Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics Ph.D.

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development TCBS
Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development TMED
Graduate School
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
MCDB&G Graduate Program, 6-160 Jackson Hall, 321 Church Street SE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-7470, fax: 612-626-6140)
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Length of program in credits: 30 to 50
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
This program provides scientific training in the basic life sciences, with emphasis on the molecular basis of genetics, development, and cell biology. Areas of specialization include membranes, receptors, membrane transport, cell interactions, macromolecular structure, extracellular matrix, cytoskeleton, cell motility, regulation of gene expression, neuroscience, developmental mechanisms, human genetics, plant cell and molecular biology, genetic mechanisms, and genomics. The program is interdisciplinary and involves faculty from several departments in the College of Biological Sciences, the Medical School, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Institutes for human genetics, plant molecular genetics, biological process technology, genome engineering, stem cell research and a center for developmental biology provide opportunities for graduate study. PhD students are admitted to MCDB&G under the auspices of Molecular, Cellular and Structural Biology (MCSB), a first year program administered by the MCDB&G and the Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB) graduate programs. After the first year, students select either MCDB&G or BMBB to complete their degree. MCDB&G does NOT have a freestanding master's program. The MCDB&G PhD is also part of two joint degree programs: The Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, and Life Sciences; and the MD/PhD program. The Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, and Life Sciences is unique in the nation and enables students to combine a JD degree with a PhD or MS degree. Students entering this program must be admitted to both the MCDB&G program and the Law School. Admission qualifications for MS and PhD students are identical; only the student's career objectives distinguish the degree that they pursue. The MD/PhD program emphasizes integration of the two major components of training--medicine and research--to ensure excellence in both. The program features a special curriculum that facilitates the transition from Medical School to the first year of formal graduate training, and the transition from graduate training back to Medical School.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.50.
Applications from students with an undergraduate or master's degree in the biological, chemical, or physical sciences are preferred.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Recommended academic preparation includes coursework in molecular biology, genetics, biology, and biochemistry. Successful applicants must have previous research experience in an academic or industrial setting in addition to any course-related laboratory experiences. It is important to demonstrate familiarity with and aptitude for basic science research prior to embarking on a graduate career in this program.
Special Application Requirements:
Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their academic and research capabilities. A statement of interests and goals, a complete set of transcripts, and scores from the General Test of the GRE are required. We will accept copies of the transcripts and GRE scores. The GRE Subject Test in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, biology, or chemistry is strongly recommended, but not required. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is December 1. Graduate studies begin fall semester only. Entry into the J.D./Ph.D. program requires separate admittance to both the Law School and the MCDB&G Graduate Program. Entry into the M.D./Ph.D. program requires separate admittance to both the Medical School and the MCDB&G Graduate Program.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
    • General Test - Verbal Reasoning: 550
    • General Test - Quantitative Reasoning: 600
    • General Test - Analytical Writing: 3.5
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 107
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 25
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 25
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 625
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
24 credits are required in the major.
0 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
Plan A: Plan A requires 20 major credits, 0 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is written and oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 30 major credits and 0 credits outside the major. The final exam is written and oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:Plan B students are expected to produce a report approximately 15 pages in length that thoughtfully discusses an important scientific topic that the student and advisor agree upon. The report should include an introduction that explains the significance of the topic, a review of the literature or an analysis of a specific aspect of the area and a discussion regarding current or future endeavors.
This program may not be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 2 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
Required courses
Take all of the following courses:
GCD 8151 - Cell Structure and Function (3.0 cr)
GCD 8131 - Advanced Molecular Genetics and Genomics (3.0 cr)
GCD 8161 - Advanced Developmental Biology (3.0 cr)
GCD 8171 - Literature Analysis (2.0 cr)
BIOC 8401 - Ethics, Public Policy, and Careers in Molecular and Cellular Biology (1.0 cr)
MCDG 8920 - Special Topics (1.0-4.0 cr)
MCDG 8900 - Student Research Seminar (1.0 cr)
GCD 8900 - Seminar (1.0-2.0 cr)
MCDG 8950 - Teaching Practicum (1.0 cr)
MCDG 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
Course options
Choose at least one of these courses
GCD 8920 Special Topics: Computational Genomics
or GCD 5005 - Computer Programming for Biology (3.0 cr)
Elective Courses
Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
· BIOC 8001 - Biochemistry: Structure, Catalysis, and Metabolism (3.0 cr)
· BIOC 8002 - Molecular Biology and Regulation of Biological Processes (3.0 cr)
· BIOC 5309 - Biocatalysis and Biodegradation (3.0 cr)
· BIOC 5352 - Biotechnology and Bioengineering for Biochemists (3.0 cr)
· BIOC 5361 - Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics (3.0 cr)
· BIOC 5444 - Muscle (3.0 cr)
· BIOC 5527 - Introduction to Modern Structural Biology (4.0 cr)
· BIOC 5528 - Spectroscopy and Kinetics (4.0 cr)
· CSCI 5461 - Functional Genomics, Systems Biology, and Bioinformatics (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5980 - Special Topics in Computer Science (1.0-3.0 cr)
· CSCI 8980 - Special Advanced Topics in Computer Science (1.0-3.0 cr)
· GCD 8008 - Mammalian Gene Transfer and Genome Engineering (2.0 cr)
· GCD 8073 - Genetics & Genomics in Human Health (3.0 cr)
· GRAD 8101 - Teaching in Higher Education (3.0 cr)
· GRAD 8200 - Teaching and Learning Topics in Higher Education (1.0 cr)
· MICA 8002 - Structure, Function, and Genetics of Bacteria and Viruses (4.0 cr)
· MICA 8003 - Immunity and Immunopathology (4.0 cr)
· MICA 8004 - Cellular and Cancer Biology (4.0 cr)
· MATH 8540 - Topics in Mathematical Biology (1.0-3.0 cr)
· NSC 8211 - Developmental Neurobiology (3.0 cr)
· OBIO 8012 - Basic Concepts in Skeletal Biology (2.0 cr)
· PHCL 5111 - Pharmacogenomics (3.0 cr)
· PUBH 6450 - Biostatistics I (4.0 cr)
· SCB 8181 - Stem Cell Biology (3.0 cr)
· STAT 5021 - Statistical Analysis (4.0 cr)
· GRAD 5102 - Preparation for University Teaching for Nonnative English Speakers (2.0 cr)
Joint- or Dual-degree Coursework:
Joint Degree Program in Law, Science and Technology. Students may take a total of 12 credits in common among the academic programs.
 
