Program Information

Overview

Graduate study in molecular and cell biology and biochemistry at Brown University leads to the Ph.D. degree. This program of study is directed toward understanding the biological systems of both plants and animals, as well as the scientific approaches used to make new contributions to our understanding of the biomedical field. The Program offers a broad integrative approach towards these understandings. Students will also benefit from their interactions with members of other programs and departments within the University, especially the graduate programs in Neuroscience, Pathobiology, and Chemistry.

An individual program is designed to meet each student's needs and interests while providing a firm foundation in the broad research front encompassing cell, developmental, systems and molecular biology, genomics, proteomics and biochemistry.

Full funding via fellowship, teaching assistantship and research assistantship is available for those admitted to the PhD program. Applications must be submitted to the Graduate School by January 6. 

Basic Degree Requirements 

Brown University requires a minimum of 24 tuition credits for the PhD degree, of which a maximum of eight can be transferred from other institutions. Students are also expected to participate in academic activities such as the Colloquia, Research Seminars, and Journal Clubs.

Within the Program, the major requirements for the PhD are:

  1. Completion of a program of courses covering core areas of required expertise
  2. Demonstration of proficiency in teaching
  3. Synthesis of a core body of knowledge, evaluated via written examination
  4. Demonstration of readiness to undertake original research, via oral presentation and defense of a written dissertation proposal (oral exam)
  5. Completion and oral defense of a dissertation that makes an original contribution in the chosen field of study.

The methods for meeting these requirements may differ depending on the individual program of study.

In each of the first three semesters, students will register for 4 tuition credits through a combination of coursework and graduate research. Beyond the first three semesters, students will fulfill this requirement primarily through their independent dissertation research, but students may also continue to register for courses that are related to their training throughout their time at Brown.

The student, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, will design an individualized curriculum, tailored to his or her unique interests. 

Program Description

The Brown University Graduate Program in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry (MCB) was organized in 1976 to bring together faculty who recognize the emergence of common conceptual and experimental aspects of investigation in experimental and computational biology.

MCB is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental Program that offers students of superior ability and motivation excellent preparation for a career that includes research in biological and medical sciences. The Program is designed to provide students with training in research that is tailored specifically to their interests. Entering students may choose from two curricular tracks. The MCB track provides advanced training in cell, developmental, and molecular biology and biochemistry while the FCG track provides advanced training in genetics, genomics and systems biology. Students with extensive training in computational approaches but limited biological training at the undergraduate level may also choose to apply to a collaborative graduate program offered through the Center for Computational Molecular Biology at Brown University.

The multidepartmental graduate program in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry (MCB) has held a predoctoral training grant from NIH for more than 29 years.

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