Comparative and Molecular Biosciences PhD program Degree Timeline & Course Requirements

Course Requirements

Formal coursework for the Ph.D. degree varies according to the field of study, interests, and career goals of the individual graduate students. Courses may be taken in disciplines other than CMB, provided:

  • At least 12 course credits are as a registered University of Minnesota graduate student.
  • Approved transfer coursework may include a maximum of 12 graduate credits taken as a non-degree or non-admitted student.
  • Transfer of thesis credits is not allowed.
  • At least two-thirds of course credits must be taken with grades A-F.

Required First-Year Courses Credits

CMB 8100 Research Rotation in CMB 
CMB 8134 Ethical Conduct of Animal Research 
CMB 8202 Mech. of Animal Health & Disease II 
CMB 8303 Comparative Models of Disease 
CMB 5910 Grant Writing: What Makes a Winning Proposal?
A course in Biostatistics
CMB 8550 CMB Seminar Fall and Spring
CMB 8560 Research and Literature Reports

Seminar attendance is required each semester. Students must register for academic credit two times. It is expected that students will attend the seminar throughout their program.

One credit of Research and Literature Reports is required; a second credit may also be completed.

Recommended courses to fulfill biostatistics requirement credits

CMB 5200 Introductory Statistical Genetics and Genomics 
PUBH 6415 Biostatistical Methods II 
PUBH 6450 Biostatistics I 
STAT 5021 Statistical Analysis

Statistics courses other than those recommended can be used to fulfill the major requirement with the approval of the student’s advisor and thesis committee. First-year students should consult with the director of graduate studies concerning registration.

Additional 18 credits of course requirements

  • 5000- and 8000-level courses in the biological sciences
  • Certain 5000-level courses will suffice, but it is recommended that the student first consult with the director of graduate studies about course content.
  • Seminar and journal club courses do not qualify.
  • Either GRAD 8101 Teaching in Higher Education or GRAD 8200 Teaching and Learning Topics in Higher Education.

Courses to consider to meet course requirements Credits

GCD 8131 Advanced Genetics 
GCD 8121 Advanced Molecular Genetics 
GCD 8151 Cell Structure and Function 
GCD 8161 Advanced Developmental Biology 
GCD 8213 Selected Topics in Molecular Biology
MICA 8002 Structure, Function & Genetics of Bacteria & Viruses 
MICA 8003 Immunity & Immunopathology 
MICA 8004 Cellular & Cancer Biology  
CMB 5180 Ecology of Infectious Diseases 
CMB 5200 Introductory Statistical Genetics & Genomics  
CMB 8208 Neuropsycophamacology 
CMB 8335 Molecular Biology Techniques 
CMB 8344 Mechanisms of Hormone Action 
CMB 8361 Neuro-Immune Interactions 
CMB 8371 Mucosal Immunobiology 
CMB 8481 Advanced Neuropharmaceutics 

In addition, many other 5000- and 8000-level courses in Microbiology, Parasitology, Virology, Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Physiology, Pharmacology, Genetics, Anatomy, Histology, Cytology, and Pathology can be used to meet this requirement. Students are required to consult with their advisor and committee members to determine which courses are appropriate for the student’s program.

Degree Timeline

The following timeline is recommended for all PhD students in the CMB program. Completion of requirements as described will ensure that each student will progress through the program in an efficient and timely manner.

Year One

  • Begin coursework.
  • Required courses are:
    • A course in Biostatistics
    • CMB 8134 Ethical Conduct of Animal Research
    • CMB 8550 Veterinary Medicine Seminar
  • Submit graduate degree plan by end of Year One.
  • Identify thesis committee members and request approval of committee from PAC.

Year Two

  • Complete coursework.
  • Schedule first committee meeting during fall semester to discuss thesis proposal and approval of alternate proposal title and submit committee meeting report form.
  • Submit written preliminary exam to Graduate Programs Coordinator (GPC) for committee approval.
  • Schedule oral preliminary exam online with Graduate Student Services and Progress.
  • Complete preliminary oral exam before end of summer.

Year Three

Year Four

  • Complete thesis research, write and defend dissertation.
  • Schedule and complete annual committee meeting and submit committee meeting report form.
  • Request graduation packet from Graduate School Website.
  • Submit Application for Degree to Onestop.
  • Provide draft of thesis to committee (allow at least three weeks for review) and obtain signatures on thesis reviewers’ report form.
  • Provide graduate program coordinator with thesis title, date, time and location of thesis defense (two weeks prior to defense).
  • Complete final oral defense/examination online scheduling form and submit thesis reviewers’ form to GSSP (at least one week prior to defense).
  • Submit final oral examination report form to GSSP.
  • Electronically submit final thesis manuscript, instructions found here:
  • Complete exit interview with graduate program coordinator.