Overview (11 total credits required)
Eleven credits of coursework total, not including 990 research credits, are required to complete the CMB course requirements. One course must be taken from the “core” list of molecular biology courses and one course must be taken from the “core” list of cell biology courses. The remaining credits can come from either the “core” or “elective” list of classes to bring the total number of credits to ten. In addition, one credit must be fulfilled through a required ethics course. All CMB course requirements must be completed by the end of the student’s second year, before completing the Preliminary Exam and obtaining dissertator status. A list of CMB course descriptions can be found in the Core Curriculum and Elective Courses sections of the CMB Handbook (below). Syllabi for some courses as well as a link to course recommendations can be found in the Student Resources Box folder (only accessible by CMB students).
Course Requirements (10 credits required)
- Two courses must be from the CMB Core Curriculum, with one course coming from the molecular biology list AND one course coming from the cell biology course list
- Elective course credits may be from either the Core Curriculum OR Elective Courses lists (10 total credits of coursework are required, not including the ethics course)
- Exception: MD/PhD students are only required to take 3 credits from the Core Curriculum or the Elective Courses list
- For a list of courses, see the Core Curriculum and Elective Courses sections of the CMB Handbook
- Any request to count alternate coursework towards the CMB coursework must be reviewed and approved by the CMB Curriculum Chair prior to taking the course.
- The course should be at the graduate level, in the 500-699 range.
- The course learning objectives should align with the CMB learning objectives and should provide rigorous training in cell biology and/or molecular biology.
- Assessment of student learning should be conducted using rigorous methods such as quizzes, exams, and revised writing and projects based on feedback. Courses that grade based on attendance and participation alone, or are graded “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” will not be approved.
Ethics Course Requirement (1 credit required; 3 options)
- Option 1: Oncology 715: Ethics in Science (1-credit course offered in the spring). If you plan to take this course, contact Jenny Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the waitlist (she’ll need to know your name, student ID number, and that you are in the CMB Program).
- Option 2: Surgical Sciences 812: Research Ethics and Career Development (2-credit course offered in the fall).
- Option 3: Biochemistry 729: Responsible Conduct of Research (Section 8) (1-3 credit course offered in the fall).
- Exception: MD/PhD students are not required to take an ethics course because they received this training in their MD courses.
- Students are encouraged to take another ethics class around year 5 and may be required to do so for their individual fellowship.
- Any request to take an alternate ethics course will be reviewed by the CMB Curriculum Chair on an individual basis
Graduate School Academic Guidelines
In order for a PhD degree to be awarded, the Graduate School requires:
- A minimum of 51 credits taken in graduate level courses: 11 of these will satisfy CMB course requirements and the remaining credits can be 990 research credits
- Maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 in all graduate-level coursework (https://grad.wisc.edu/documents/gpa-requirement/)
- Courses with grades of “P” (Progress) count toward the credit requirements only if they are research credits
- Courses taken pass/fail, audited, or with grades of “D” or “F” will not be counted toward Graduate School credits
- A student may be placed on probation or suspended from the Graduate School for unsatisfactory grades
- For more information, see the Graduate School Academic Policies and Procedures website
Minor Overlap Policy
The CMB Program does not require a minor. The program encourages students to focus on the CMB curriculum and their research, but also recognizes that pursuing a minor may help some students reach their goals in the program. For students who pursue a minor, courses counting towards the CMB curriculum cannot also be counted towards the minor. Students should also check with the minor department on their requirements.