Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Comparative and Molecular Biosciences Ph.D.

College of Veterinary Medicine - Adm
College of Veterinary Medicine
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
College of Veterinary Medicine, 1365 Gortner Avenue, Room 443 VMC, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (612-625-3770; fax: 612-626-2825)
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Length of program in credits: 48
  • This program requires 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.
The mission of the comparative and molecular biosciences (CMB) program is to train outstanding scientists in the basic mechanisms of animal and human health and disease. The CMB program is transdisciplinary, bringing together basic, applied, and clinical scientists from a number of departments to provide students with individualized, cutting-edge biomedical research training. Areas of emphasis include genetic and infectious diseases, and comparative aspects of biology and pathology across animal species and humans. Students receive scientific training that prepares them for careers as independent investigators and educators in academia, industry, and government. The CMB program focuses on health that spans a wide range of species, from laboratory animal, companion animal, and livestock species to humans, and is unique within the University of Minnesota.
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 3.25.
A bachelor's degree in a biological or basic science is required. Previous research experience is expected but not required.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Applicants must submit a C.V. or résumé; three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their scholarship and research potential; and a statement of any research experience, as well as career interests, goals, and objectives.
Special Application Requirements:
Submission of all application materials by December 15 is required to ensure consideration for admission, fellowships, and research assistantships awarded for the next academic year. http://www.cvm.umn.edu/students/ms-phd/CMB/index.htm
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Reading Score: 6.5
    • Writing Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
The preferred English language test is Test of English as Foreign Language.
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
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.
This program may 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.
The PhD requires a minimum of 24 course credits and 24 thesis credits. The 24 course credits include 13 credits of CMB program courses. A statistics course is required. A minimum of 7 additional course credits from the biological sciences are also required. In addition, all students are required to complete a teaching experience. A minimum GPA of at least 3.00 is required to maintain satisfactory progress and to graduate.
CMB program courses
A minimum of 13 course credits are required. CMB 8100 must be taken twice and CMB 8550 must be taken twice.
CMB 5910 - Grantwriting: What Makes a Winning Proposal? (2.0 cr)
CMB 8100 - Research Rotation in Comparative and Molecular Biosciences (1.0 cr)
CMB 8134 - Ethical Conduct of Animal Research (3.0 cr)
CMB 8202 - Mechanisms of Animal Health and Disease II (3.0 cr)
CMB 8303 - Comparative Models of Disease (2.0 cr)
CMB 8550 - Comparative and Molecular Biosciences Seminar (1.0 cr)
CMB 8560 - Research and Literature Reports (1.0 cr)
Statistics
One of the following statistics courses is required.
CMB 5200 - Statistical Genetics and Genomics (4.0 cr)
or PUBH 6450 - Biostatistics I (4.0 cr)
or PUBH 6451 - Biostatistics II (4.0 cr)
or STAT 5021 - Statistical Analysis (4.0 cr)
or STAT 5031 - Statistical Methods for Quality Improvement (4.0 cr)
or STAT 5302 - Applied Regression Analysis (4.0 cr)
or STAT 5303 - Designing Experiments (4.0 cr)
or STAT 5421 - Analysis of Categorical Data (3.0 cr)
Additional courses
A minimum of 7 course credits are required, selected from the following list or in consultation with the advisor. Students may take GRAD 8101 OR GRAD 8200 but not both.
MICA 8002 - Structure, Function, and Genetics of Bacteria and Viruses (4.0 cr)
or MICA 8003 - Immunity and Immunopathology (4.0 cr)
or MICA 8004 - Cellular and Cancer Biology (4.0 cr)
or MICA 8009 - Biochemical Aspects of Normal and Abnormal Cell Growth and Cell Death (2.0 cr)
or MICA 8010 - Microbial Pathogenesis (3.0 cr)
or MICA 8371 - Mucosal Immunobiology (3.0 cr)
or BIOC 5361 - Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics (3.0 cr)
or BIOC 6021 - Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
or BIOC 8002 - Molecular Biology and Regulation of Biological Processes (3.0 cr)
or BIOC 8216 - Signal Transduction and Gene Expression (3.0 cr)
or GCD 5036 - Molecular Cell Biology (3.0 cr)
or GCD 8008 - Mammalian Gene Transfer and Genome Engineering (2.0 cr)
or GCD 8073 - Genetics & Genomics in Human Health (3.0 cr)
or GCD 8131 - Advanced Molecular Genetics and Genomics (3.0 cr)
or GCD 8151 - Cell Structure and Function (3.0 cr)
or GCD 8161 - Advanced Developmental Biology (3.0 cr)
or CMB 5200 - Statistical Genetics and Genomics (4.0 cr)
or CMB 5910 - Grantwriting: What Makes a Winning Proposal? (2.0 cr)
or CMB 8208 - Neuropsychopharmacology (3.0 cr)
or CMB 8344 - Mechanisms of Hormone Action (2.0 cr)
or CMB 8361 - Neuro-Immune Interactions (3.0 cr)
or CMB 8371 - Mucosal Immunobiology (3.0 cr)
or CMB 8394 - Research in Comparative Biomedical Sciences (1.0-6.0 cr)
or CMB 8481 - Advanced Neuropharmaceutics (4.0 cr)
or GRAD 8101 - Teaching in Higher Education (3.0 cr)
or GRAD 8200 - Teaching and Learning Topics in Higher Education (1.0 cr)
Thesis Credits
Take at least 24 doctoral thesis credits
CMB 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
 
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CMB 5910 - Grantwriting: What Makes a Winning Proposal?