More program views..
· Graduate School
View PDF Version:
Search.
Search Programs

Search University Catalogs
Related links.

Graduate School

Graduate Admissions

Graduate School Fellowships

Graduate Assistantships

Colleges and Schools

One Stop
for tuition, course registration, financial aid, academic calendars, and more
 
GCD 8151 - Cell Structure and Function
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Structure, function, and biochemistry of cellular organelles. Cellular interactions in eukaryotes. Emphasizes membranes, secretion, trafficking, cytoskeleton, cell motility, nucleus, cell cycle, apoptosis, cell signaling, and signal transduction mechanisms. prereq: [[[4034 or 8121 or BioC 8002], Biol 4004] or BMBB or MCDBconcurrent registration is required (or allowed) in G grad student] or instr consent
GCD 8131 - Advanced Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Literature-based course in modern molecular genetic and genomic analysis. Students will gain a deep understanding of the fundamental molecular mechanisms controlling inheritance in biological systems. Students will gain a facility in thinking critically and creatively about how genes work at cellular, organismal, and transgenerational levels. Course instruction emphasizes active-learning approaches, student presentations, and group projects. prereq: [3022 or BIOL 4003], [BIOC 3021 or BIOC 4331] or instr consent
GCD 8161 - Advanced Developmental Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Current concepts/experimental approaches to basic mechanisms of development. Model organisms. Embryology, cell fate determination, differentiation, pattern formation, polarity, cell migration, cell interactions. Analysis of original research articles. prereq: [BMBB or MCDBconcurrent registration is required (or allowed) in G grad student or GCD4161] or [[GCD 8131 or Biol 4003], Biol 4004, GCD4034]] or instr consent
GCD 8171 - Literature Analysis
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Critical reading and evaluation of current literature. May include evaluation of both excellent and flawed papers. Intensive and in-depth discussions of selected papers in molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, and developmental biology. prereq: Grad MCDG major
BIOC 8401 - Ethics, Public Policy, and Careers in Molecular and Cellular Biology
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Ethics of scientific investigation from viewpoint of western scientific enterprise. Relationship between science, culture, and public policies. Careers in molecular/cellular biology. Nontraditional career tracks. Invited speakers, case studies, small-group discussions, lectures. prereq: Grad student in [BMBB or MCDBconcurrent registration is required (or allowed) in G]
MCDG 8920 - Special Topics
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Special Topics Course in the Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics Program, including Itasca Research. prereq: Grad MCDG or BMBB major or dept consent
MCDG 8900 - Student Research Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 10.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Presentation/discussion of student thesis research. prereq: Grad MCDG or BMBB major dept consent
GCD 8900 - Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Current scientific research. prereq: Grad MCDG major or instr consent
MCDG 8950 - Teaching Practicum
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Supervised experience in classroom, laboratory, and/or recitation instruction; development of skills in effective use of instructional techniques, materials, tests, and measurements. prereq: Grad MCDG major or dept consent
MCDG 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral
Credits: 1.0 -24.0 [max 100.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 24 cr required
GCD 5005 - Computer Programming for Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Computer programming skills with applications in biology. Design/build new computer programs for applications in cell/developmental biology, including modeling of biological processes, advanced data analysis, automated image analysis. prereq: [BIOL 4003, BIOL4004 (4004 may be taken concurrently or may be waived with instr consent)], biological statistics, one semester of calculus
BIOC 8001 - Biochemistry: Structure, Catalysis, and Metabolism
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Protein structure, methods to determine structure, protein folding, forces stabilizing macromolecular structure, protein engineering, design. Dynamic properties of proteins/enzymes, enzyme substrate complexes, mechanism of enzyme catalysis. Enzymology of metabolic regulation and cell signaling. prereq: BMBB or MCDBconcurrent registration is required (or allowed) in G grad student or instr consent
