MCB PhD Program
Students admitted through the Open Admissions track are required to complete three rotations to explore a variety of research areas, techniques, and lab environments. Rotations are approximately 8 weeks and give both the student and the faculty advisor the opportunity to see if it is a good match for the student to do their dissertation research. Students will join their dissertation lab by the end of the Spring semester of their first year. Students admitted through the Direct Admissions track will not do lab rotations and will start in their dissertation lab in the Fall semester if their first year.
It is the policy of the Molecular and Computational Biology Program to provide support for all students throughout their graduate career. Each admitted student is guaranteed a minimum of five years of support. Students receive a stipend for living expenses, full tuition remission each academic semester, and health and dental insurance.
Financial awards include Dornsife/Graduate School Fellowships, Provost Fellowships, Research Assistantships (RA), and Teaching Assistantships (TA). Students working as TAs split their time between specific teaching duties as determined by the department and their laboratory work. The amount of time devoted to teaching duties is no more than 20 hours per week. RAs devote most of their time in research leading to their dissertations. There is no separate application for each type of award.
Students are also encouraged to apply for external fellowships from appropriate federal agencies or other sources of aid for graduate study.
During their first year, all graduate students take a core curriculum (BISC 502A/B) that covers graduate level genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry, and lays the foundation for more advanced study in the field. Additional required coursework includes reading of primary research articles (BISC 542), research seminar and grant writing (BISC 544), bioinformatics and data analysis (BISC 444 or BISC 576), practicum in teaching (BISC 593), ethics (INTD 500), and 4 units of additional graduate level elective coursework.
All PhD students in the Molecular and Computational Biology are eligible to receive a $750 travel award annually to present a talk or poster at a professional meeting or conference.