Ph.D. Curriculum

CMB Program Requirements

CMB Ph.D. student training programs are individually developed according to the student's research program and scientific interests. A typical  Ph.D. timeline in CMB is as follows: 

1st-Year PIBS/MSTP Student in Rotation Year (PIBS Pre-Candidate) 

  • Lab rotations (at least 2; additional possible) - from Summer before to end of academic year
  • PIBS and core coursework - Fall & Winter semesters
  • Training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) - Fall semester (PIBS 503)
  • Selection of dissertation advisor - by end of academic year
  • Student seminar (CMB 850) if interested in CMB - Fall and/or Winter semester
  • For the most recent PIBS curriculum and rotation information, visit the PIBS website.

2nd-Year/G1 MSTP (CMB Pre-Candidate; First Year as a CMB Student)

  • Core coursework - finish by Fall semester (before prelim exams in Winter)
  • Student seminar (CMB 850) - attend throughout graduate training
  • Presentation of first seminar for CMB 850 - by end of 2nd year
  • Short course (CMB 630) - may begin taking short courses (4 required before defense)
  • Preliminary exam - Winter of 2nd year
  • Advancement to candidacy - end of 2nd year, once passing oral/written prelim exam
  • Assembly of dissertation committee - immediately after passing prelim exam
  • Attend CMB dissertation defenses - attend 4 per academic year

3rd Year and Later/G2+ MSTP - (CMB Candidate)

  • Dissertation committee meetings - by 6 months after candidacy, every 6 months thereafter
  • Student seminar (CMB 850) - attend throughout graduate training
  • Short courses (CMB 630) - at least 4 required before defending
  • Teaching (one term) - typically during 3rd and 4th year
  • Attend dissertation defenses - attend 4 per academic year
  • Write and defend dissertation, complete Ph.D. requirements - with target of end of 5th year/MSTP G4.
    (CMB Average Time to Degree: 5.5 years - PIBS)

More details are available in the CMB Handbook or the CMB Candidate Timeline.

For MSTP fellows, CMB recognizes the contribution of some medical school coursework to their graduate education and individualizes their curricula accordingly.