Doctor of Philosophy

The departments of MCB offer graduate work leading to the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.). These degrees prepare you for positions in industrial laboratories, research institutes, and government agencies, as well as for teaching, research, and administration in colleges and universities. Graduate degrees are earned through a combination of graded courses, oral and written examinations, and independent research. Degrees are conferred by individual departments in MCB or by one of our affiliated programs.

The First Year

In your first semester of Ph.D. studies in MCB, you will perform three laboratory rotations, choosing from laboratories in the school. In December of your first year, you will formally join one of the departmental graduate programs by choosing a research adviser and laboratory for your thesis research. You can choose from available laboratories run by over 70 faculty members in MCB. Your training doesn't stop there, as you will also benefit from the culture of close interaction among faculty members and graduate students from different labs, departments, and programs in MCB and beyond. Subsequent coursework is determined by the departmental program of the thesis lab that you joined at the end of your first semester.

Other Requirements

Specific degree requirements are available under each department's Web site. They include the successful passage of a core of relevant courses and advanced elective courses in related areas.

In addition to courses, seminars covering special topics in each discipline are offered. Research seminars are an important facet of the intellectual climate in each department and an integral part of the Ph.D. program. Because teaching is considered an integral component of Ph.D. training, teaching in lecture or laboratory courses is often required.

At the end of the program leading to your Ph.D., you will present the result of your research to an open meeting of faculty and students. Your doctoral dissertation is then submitted to the Graduate College to fulfill the requirements for the degree.