Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics Minor

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: Graduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2022
  • Length of program in credits (master's): 12
  • Length of program in credits (doctoral): 12
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
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.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Students interested in the minor are strongly encouraged to confer with their major field advisor and director of graduate studies, and must meet with the MCDB&G director of graduate studies regarding feasibility, requirements and approval.
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
Courses taken for the minor must be graded A-F. A minimum GPA of 3.0 for these courses is required.
Required Coursework (9 credits)
Take the following courses for 9 credits. Other courses may be selected with approval of the MCDB&G director of graduate studies.
GCD 8151 - Cellular Biochemistry and Cell Biology (2.0-4.0 cr)
GCD 8131 - Advanced Molecular Genetics and Genomics (3.0 cr)
GCD 8161 - Advanced Cell Biology and Development (2.0 cr)
Electives (3 credits)
Select at least one of the following courses in consultation with the MCDB&G director of graduate studies. GCD 8920 Special Topics: Computational Genomics, if selected, must be taken for 3 credits.
GCD 8920 - Special Topics (1.0-4.0 cr)
or GCD 5005 - Computer Programming for Biology (3.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
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GCD 8151 - Cellular Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Credits: 2.0 -4.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course introduces graduate students to fundamental concepts of Biochemical Unity (Part 1) and Cell Theory (Part 2). For Part 1, we will discuss matter of life, equilibrium, entropy & law of mass action, two state systems, random walks & diffusion, rate equations of chemical reactions, and explore how they relate to regulation of biological networks (gene regulation and signal transduction). For Part 2 we will focus on properties of biological membranes, membrane trafficking, protein import & degradation, nuclear structures and their function, as well as molecular motors, cytoskeletal dynamics, and mitosis. The course assumes students have had previous undergraduate courses in cell biology, biochemistry and genetics. prereq: [[[4034 or 8121 or BioC 8002], Biol 4004] or BMBB or MCDBG 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 Cell Biology and Development
Credits: 2.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
The advanced cell and developmental biology of embryos, taught through in-depth, comparative analysis of historical and current primary research articles that illustrate developmental mechanisms and experimental approaches in key invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms. prereq:[BMBB or MCDBG grad student] or [GCD 4161, [GCD 8131 or Biol 4003], Biol 4004, and GCD 4034] or instr consent
GCD 8920 - Special Topics
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Special topic shell
GCD 5005 - Computer Programming for Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
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 or BIOL 4004 or GCD 3033 or CBS grad or BMBB or MCDB&G grad student, general statistics course