Comparative and Molecular Biosciences PhD program Degree Timeline & Course Requirements

Course Requirements

Formal coursework for the Ph.D. degree varies according to the field of study, interests, and career goals of the individual graduate students. Courses may be taken in disciplines other than CMB, provided:

  • At least 12 course credits are as a registered University of Minnesota graduate student.
  • Approved transfer coursework may include a maximum of 12 graduate credits taken as a non-degree or non-admitted student.
  • Transfer of thesis credits is not allowed.
  • At least two-thirds of course credits must be taken with grades A-F.

Required First-Year Courses Credits

CMB 8100 Research Rotation in CMB 
CMB 8134 Ethical Conduct of Animal Research 
CMB 8202 Mech. of Animal Health & Disease II 
CMB 8303 Comparative Models of Disease 
CMB 5910 Grant Writing: What Makes a Winning Proposal?
A course in Biostatistics
CMB 8550 CMB Seminar
CMB 8560 Research and Literature Reports

Seminar attendance is required each semester. Students must register for academic credit two times. It is expected that students will attend the seminar throughout their program.

One credit of Research and Literature Reports is required; a second credit may also be completed.

Recommended courses to fulfill biostatistics requirement credits

CMB 5200 Introductory Statistical Genetics and Genomics 
CMB 8910 Statistical Principles of Research
PUBH 6415 Biostatistical Methods II 
PUBH 6450 Biostatistics I 
STAT 5021 Statistical Analysis

Statistics courses other than those recommended can be used to fulfill the major requirement with the approval of the student’s advisor and thesis committee. First-year students should consult with the director of graduate studies concerning registration.

Additional 5-6 credits of course requirements

  • 5000- and 8000-level courses in the biological sciences
  • Certain 5000-level courses will suffice, but it is recommended that the student first consult with the director of graduate studies about course content.
  • Seminar and journal club courses do not qualify.
  • Either GRAD 8101 Teaching in Higher Education or GRAD 8200 Teaching and Learning Topics in Higher Education.

Courses to consider to meet course requirements Credits

GCD 8131 Advanced Genetics 
GCD 8151 Cell Structure and Function 
GCD 8161 Advanced Developmental Biology 
MICA 8002 Structure, Function & Genetics of Bacteria & Viruses 
MICA 8003 Immunity & Immunopathology 
MICA 8004 Cellular & Cancer Biology  
VMED 5180 Ecology of Infectious Diseases 
CMB 5200 Introductory Statistical Genetics & Genomics  
CMB 8012 Basic Concepts in Skeletal Biology
CMB 8208 Neuropsycophamacology 
CMB 8361 Neuro-Immune Interactions 
CMB 8481 Advanced Neuropharmaceutics 
CMB 8571 Pathogenomics and Molecular Epidemiology

In addition, many other 5000- and 8000-level courses in Microbiology, Parasitology, Virology, Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Physiology, Pharmacology, Genetics, Anatomy, Histology, Cytology, and Pathology can be used to meet this requirement. Students are required to consult with their advisor and committee members to determine which courses are appropriate for the student’s program.

Degree Timeline

The following timeline is recommended for all PhD students in the CMB program. Completion of requirements as described will ensure that each student will progress through the program in an efficient and timely manner.

Year One

  • Begin coursework.
  • Required courses are:
    • A course in Biostatistics
    • CMB 8134 Ethical Conduct of Animal Research
    • CMB 8202 Mechanisms of Animal Health & Disease II
    • CMB 8303 Comparative Models of Disease
    • CMB 8550 Veterinary Medicine Seminar
  • Submit GPAS by end of Year One.
  • Identify thesis committee members and request approval of committee from PAC.

Year Two

  • Complete coursework Including:

CMB 5910: Grantwriting: What makes a winning proposal?
CMB 8560: Research & Literature Reports

  • Schedule first committee meeting during fall semester to discuss thesis proposal and approval of alternate proposal title and submit committee meeting report form.
  • Contact Graduate Program Coordinator for written preliminary exam template
  • Submit written preliminary exam to Graduate Programs Coordinator (GPC) for committee approval.
  • Schedule oral preliminary exam online with Graduate Student Services and Progress.
  • Complete preliminary examinations before end of August.

Year Three

Year Four