Back to NYMC Home

Cell Biology & Anatomy - Doctor of Philosophy

Departmental Contacts
Graduate Programs
Master of Science
Doctor of Philosophy
Course Descriptions
2-Photon Microscopy Facility
Body Bequeathal Program
Alumni Gross Anatomy Lab

Specific Program Requirements (Hegis Code 0412)

An average grade of “B” (GPA = 3.00 or better) must be maintained in the required core curriculum. Elective courses are selected, based upon the student’s interests, in consultation with the graduate program director and research sponsor. For example, Neural Science (BMS 1410) is usually taken by students interested in pursuing research in this field. To gain teaching experience, students must assist in teaching for one semester in a departmental course.

To become familiar with on-going research projects, students attend “Work in Progress” seminars given by faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Participation in weekly Journal Club (CELL 8010) and Research Seminar (CELL 8020) sessions is also required in all years of residence, but only 2 credits for each course may be counted toward the degree requirements. During their first year, students undertake at least two research rotations in different laboratories to gain an appreciation of different areas and strategies of investigation and to determine a suitable dissertation advisor. Research activity is an important component of the program throughout the student’s tenure.

Required Core Courses
Histology Cell Biology (CELL 1420) OR Neural Science (BMS 1410) 6 - 8 credits
Cell Biology (CELL 1360) 3 credits
General Biochemistry I and II (BIOC 1010, 1020) 8 credits
Biochemistry of Gene Expression (BIOC 1250) 4 credits

Other Required Courses
Introduction to Research in Cell Biology & Neurosciences (CELL 9110) 4 credits
Statistics for Basic Medical Sciences (BMS 1200) 2 credits
Journal Club (CELL 8010) 2 credits
Research Seminar (CELL 8020) 2 credits
Teaching Assistance (CELL 8310, 8320 or 8330) 2 credits

10 - 12 credits

Subtotal, course credits
45 credits
Doctoral Dissertation Research (CELL 9900) 15 research credits

60 credits

M.D./Ph.D. Candidates

Students in the M.D./Ph.D. program seeking their Ph.D. in Cell Biology are required to pass, as core courses, both Cell Biology (CELL 1360) and Biochemistry of Gene Expression (BIOC 1250). Journal Club (CELL 8010) and Research Seminar (CELL 8020) are required during each year of enrollment in the Ph.D. program. Students may elect to take additional courses offered in the department or other departments. A “B” average (GPA = 3.00 or better) must be maintained for the specified core courses as well as for all graduate courses. M.D./Ph.D. candidates must also pass the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination.

Qualifying Examination

Following completion of the required core courses, laboratory rotations and the teaching requirement, students take the Qualifying Examination. Usually, these requirements are completed by the end of the second year of the program, by which time the student has chosen a sponsor.

The Qualifying Examination consists of two parts. Part I (Preliminary Exam) consists of essay questions on topics related to the student's projected research interests. In Part II, which usually occurs 6-8 weeks following the successful completion of Part I, the student prepares a research proposal in grant application format on a topic different from the projected thesis research and presents the topic in a seminar to members of the examining committee and the department. The examining committee is made up of three to four members of the Cell Biology and Anatomy faculty and one faculty member from another program.


The student is eligible to enter doctoral candidacy after successful completion of both parts of the Qualifying Exam, the accumulation of at least 30 didactic credits including all the core and other required courses, and the recommendation of the program faculty. M.D./Ph.D. students are eligible for candidacy under the same conditions except that the credit requirement consists only of the required core graduate courses.

Dissertation Committee

The dissertation committee consists of at least five individuals including the student’s sponsor, at least three members of the Cell Biology and Anatomy faculty, a faculty member from another program, and a member from another academic institution. The Committee is chaired by a member other than the student’s sponsor.


Search | Intranet | Email | Contact NYMC | Site Index | Home