The Program in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Virginia offers comprehensive graduate training in modern biological sciences, emphasizing cellular, molecular, and developmental biology. The program provides the widest possible choice of mentors and, hence, research areas, and an individually-tailored academic program for each graduate student, on the assumption that the best biological scientists have a broad knowledge of cell and molecular biology, as well as a thorough understanding of a particular research area.
The program involves a large, diverse, and outstanding faculty of more than 75 members from eight basic science departments and programs: Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Biology, Biophysics, Microbiology, Neurosciences, Pharmacology, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics. The research interests of the faculty span the spectrum of modern cell and molecular biology, from studies on the intricate structure of biological molecules to the complex unfolding of developmental pathways in multicellular organisms. Cell and molecular biology faculty members teach courses individually or collectively through a core curriculum as well as under the auspices of individual departments. The Program and participating departments host journal and research clubs relating to specialized research areas. Seminars given by outside speakers are offered throughout the school year by the Program in Cell and Molecular Biology and by individual departments and programs.
The Graduate Program
Prospective students should apply for admission through one of the Biomedical Sciences graduate groups. Students participating in the Cell and Molecular Biology program are selected from those Biomedical Sciences graduate students who have chosen a Ph.D. advisor and completed at least the first year of graduate courses and training. With variations to fit research inclinations, the student will obtain the necessary breadth in aspects of biology, chemistry, or mathematics. While flexible, the course work usually includes genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry. A recommended core of courses includes:
Other Course Work
Other first-year course work could include genetics, physical chemistry, developmental biology, immunology, pharmacology, neurosciences, or computer sciences. Qualifying examinations include written examinations, oral research proposals, or both, depending upon the particular department.
In addition to formal course work and informal laboratory research discussions, graduate students are encouraged to attend a variety of special seminars given by visiting speakers. The seminar programs provide knowledge in every area of modern biological science, and are an integral part of the general education of a research scientist.
Admission Policies and Procedures
Please see the Program in Biomedical Sciences.