Brief Program Overview

The CMB Ph.D. program trains students to:

  • Become scholars in their field
  • Conduct hypothesis-based research in an ethically responsible manner
  • Think independently, creatively, and critically
  • Effectively communicate as teachers, researchers, and scholars

The curriculum of the Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences program is designed to give students fundamental and applied skills to prepare them for future positions in scientific research and related fields. The core curriculum includes coursework in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, ethics, data analysis and presentation. Students also enhance their writing skills through a grant-writing course and improve their presentation skills through participation in the CMB Seminar Program and teaching opportunities. During the first year, CMB students conduct three research rotations with potential advisors, while taking the required core course work in Cell Biology and Biochemistry. Students complete their core course requirements and comprehensive exam in year two.


A $28,500 stipend and health insurance coverage are guaranteed for all CMB students in good standing with the program for the duration of their dissertation studies. During the first two years, CMB Students are funded on a Graduate Teaching Assistantship. Each student assists with teaching an undergraduate course or lab for two semesters during this time period. In the third year and beyond, students are guaranteed funding provided that they are making satisfactory progress towards their degree. This funding is provided by the advisor and/or department, typically through a research grant or fellowship.

Application Review Process

Our application process begins with submission of a completed application to the Graduate College which includes three letters of recommendation, all higher education transcripts, TOEFL scores (if not a native English speaker) and the associated application fee. The CMB Recruitment and Admissions Committee will review completed applications for appropriate qualifications, skills, knowledge and motivation. Decisions will be based on a variety of criteria, including: undergraduate GPA, letters of reference, statement of purpose, educational background as demonstrated on all transcripts and an interview (Skype, phone, or on-campus).Competitive international applicants will be interviewed by telephone or Skype.

Competitive domestic applicants will be invited to visit campus for interviews on one of the following dates in 2019: January 11th-12th and January 25th-26th. This weekend stay provides ample opportunities for potential students to interact with faculty and current students, as well as learn about Burlington and the surrounding area.

For more information regarding the official application process see our Graduate Admissions page.