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Ph.D. Program Overview

Degree completion time is 5 to 5.5 years.

Financial support includes: Stipend ($44,000 per year), tuition, fees, and health insurance for you, your spouse and dependents. Students in good standing are fully supported until they finish their degrees. 

Course requirements for PhD students in MCDB are minimal and intended to provide the background training necessary for successful thesis research. During the first year, students take two core courses in Molecular Biology (fall) and Cell Biology (winter) and seminars, while exploring faculty research interests through laboratory rotations. By the beginning of the second year, students will have chosen a research mentor and identified a research problem -- laying the groundwork for their dissertation projects. 

Requirements for Admission: A Bachelor's degree or its equivalent is required; a previously earned Master's degree is NOT required to enter the program. 

Expected background: Prior to admission, students should have a strong undergraduate background in biology including physics, organic and inorganic chemistry, calculus, and advanced biology courses.

Applications: Made online through the Rackham Graduate School, which oversees the requirements of all Ph.D. degrees. See the Rackham admissions site for more information.

Deadline: All application materials must be submitted by December 1.

Ph.D. candidates are accepted Fall term only.

Application requirements include:

  • Academic Statement of Purpose
  • Personal Statement
  • Curriculum vitae (Academic Resume’)
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from all academic institutions attended