The MCDN Program Year-by-Year

MCDN Program - Year 1

The first year immerses you immediately in a professional scientific environment, allowing you to take core courses and gain experience as a teaching assistant. You are expected to complete at least two lab rotations. Lab rotations are discretionary - not mandatory - for students that already hold a M.S. degree. The coursework for Year 1 is as follows:

Fall Term

BIO504 Cell Biology I 3 credits Larsen, Rangan
BIO515A Responsible Conduct and Skills in Research 1 credit Travis
BIO523 Biochemistry and Biomolecular Structure 3 credits Cunningham, Shi
BIO599A Laboratory Rotation I 3 credits  
BIO650 MCDN Graduate Research Seminar 0 credits Cunningham

Spring Term

BIO505 Cell Biology II 3 credits Chen, Forni
BIO515B Responsible Conduct and Skills in Scientific Communication 1 credit Kleppel
BIO524 Advanced Molecular Biology 3 credits Szaro
BIO599B Laboratory Rotation II 3 credits  
BIO650 MCDN Graduate Research Seminar 0 credits Cunningham

MCDN Program - Year 2

During the second year, you are required to select your permanent research adviser to develop an original and significant research program. You are also expected to keep abreast of current scientific literature through specialized courses and actively participate in student activities in your core area. You are required to take 6 credits from the available courses listed below.

All students are requested to take the following course either in the Fall or Spring semester:

BIO681 Seminar in MCDN 1 credit  

Available Courses in Biology

BIO514* Biotechnology Laboratory 2 credits Chen
BIO517A Current Literature in Forensic Biology I 1 credit TBD
BIO541* Molecular Neurobiology 3 credits Szaro
BIO547 Cellular Aspects of Neurophysiology 3 credits Scimemi

Active Courses in the University Bulletin

BIO518, GOG 518, INF 508 Ecological Modeling 3 credits Jiang
BIO519*, ANT 512 Human Population Genetics 3 credits TBD
BIO529 Molecular Virology 3 credits Pager, Wang
BIO530A** Biodiversity and Conservation: Theoretical Issues 4 credits TBD
BIO530B**, PAD 665 Biodiversity and Conservation: Policy Issues (4 credits)   Robinson, Pidgeon
BIO563*** Integrative Principles of Evolution 3 credits Wang
BIO564*** Integrative Principles of Ecology and Behavior 3 credits Turner
BIO575* Forensic Biology 3 credits TBD
BIO577* Techniques in Forensic Science 2 credits N/A
BIO600 Topics in Evolution 1-4 credits N/A
BIO601 Topics in Ecology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO602 Topics in Cell Biology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO603 Topics in Genetics and Molecular Biology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO604 Topics in Physiology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO605 Topics in Developmental Biology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO606 Topics in Parasitology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO607 Topics in Plant Biology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO608 Topics in Animal Biology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO610 Topics in Biophysics and Biochemistry 1-4 credits N/A
BIO611 Topics in Population Biology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO612 Topics in Theoretical Biology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO613 Research Techniques in Biology 1-4 credits N/A
BIO619**** Physical and Chemical Principles in RNA Biology 3 credits Fuchs, Li
BIO621** Principles and Practices of Coastal Zone Management 3 credits (every other year) Zappieri
BIO627* Courtroom Testimony for Forensic Scientists 1 credit TBD
BIO630 Topics in Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy 1 credit N/A
BIO633 Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Seminar 0 credit Davis
BIO682 Seminar in EEB 0 credit
BIO697 Graduate Research 2-12 credits  
BIO698 Internship in Forensic Biology 6 credits  
BIO699 Master's Research 2-12 credits  
BIO699C Master's Thesis Continuation 1 credit  
BIO898 Doctoral Research 3-12 credits  
BIO899 Doctoral Dissertation 1 credit  

Approved Courses in Other Departments

CHM540A and B Comprehensive Biochemistry   Chen
CHM541A and B Biophysical Chemistry for Biochemical Science   Pande
BMS606 Biology of Model Organisms    
BMS610 Microbial Pathogenesis    
BMS612 Neuroanatomy and Nervous System Disorders 3 credits Torres, Snyder-Keller
BMS640 Cellular Dynamics    
BMS663 Mammalian Molecular Genetics   Wade
BMS692**** Advanced Topics in Biomedical Sciences 1 credit TBD
  Important Notes
  For Forensics Biology (FB) Program
  For Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy (BCP) Program
  For Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) Program
  For RNA Fellows

Topics courses are scheduled occasionally.

MCDN Program - Year 3

At the end of Year 3, you need to be All But Dissertation (ABD). You are required to form your PhD committee and pass your Qualifying Exam 2 (QE2), which focuses on your own research plan for the entire PhD course.

MCDN Program - Years 4+

During the following years, you are expected to contribute to major scientific discoveries in your field of expertise, apply for fellowships, present your work at conferences and, if applicable, fulfill your TA assignments.

MCDN Program - After Graduation

After graduation you will be prepared to pursue a successful career in a variety of fields: research, academia, industry, government or other areas.