UCR Students

Ph.D. Degree

The Ph.D. Degree Program

The interdepartmental CMDB program offers a path toward a Ph.D. with a 5.5-year average time to achieve the degree.


The Doctoral Degree by the Numbers

  1. During the first two years of the Ph.D. track, CMDB students take courses and initiate their dissertation research.
  2. After the course requirements have been met and the student passes the written and oral qualifying examinations, which include intensive coverage of the area of research specialization, the student advances to candidacy for the PhD.
  3. The student then completes the research and submits a written dissertation to his or her faculty Dissertation Committee.
  4. Finally, the student presents a public lecture describing the dissertation research.

Academic Program Requirements

Ph.D. students in our program are required to take a set of core courses in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology.

This core provides students with great flexibility within these disciplines.

Each new student meets with his or her graduate advisor to discuss the most appropriate course of study.

Ph.D. students are required to take CMDB 203 - Advanced Genetic Analysis in Model Organisms and one course from each core area:
  • Cell Biology Core
    CMDB 200 - Cell Biology
    BPSC 237 - Plant Cell Biology
    NRSC 200A/PSYC 200A - Fundamentals of Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology Core
    CMDB 201 - Molecular Biology
    BCH 211 - Molecular Biochemistry
    BPSC 231/BCH 231 - The Plant Genome
    BMSC 202 - Molecular Basis of Disease
    NRSC 200B/PSYC 200B - Fundamentals of Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology Core
    CMDB 202 - Developmental Biology
    BPSC 232/BIOL 232 - Plant Development
  • Seminars and Symposia
    All students are required to enroll in the CMDB Program Seminar (257) each time it is offered.

Other Requirements

Doctoral Degree Students
  • Enroll in one graduate course in cell, molecular, and developmental biology (see above), and in one additional graduate course chosen from a menu of over 40 courses.
  • Enroll in at least one graduate seminar courses in cell, molecular or developmental biology (two courses from CMDB 281 or BPSC 240 or NRSC 289)
  • Enroll in the in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology Seminar (CMDB-257) each time it is offered.
  • Undertake a research project leading to a dissertation
  • Serve as a Teaching Assistant for two quarters



CMDB Courses


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