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The interdisciplinary PhD program in Molecular and Cellular Biology is focused on understanding the fundamental molecular events at the core of all life.
Our goal is to provide a diverse range of research and training opportunities for doctoral students interested in pursuing a multidisciplinary approach to their studies that extends beyond the traditional boundaries of biological research.
Participating faculty and researchers come from departments, colleges, centers and institutes across the university, as well as from partner institutions in the greater Phoenix area.
You will gain skills in contemporary approaches used in molecular and cellular biology and have the flexibility to tailor the program to meet your specific professional goals.
This dynamic research and training program embraces the goals of the New American University at ASU by breaking from traditional disciplinary constraints —allowing you to develop new knowledge that will help transform our world.
Participating faculty members and researchers come from many departments, colleges, centers and institutes across the university, including:
Additional faculty members are based at partner institutions in greater Phoenix, including:
Program of Study
Your and your mentor, in consultatoin and input from the dissertation committee, will plan your program of study. Your program of study is tailored to your individual needs and goals.
A minimum of 84 credit hours is required to complete your PhD degree program.
You, in consultation with your mentor and dissertation committee, will choose the remaining courses. Of the 84 credit hours, at least 54 (which may include research credits) of the approved program of study must be completed after you are admitted to the PhD program.
You may not apply credit hours earned for a doctoral degree previously awarded at any institution toward your current ASU doctoral degree. Up to 9 credit hours earned towards an ASU master's degree may be applied to a doctoral program of study if approved by the program.
Written and oral comprehensive examinations are required before you will advance to doctoral candidacy. You must produce a written dissertation based on an original body of high-quality research that demonstrates your proficiency in your area of specialization. Your final defense consists of a public seminar immediately followed by a private discussion and questions with the dissertation committee. You must presesnt evidence that your presented research has been published or is publishable in peer reviewed literature.
Typical Curriculum for MCB PhD
You should attend the New Student Orientation the week before classes start. You will receive an overview of the Molecular and Cellular Biology program and will be advised on the selection of courses and laboratory rotations.
Note: Example of credit hours (3)
MCB 555 Advanced Molecular and Cellular Biology: (6) Intensive lecture- and literature-based studies in membrane biology, neurobiology, signal transduction, bioimaging and molecular-based disease.
MCB 701 Molecular and Cellular Biology Colloquium. Weekly seminar series that includes student, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and visiting speakers. Registration and attendance is required each semester.
*Students who have completed a comparable graduate genetics class or who have significant research background in molecular genetics may select another elective with the approval of their committee.
Spring Semester Curriculum
The comprehensive exam must be completed no later than April 15 during the spring of the second year. The exam consists of a written research proposal, an oral presentation and defense of the proposal. Additional information regarding the oral exam is described below.
Fall and Spring
Fall and Spring
Fifth and Last Year
Fall and Spring
Applications are accepted Oct. 1 - Dec. 15, with a preference date of Dec. 1.
The Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD program admits one group of students annually to start their program the following August.
There is no guarantee that applications received after Dec. 15 will be reviewed. In January, the top applicants will be invited to a recruitment event scheduled in mid- to late-February.
Before applying, we encourage you to read our Tips for Applying.
We will notify you of your admissions status by April 15.
Note: Your application is evaluated based on your entire application package.
You will be asked to:
Molecular/Cellular Biology, PhD
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of
The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.
Applications for Fall 2018 accepted: Oct. 1-Dec. 15, 2017
Priority deadline: Dec. 1, 2017
More information on financial support through the School of Life Sciences.