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01473 - CMB 5910/VMed 5910
Typically offered: Every Spring
Components of a strong proposal. Grant submission process. What reviewers look for. How to locate grant announcements that match reserach interests.
CMB 8100 - Research Rotation in Comparative and Molecular Biosciences
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Current developments in faculty research. Topics specific to research adviser's area of interest. Eight weeks.
CMB 8134 - Ethical Conduct of Animal Research
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00512 - AnSc 8134/CMB 8134/VMed 8134
Typically offered: Every Fall
Ethical considerations in the use of animal subjects in agricultural, veterinary, and biomedical research. Federal, state, and University guidelines relating to proper conduct for acquisition and use of animals for laboratory, observational, epidemiological, and clinical research. Regulatory requirements. Bases for proper conduct. Societal impact on scientific investigations utilizing animal subjects.
CMB 8202 - Mechanisms of Animal Health and Disease II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Multi-perspective approach to critically evaluating journal articles, as done for peer-reviewed journals. Aspects of host/pathogen interactions, including molecular/genetic mechanisms of host resistance/pathogenesis.
CMB 8303 - Comparative Models of Disease
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Disease processes in organ systems. Examples of animal models. Comparative medicine. Clinical relevance of problem/disease. Animal models used to study disease process/problem. Lectures. prereq: Enrollment in a biological sciences grad program or instr consent
CMB 8550 - Comparative and Molecular Biosciences Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Student/faculty presentations of their own research or a directed topic. prereq: Biol sciences grad student
CMB 8560 - Research and Literature Reports
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Current developments in cellular and molecular mechanisms of animal health and disease.
CMB 5200 - Statistical Genetics and Genomics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Statistical issues in genomics. Gene detection, including statistical analysis/designs for linkage study and for mapping quantitative trait loci. Linkage analysis using pedigree data for codominant/dominant markers. Using radiation hybrid mapping and single cell typing. Design issues in linkage analysis, parentage testing, and marker polymorphism.
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
PUBH 6451 - Biostatistics II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Two-way ANOVA, interactions, repeated measures, general linear models. Logistic regression for cohort and case-control studies. Loglinear models, contingency tables, Poisson regression, survival data, Kaplan-Meier methods, proportional hazards models. prereq: [PubH 6450 with grade of at least B, health sciences grad student] 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
STAT 5031 - Statistical Methods for Quality Improvement
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Random variability/sampling. Controlling statistical process. Shewhart/accumulative charting. Analyzing plant data, trend surface, and variance/design of experiments. prereq: [3021 or 3022 or 4102 or 5021 or 5102 or 8102], Math 1272
STAT 5302 - Applied Regression Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Simple, multiple, and polynomial regression. Estimation, testing, prediction. Use of graphics in regression. Stepwise and other numerical methods. Weighted least squares, nonlinear models, response surfaces. Experimental research/applications. prereq: 3022 or 4102 or 5021 or 5102 or instr consent
STAT 5303 - Designing Experiments
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Analysis of variance. Multiple comparisons. Variance-stabilizing transformations. Contrasts. Construction/analysis of complete/incomplete block designs. Fractional factorial designs. Confounding split plots. Response surface design. prereq: 3022 or 4102 or 5021 or 5102 or instr consent
STAT 5421 - Analysis of Categorical Data
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Varieties of categorical data, cross-classifications, contingency tables. Tests for independence. Combining 2x2 tables. Multidimensional tables/loglinear models. Maximum-likelihood estimation. Tests for goodness of fit. Logistic regression. Generalized linear/multinomial-response models.
