Program of Study

The Molecular and Cellular Biophysics and Biochemistry graduate program offers a high faculty-to-student ratio and friendly faculty with diverse research interests.

All students are required to take Oncology for Scientists, Molecular Biophysics and Tools and Models in Molecular Oncology courses, as well as to participate in the student seminar. Beyond that, each student is encouraged to take whatever courses are necessary to obtain the broad background necessary to become a capable, independent research scientist. A major emphasis of the graduate program is laboratory research.

During the first year, students conduct laboratory rotations in order to get acquainted to various research topics and techniques in our program. After completing three laboratory rotations, students arrange to work in laboratories of their choice by consultation with the appropriate faculty members. The thesis project involves independent research at the frontiers of current knowledge.

A qualifying examination upon the end of the second year is required and includes the preparation of an NIH-style proposal for a research project, the oral presentation and defense of this proposal, as well as questions in the specific areas relating to the proposal.

Following the passage of the preliminary examination, periodic meetings with an advisory committee are conducted to ensure that a student is making sufficient progress toward the academic and research goals. The results of the research and their significance for biological and clinical science are reported in a form of a doctoral dissertation, which is also a subject of an oral defense.  

Most students complete their course work and thesis research in approximately five years and then go on to postdoctoral training in research institutions throughout the world. More information on our program can be found in our Program Handbook or our Graduate Program Book.