The graduate program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) is designed to provide students with diverse opportunities for acquiring a strong foundation in these areas of modern biology and applying it toward the generation of new knowledge through research.
After reviewing the information on this website, if you have further questions, please contact our Graduate Student Program Coordinator.
University and Location
The University of Colorado at Boulder is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Since its founding in 1876, the Boulder campus has grown to approximately 29,258 students, 4,548 of whom are graduate students. The campus offers courses in 150 fields of study with approximately 61 bachelor's, 47 master's, and 43 doctoral degree programs available within 10 colleges and schools. The University of Colorado system is among the leading public universities in the country in obtaining Federal research support. Research activity is also supported by appropriations from the state of Colorado, private foundations, and private donors.
The University of Colorado at Boulder is located within the heart of Boulder, nestled against the backdrop of the Flatirons, and within walking distance of downtown, which includes Pearl Street and its many eclectic and unique restaurants, shops, bookstores, and art galleries. Getting around Boulder is easy, from the miles upon miles of bike paths to the free city bus service for students.
The Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology currently has 28 full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty members and an outstanding, energetic research program directed toward understanding the molecular basis of life by integrating molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics. The research in MCDB is currently supported by annual funding of almost $17 million.
Financial Aid and NIH Training Grants
Students accepted into the graduate program are provided with financial support (full tuition, fees, and monthly stipend) during the tenure of their study, provided they are making appropriate progress toward the Ph.D. degree. Support funds are available from National Research Service Awards from the National Institutes of Health, University of Colorado Fellowships, State of Colorado Education Programs, the Colorado Institute for Research in Biotechnology, and Research Assistantships. The current annual stipend for a first-year student is $28,500. Typically, funding for first-year students comes from the required two semesters of Student Teaching Assistantships. Students are encouraged to apply for extramural predoctoral fellowships for which they may be eligible, including graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, and other external sources. Students in subsequent years are typically supported by a departmental training grant, individual fellowships, or Research Assistantships from the laboratories in which they choose to do thesis research.
How to Apply
The graduate program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) is designed to provide students with diverse opportunities for acquiring a strong foundation in these areas of modern biology and applying it toward the generation of new knowledge through research. Applications are welcomed from students with ambition, enthusiasm, and outstanding undergraduate records in the fields of biology, biochemistry, and physical sciences who are seeking a challenging graduate level program to prepare for careers in research, teaching, or public service.
Opportunity for Underrepresented Students
PhD Course of Study
All students are expected to acquire training in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell structure and function, genetics, and developmental biology, through laboratory research, course work, and teaching. Students are also expected to participate in the intellectual life of the Department through regular attendance at seminars and the weekly research talks of students and postdoctoral fellows (MMB - Mostly Molecular Biology), and by participating in journal clubs.
Advancement to the PhD Degree
Advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree requires passing all sections of the Core Curriculum with no more than one section repeated, and satisfactory completion of the Preliminary and Comprehensive Examinations. These requirements (see below) are normally met, in that order, by the end of the second year.
View our graduate level courses.
Current Students Directory
See a list of MCD Biology's current student directory.
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Join one of our Supergroups.
Graduate Student Symposium
Be sure to make time in your schedule for the Graduate Student Symposium.