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
MICA 8009 - Biochemical Aspects of Normal and Abnormal Cell Growth and Cell Death
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Aspects of mechanisms involved in growth control at level of nuclear function. Neoplasia in hormonal cancers (such as prostate cancer) and role of protein phosphorylation in normal and abnormal growth. Mechanisms of cell death via apoptosis and its implications in normal and abnormal proliferation. prereq: 8004 or [BioC 3021, Biol 4004] or instr consent
MICA 8010 - Microbial Pathogenesis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Molecular mechanisms of bacterial/viral pathogenesis. Strategies of disease causation/interaction with host, regulation of virulence factors, mechanism of virulence factor transmission to other microbes. prereq: MICa grad student or instr
MICA 8371 - Mucosal Immunobiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: MICa/MVB/OBio 8371
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Host immune processes at body surfaces. Innate/adaptive immunity at mucosal surfaces, interactions/responses of various mucosal tissues to pathogens, current approaches being used to target protective vaccination to mucosal tissues. Lectures, journal club format. prereq: 8001 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 6021 - Biochemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00467 - BioC 3021/6021/Biol 3021
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Fundamentals of biochemistry. Structure/function of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates. Metabolism, regulation of metabolism. Quantitative treatments of chemical equilibria, enzyme catalysis, and bioenergetics. Chemical basis of genetic information flow. prereq: general biology, organic chemistry, instr consent; intended for MBS students
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 8216 - Signal Transduction and Gene Expression
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Cell signaling, metabolic regulation in development. Procaryotic/eucaryotic systems used as models for discussion. Literature-based course. prereq: 8002 or instr consent
GCD 5036 - Molecular Cell Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Modern, integrative approaches combining cell/molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics to investigate cell organization/function. Membranes, signaling, extracellular matrix, secretion, endocytosis, cytoskeleton, nucleus. Analysis of scientific papers to illustrate new concepts in and experimental approaches to cell organization/function. prereq: Biol 4004 or instr consent; [sr or grad student] recommended
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
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 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 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
CMB 5200 - Statistical Genetics and Genomics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Statistical issues in genomics. Gene detection, including statistical analysis/designs for linkage study and for mapping quantitative trait loci. Linkage analysis using pedigree data for codominant/dominant markers. Using radiation hybrid mapping and single cell typing. Design issues in linkage analysis, parentage testing, and marker polymorphism.
CMB 5910 - Grantwriting: What Makes a Winning Proposal?
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01473 - CMB 5910/VMed 5910
Typically offered: Every Spring
Components of a strong proposal. Grant submission process. What reviewers look for. How to locate grant announcements that match reserach interests.
CMB 8208 - Neuropsychopharmacology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01546
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Relationships between drugs. Biochemical, behavioral, neurophysiological consequences. Functional biogenic amine, peptidergic, other pathways. Neuronal function/behavior. Feedback mechanisms, induction, inhibition. Stimulants, hallucinogens, depressants, opiates. Student presentations. prereq: graduate student and instr consent
CMB 8344 - Mechanisms of Hormone Action
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Mechanisms of hormone/cytokine action. Focuses on major signal transduction/apoptosis. Topics incorporate pharmacology, biochemistry, and cell biology of hormone action in relevant physiological systems. Lectures on basic principles. Specialized lectures. Discussion of primary literature. prereq: Course in biochemistry or cell biology or instr consent
CMB 8361 - Neuro-Immune Interactions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Regulatory systems (neuroendocrine, cytokine, and autonomic nervous systems) linking brain and immune systems in brain-immune axis. Functional effects of bidirectional brain-immune regulation. Offered fall of even-numbered years. prereq: [MICB 5218 or equiv], [NSC 5561 or equiv]
CMB 8371 - Mucosal Immunobiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: MICa/MVB/OBio 8371
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Host immune processes at body surfaces. Innate/adaptive immunity at mucosal surfaces. Interactions/responses of various mucosal tissues to pathogens. Approaches to target protective vaccination to mucosal tissues. Lectures, journal. prereq: MICa 8001 or equiv or instr consent
CMB 8394 - Research in Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Credits: 1.0 -6.0 [max 18.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Directed research determined by student's interests, in consultation with faculty mentor. prereq: Grad CMB major
CMB 8481 - Advanced Neuropharmaceutics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00781
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Delivery of compounds to central nervous system (CNS) to activate proteins in specific brain regions for therapeutic benefit. Pharmaceutical/pharmacological issues specific to direct drug delivery to CNS. prereq: 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.
CMB 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