BIOC 8002 - Molecular Biology and Regulation of Biological Processes
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Classical to current topics in molecular biology. Aspects of DNA, RNA, and protein biology. DNA replication, repair, and recombination. RNA transcription, editing, and regulation. Protein translation/modification. Technologies such as deep-sequencing micro-RNA and prions. prereq: [BMBB or MCDBG] grad student or instr consent
BIOC 5309 - Biocatalysis and Biodegradation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00959 - Bioc 5309/MicE 5309
Typically offered: Every Spring
Fundamentals of microbial enzymes/metabolism as pertaining to biodegradation of environmental pollutants/biosynthesis for making commodity chemicals. Practical examples. Guest speakers from industry.
BIOC 5352 - Biotechnology and Bioengineering for Biochemists
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: BioC/MicB 5352
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Protein biotechnology. Microorganisms used as hosts for protein expression, protein expression, and engineering methods. Production of enzymes of industrial interest. Applications of protein biotechnology in bioelectronics. Formulation of therapeutic biopharmaceuticals. prereq: [[3021 or 4331 or BIOL 3021 or or MICB 4111], [BIOL 3301 or MICB 3301]] or instr consent
BIOC 5361 - Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to genomics. Emphasizes microbial genomics. Sequencing methods, sequence analysis, genomics databases, genome mapping, prokaryotic horizontal gene transfer, genomics in biotechnology, intellectual property issues. Hands-on introduction to UNIX shell scripting, genomic data analysis using R and Excel in a computer lab setting. prereq: College-level courses in [organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology]
BIOC 5444 - Muscle
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: BioC/Phsl 5444
Typically offered: Every Spring
Muscle molecular structure/function and disease. Muscle regulation, ion transport, and force generation. Muscular dystrophy and heart disease. prereq: 3021 or BIOL 3021 or 4331 or BIOL 4331 or PHSL 3061 or instr consent
BIOC 5527 - Introduction to Modern Structural Biology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Methods employed in modern structural biology to elucidate macromolecular structures. Primary focus on X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Principles underlying structural biology and structure/function relationships. prereq: [intro biochemistry, intro physics] or physical chemistry or instr consent
BIOC 5528 - Spectroscopy and Kinetics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Biochemical dynamics from perspectives of kinetics and spectroscopy. Influence of structure, molecular interactions, and chemical transformations on biochemical reactions. Focuses on computational, spectroscopic, and physical methods. Steady-state and transient kinetics. Optical and magnetic resonance spectroscopies. prereq: Intro physical chemistry or equiv; intro biochemistry recommended
CSCI 5461 - Functional Genomics, Systems Biology, and Bioinformatics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Computational methods for analyzing, integrating, and deriving predictions from genomic/proteomic data. Analyzing gene expression, proteomic data, and protein-protein interaction networks. Protein/gene function prediction, Integrating diverse data, visualizing genomic datasets. prereq: 3003 or 4041 or instr consent
CSCI 5980 - Special Topics in Computer Science
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Lectures and informal discussions on current topics in computer science. prereq: instr consent; may be repeated for cr
CSCI 8980 - Special Advanced Topics in Computer Science
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 27.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Lectures and informal discussions. prereq: instr consent
GCD 8008 - Mammalian Gene Transfer and Genome Engineering
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Current gene transfer and genome engineering technology. Applications of genetic modifications in animals, particularly transgenic animals and human gene therapy. prereq: instr consent
GCD 8073 - Genetics & Genomics in Human Health
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Application of molecular, biochemical, chromosomal, and population genetics to human variation and disease. Abnormal chromosome number and structure; abnormal enzyme, structural protein, receptor, and transport; analysis of inheritance patterns; behavioral genetics; genetic basis of common disease. Current research articles in human genetics. prereq: 8131 or BIOL 4003 or instr consent
