Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics PhD

Major: Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Semester
Minimum Required Credits: 127.0 
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 26.0210
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:

About the Program

The interdisciplinary, research-oriented Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics program offers a PhD degree. The program provides a broad education-training program for graduate students interested in biomedical problems that cross disciplinary boundaries and offers the opportunity for students to choose from approximately 60 faculty members in 10 different departments/centers to pursue their research interests. Our curriculum and research activities are tailored to students’ needs and interests. Consequently, students can pursue a diverse variety of projects that range from the design and development of new therapeutic treatment strategies to the characterization of the molecular mechanisms that underlie various cellular processes and diseases. This intensive and research-oriented program provides students with opportunities to perform cutting-edge biomedical research employing multidisciplinary strategies. Upon completing these programs, students pursue careers in academic, governmental, or industrial settings.

This program is research focused, with the ultimate goal of training students to become leaders of scientific research in academics and industry. In addition to completing the curriculum requirements, PhD students must pass a preliminary exam and qualifying exam at the end of their first and second years, respectively.

Additional Information

For more information, visit the College of Medicine's Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics program website.

Admission Requirements

Drexel University College of Medicine has a rolling admissions policy, which means that complete applications are reviewed as they are received. Applicants are therefore advised to apply early, as decisions to accept or deny admission may be made before the official deadlines.

Additional Information

To learn more about applying to Drexel College of Medicine programs, visit the College of Medicine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies website.

About the Curriculum

Background courses in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and integrative biology are taken during the first academic year. In addition, every student carries out short research projects in three different laboratories during the first year. This exposure to research not only gives the student broad research training, but also helps the student to select a thesis advisor at the end of the first academic year. In the second year, the student begins thesis research and takes several advanced courses, tailored to the student’s individual interests.

The program offers a weekly seminar series with invited external and intramural speakers who address the program’s broad research interests. Journal Club members meet weekly in an informal setting to present results of interest from the current literature.

Courses Repeatable for Credit

As well as taking all required courses, MS and PhD students may re-enroll in courses having the status "repeatable for credit" (such as journal club, seminar and research courses) for the duration of their program in order to meet the total number of credits required for graduation.

Additional Information

For more information, including scheduling a plan of study, visit the College of Medicine's Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics program website.

Degree Requirements

For additional graduation requirements, refer to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies Handbook and the Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics PhD Program Policies and Procedures.

Required Courses
IDPT 500SResponsible Conduct of Research2.0
IDPT 501SBiostatistics I2.0
IDPT 502SLearn Early As Professionals I (LEAP I) 1.0
IDPT 504SLearn Early and Practice (LEAP II) 1.0
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5.0
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5.0
IDPT 600SThesis Defense9.0
MCBG 501SMCBG 1st Lab Rotation4.0
MCBG 502SMCBG 2nd Lab Rotation4.0
MCBG 503SMCBG 3rd Lab Rotation4.0
MCBG 506SAdvanced Cell Biology2.0
MCBG 512SMCBG Journal Club *9.0
MCBG 513SMolec & Cell Biology Seminar *9.0
MCBG 600SMCBG Thesis Research **63.0
Advanced Electives7.0
Select at least three Advanced Electives for a minimum of seven credits.
Experimental Approaches to Biochemical Problems
Communication for Researchers
Introduction to Biochemical Data
Advanced Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cancer Biology
Advanced Cancer Biology
Cell Cycle and Apoptosis
Immunology I
Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
Immunology II
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Experimental Therapeutics
Advanced Molecular Biology
Graduate Neuroscience I
Advanced Neuroscience
Advanced Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience
Prin of Neuropharmacology
Graduate Pharmacology
Drug Discovery and Development I
Drug Discovery and Development II
Research Methods in Pharmacology
General Electives
Teaching Practicum I
Teaching Practicum II
Teaching Practicum III
Total Credits127.0

Taken each semester with the exception of the last, when only Thesis Defense is taken.


Taken each semester starting in year 2, with the exception of the last semester when only 
Thesis Defense is taken.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
IDPT 502S1.0IDPT 501S2.0
IDPT 521S5.0IDPT 504S1.0
MCBG 501S4.0IDPT 526S5.0
MCBG 512S1.0MCBG 502S4.0
MCBG 513S1.0MCBG 503S4.0
 MCBG 506S2.0
 MCBG 512S1.0
 MCBG 513S1.0
 12 20
Second Year
IDPT 500S2.0MCBG 600S9.0
MCBG 512S1.0MCBG 512S1.0
MCBG 513S1.0MCBG 513S1.0
MCBG 600S9.0Advanced Elective3.0
Advanced Elective4.0 
 17 14
Third Year
MCBG 512S1.0MCBG 512S1.0
MCBG 513S1.0MCBG 513S1.0
MCBG 600S9.0MCBG 600S9.0
 11 11
Fourth Year
MCBG 512S1.0MCBG 512S1.0
MCBG 513S1.0MCBG 513S1.0
MCBG 600S9.0MCBG 600S9.0
 11 11
Fifth Year
MCBG 512S1.0IDPT 600S9.0
MCBG 513S1.0 
MCBG 600S9.0 
 11 9
Total Credits 127
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees