Jun 19, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2020-21 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2020-21 [Archived Catalog]

Molecular and Cellular Biology - PHD

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Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular and Cellular Biology

  • MCB Plant Biology – PH6949
  • MCB Biological Sciences – PH6947
  • MCB Chemistry/Biochemistry – PH6946

College of Arts and Sciences
Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
Porter Hall 317A
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Terms of Entry: Fall (interdepartmental transfers considered Fall and Spring)

Program Overview

This is an interdisciplinary program committed to providing students with one-on-one faculty mentoring and cutting-edge scientific, education, and research opportunities in molecular and cellular biology.

The program offers the Ph.D. in a broad range of areas in molecular and cellular biology catered to student and faculty interests. A core curriculum has been developed with course offerings in MCB, Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Plant Biology, and Computer Science, with access to world-class research facilities. MCB graduate students are also eligible to earn a graduate certificate in Bioinformatics during their study at Ohio University.

The MCB doctorate is a full-time program. Normative time to completion is five academic years.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Follow professional standards of scientific inquiry and responsible conduct in their research and professional interactions.
  • Provide detailed explanations of topics within their research area of concentration.
  • Explain key concepts across the breadth of the field of molecular and cellular biology.
  • Design and perform experiments to test hypotheses, both independently and in collaborative research teams.
  • Collect, analyze and interpret results from biological data.
  • Perform statistical analysis, as necessary, to interpret datasets.
  • Write competitive research proposals.
  • Present scientific knowledge in both written and oral forms to both scientific and lay audiences.

Further Information

Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/molecular-cellular-biology/degrees

Link to Program Handbook: The Memorandum of Understanding outlining detailed processes and requirements can be found at https://www.ohio.edu/cas/molecular-cellular-biology/degrees/handbook.

Admission Requirements

Applications meeting the following criteria are reviewed for admission to the PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology program:

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in biology or related discipline
  • GPA (or equivalent) of 3.0 out of 4.0
  • For international students: Minimum TOEFL iBT score of 95 (or 260 on the Ohio University-administered TOEFL)
  • 3 letters of recommendation from current or prior professors.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vita (CV) with employment and research experience, including part-time and / or unpaid volunteer or internship experiences.
  • Personal Statement which includes: autobiographical sketch and statement of intent. 
  • A list of 2-3 MCB faculty members whose research you find especially interesting and would consider as potential mentors.
  • For students applying for AY2021-22, GRE scores are optional.

International Students

This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

Graduation Requirements

Complete 90 credit hours as follows, with no grade below a C:

MCB Core Coursework

A student is required to complete a minimum of 30 graded credit hours of graduate coursework unless he or she has previously earned an M.S. degree in a related field. A student entering the program with an earned M.S. degree is required to complete a minimum of 24 graded credit hours of graduate coursework. Courses taken in foreign languages and undergraduate courses will not count toward the graded credit hours.

The student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC) has the responsibility of determining appropriate coursework. Equivalent courses (e.g., PBIO 5160 for MCB 5160) may be approved by the DAC. Students who demonstrate competency in any required course may be exempt from that requirement, but only with the approval of the DAC chair and the MCB curriculum chair.

All students in the MCB doctoral program should complete the following courses (24 hours):

Field-Specific Requirements

MCB Chemistry/Biochemistry – PH6946

A minimum of three (3) CHEM courses at the 7000 level are required in addition to the above MCB requirements. A student may substitute 3 credits of a graded seminar series (Student must present) (ie. MCB 7410 Seminar or Chemistry Seminar) or journal club for ONE of the CHEM courses.

In addition, all graduate students in Chemistry & Biochemistry must demonstrate competency in the field of chemistry during the first year of the Ph.D. program. Students failing to meet the competency requirement during their first year of graduate study may lose their financial support until competency is demonstrated or may be removed from the program at the discretion of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Committee.

Demonstration of competency:

  • All graduate students new to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (MCB Option) will be required to take entrance examinations in Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Organic, and Physical Chemistry. The exams will be taken from the current American Chemical Society exam sequence, unless a division decides to generate and grade its own exam. The exams are offered twice during the academic year in September and January.
  • Each student must pass a total of three (3) out of five (5) entrance exams taken with scores at the 50th percentile or greater to demonstrate competence in that area. A student may take an exam a maximum of two times.
  • Alternately, competency can be demonstrated by making a grade of B or better in a 5000 level course in three of the five areas (Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Organic, and Physical). General/review courses (5000 level) in each research area are offered each fall.

MCB Biological Sciences – PH6947

In addition to the above core requirements, students are required to take one of the following:

MCB Plant Biology – PH6949

In addition to the above core requirements, students must take:

Additional Requirements

  • Students are expected to participate in Seminar (MCB 7410) each semester.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average to remain in the MCB program and to graduate. In addition, if a student receives a grade of “C+” or less in more than two courses, she/he will be terminated from the MCB program.
  • A minimum of 60 hours of dissertation research course is required.
  • A research proposal should be completed by the middle of the second year.
  • Students must pass a comprehensive examination comprising written and oral sections no later than the third year (i.e., ninth semester).
  • Students participating in the MCB program from Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, and Environmental & Plant Biology are expected to teach during at least two semesters in the program.

Culminating Experience

Students must successfully complete a research dissertation, with the intent of submitting multiple publications to peer-reviewed journals, and sucessfully defend the dissertation orally.

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