determined by the student's academic Guidance Committee, which must consist of at least three eligible faculty members. The advisor(s) and a majority of members of the Guidance Committee must be members of the appropriate graduate program. This committee is responsible for determining the student's academic curriculum and for administering the candidacy exams. Following successful completion of candidacy exams, students register for Dissertation I for two semesters and thereafter for Dissertation II continually.

Prospectus: Following completion of the candidacy exam, the doctoral student must successfully prepare, present, and a defend a formal prospectus of the research project before the dissertation committee.

Dissertation and Final Defense: The doctoral candidate must complete a dissertation. It is expected that the candidate will present the results of her or his research in a defense open to students and faculty, at which the dissertation will be presented an defended before the dissertation committee, with not more than one negative vote, in order to be recommended to the Department and College of Arts and Sciences for degree conferral.