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. Degree requirements include: 

  • At least 12 course credits and 24 doctoral thesis credits must be completed while enrolled in the CMB graduate program.
  • 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.

PhD program requirements

Course credits: 24 credit minimum to be taken in CMB or a related field
Thesis credits: 24 credits (CMB 8888)
Total credits: 48 credits minimum 

Required courses 

  • CMB 5910 Grant Writing: What Makes a Winning Proposal?
  • CMB 5915 Essential Statistics for Life Sciences 
  • CMB 8100 Research Rotation in CMB (2 cr) 
  • CMB 8134 Ethical Conduct of Animal Research 
  • CMB 8202 Mech. of Animal Health & Disease II 
  • CMB 8303 Comparative Models of Disease CMB 8550 CMB Seminar
  • CMB 8560 Research and Literature Reports
  • At least one Biostatistics course

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 8910 Statistical Principles of Research
  • PUBH 6450 Biostatistics I
  • PUBH 6451 Biostatistics II
  • STAT 5021 Statistical Analysis
  • STAT 5031 Statistical Methods for Quality Improvement
  • STAT 5302 Applied Regression Analysis
  • STAT 5303 Designing Experiments
  • STAT 5421 Analysis of Categorical Data 

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 6-11 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

  • CMB 5200 Introductory Statistical Genetics & Genomics 
  • CMB 5340 Structural Biology in Biomedical Research
  • CMB 5571 Pathogenomics and Molecular Epidemiology 
  • CMB 8012 Basic Concepts in Skeletal Biology
  • CMB 8208 Neuropsycophamacology 
  • CMB 8361 Neuro-Immune Interactions
  • CMB 8371 Mucosal Immunobiology
  • CMB 8481 Advanced Neuropharmaceutics 
  • CMB 8571 Pathogenomics and Molecular Epidemiology
  • CMB 8910 Statistical Principles of Research Design
  • 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 
  • VMED 5181 Spatial Analysis in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • VMED 5190 Seminar & Presentation Development for Graduate Students
  • VMED 5442 Quant Methods for Analysis of Food An. Disease Data

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:
    • CMB 8100 Research Rotation in CMB
    • CMB 8134 Ethical Conduct of Animal Research
    • CMB 8202 Mechanisms of Animal Health & Disease I
    • CMB 8303 Comparative Models of Disease
    • A course in Biostatistics
    • CMB 8550 CMB Seminar
    • CMB 8560 Research and Literature Reports
  • Submit GPAS by end of Year One.
  • Identify thesis committee members and request approval of committee from PAC.
  • Begin Individualized Development Plan (IDP).

Year Two

  • Complete coursework including:
    • CMB 5910 Grantwriting: What makes for a winning proposal?
    • Required course to be taken spring term as lead up to preliminary exam
  • 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 before end of August.
  • Update IDP.

Year Three

Year Four