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Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry Graduate Program: Ph.D. Degree
Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the Degree

Overall requirements:

  • Grade point average of greater than or equal to 3.0, maintained throughout their graduate career
  • No more than two failing grades should be obtained (lower than a B-)
  • Submission each year of an annual report to the Graduate Program Administrator, signed by the student’s advisor.

By the end of the first year:

  • Completion of at least 3 rotations through MCBB research laboratories
  • Matching to the faculty member with whom he/she will perform thesis research

By the end of the second year:

  • Completion of all core course requirements
  • Completion of most, if not all, elective courses
  • Successful completion of the preliminary examination

By the end of the third year:

  • Successful completion of the oral qualifying examination.

Annually after the second year:

  • Presentation of research in the Friday noon Graduate Student Seminar series
  • At least one meeting with thesis advisory committee

Within the final year prior to finishing the Ph.D. degree:

  • Submission of prospectus describing the proposed thesis (~9 months prior to defense)
  • Defense of the thesis, including both a public seminar presentation and a private defense with the thesis defense committee of the research
  • Submission of the approved final thesis to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


All students are expected to complete the Ph.D. thesis within 7 years, or less, of matriculation into the program (exceptions require a petition to GRS).

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