GRAD 8101 - Teaching in Higher Education
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Teaching methods/techniques. Active learning, critical thinking, practice teaching, and preparing a portfolio to document/reflect upon teaching. Readings, discussion, peer teaching, e-mail dialog, reflective writing, co-facilitation of course. prereq: Non-Degree Students: contact pffcollege consentumn.edu with questions about registration. If adding a section after first class meeting, contact your instructor as soon as you enroll.
GRAD 8200 - Teaching and Learning Topics in Higher Education
Credits: 1.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Create course materials for context/discipline. Assess student learning. Write action plan. Topics may include active learning in sciences, teaching with technology, multicultural education, teaching in clinical settings, learning-community course design.
MICA 8002 - Structure, Function, and Genetics of Bacteria and Viruses
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Structure, function, and metabolism of microorganisms. Microbial genetics. Molecular virology. prereq: [One undergrad or grad course each in [microbiology, genetics, biochemistry]] or instr consent
MICA 8003 - Immunity and Immunopathology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Lymphocyte activation, signal transduction in lymphocytes, antigen receptor genetics, antigen presentation, lymphoid anatomy, adaptive immune responses to microbes, immunodeficiency, immunopathology, cytokines, transplantation, autoimmunity. prereq: Upper level undergrad immunology course or instr consent
MICA 8004 - Cellular and Cancer Biology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Fundamental concepts in cellular, molecular, and genetic basis of disease. Molecular basis of inflammation and cancer metastasis. Genetic basis for inherited disorders and gene therapy. Molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis. prereq: [One undergrad or grad course each in [biochemistry, cell biology]] or instr consent
MATH 8540 - Topics in Mathematical Biology
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Offered for one year or one semester as circumstances warrant.
NSC 8211 - Developmental Neurobiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
How neuronal types develop. Emphasizes general mechanisms. Experimental data demonstrating mechanisms. prereq: Neuroscience grad student or instr consent
OBIO 8012 - Basic Concepts in Skeletal Biology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Cells (osteoblasts, osteoclasts, chrondrocytes) that make up skeleton. Transcription/signaling networks that regulate cell growth/differentiation. Mechanisms of bone remodeling. Regulation of bone by such agents such as hormones. Prereq Grad student or instr consent.
PHCL 5111 - Pharmacogenomics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Human genetic variation, its implications. Functional genomics, pharmacogenomics, toxicogenomics, proteomics. Interactive, discussion-based course. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
PUBH 6450 - Biostatistics I
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Descriptive statistics. Gaussian probability models, point/interval estimation for means/proportions. Hypothesis testing, including t, chi-square, and nonparametric tests. Simple regression/correlation. ANOVA. Health science applications using output from statistical packages. prereq: [College-level algebra, health sciences grad student] or instr consent
SCB 8181 - Stem Cell Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01725
Typically offered: Every Fall
Stem cell research and its applications. Critical analysis, written summaries/critiques, oral presentations. prereq: [[GCD 4034], [GCD 4161]] or equiv or instr consent
STAT 5021 - Statistical Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Intensive introduction to statistical methods for graduate students needing statistics as a research technique. prereq: Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for: : 3011; College algebra or instr consent; Stat course recommended
GRAD 5102 - Preparation for University Teaching for Nonnative English Speakers
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Theory/practice of teaching in higher education in the United States. Emphasizes awareness of cross-cultural communication issues. Students practice in a simulated instructional setting. prereq: English Language Proficiency Rating of 4, current or anticipated TA assignment, instr consent