Cell, Molecular and Structural Biology (CMSB)- M.S., Ph.D.

For information, contact:
Chair of CMSB Admission Committee
Department of Biology
212 Pearson Hall, 513-529-3100

Cell, Molecular and Structural Biology is a multi-disciplinary program that seeks to identify and understand the molecules that collectively form the basis of all life.

Program Requirements

Areas of Study
Select one course from two of the three following areas: 16-7
Fundamentals of Biochemistry
Cell Biology:
Molecular Physiology
Advanced Cell Biology
Molecular Biology:
Molecular Biology
Advanced Molecular Biology
Structural Biology
Select one of the following:2-4
Theory of Electron Microscopy
and Scanning Electron Microscopy Laboratory
Transmission Electron Microscopy Laboratory
Bioinformatics Computing Skills
Advanced Experimental Techniques in Structural and Functional Genomics
Bioinformatics Principles
Protein X-Ray Crystallography
Intro to EPR Methods/Instrumnt
Seminar Requirements
BIO/CHM/MBI 650Seminar in Molecular Biology 21
BIO 601Seminar for Graduate Students1

One course must be at the 600 level.


One semester for M.S., three semesters for Ph.D.

Additional course work appropriate to student's area of interest will be determined by student's dissertation/thesis committee in accordance with Graduate School requirements.

Dissertation/Thesis Committee

The student, in consultation with his/her advisor, will set up a thesis committee (M.S.) by the end of the spring semester in the program or a dissertation committee (Ph.D.) by the end of the third semester in the program. These committees must be approved by the CMSB Director and the Graduate School.

M.S. Thesis Committee: Advisor and two other faculty members participating in the CMSB Program (total = 3).

Ph.D. Dissertation Committee: Advisor, at least three other faculty members from the CMSB Program, plus one additional faculty member who is not from the student's host department to serve as the Graduate School representative (total = 5).

Comprehensive Examination

M.S. - none

Ph.D. - written grant proposal on topic not related to dissertation work followed by oral defense of the proposal. Both written and oral components of the exam must be passed. The comprehensive examination should be completed by the end of the fifth semester in residence.

Thesis or Dissertation Proposal

Each student will present and defend a thesis or dissertation proposal to his/her thesis or dissertation committee. This should be done by the end of the third semester (M.S. students) or the end of the sixth semester (Ph.D. students) in residence.

Other Requirements

CMSB students will be expected to participate in pedagogy training prior to assuming their teaching duties. Students teaching Chemistry laboratories will attend training offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Students teaching BIO 115/BIO 116 MBI 115/MBI 116 laboratories will attend pedagogy training offered by one of the biological sciences departments. The CMSB Director, in consultation with participating departmental Graduate Advisory Committees, will assign CMSB students to appropriate departmental pedagogy training. CMSB students will also be expected to serve on CMSB and host department committees and otherwise participate in activities required of graduate students from the host department.

This structure will provide the necessary flexibility for an interdisciplinary program. The dissertation committee will be responsible for helping the student select courses that will appropriately train the student in the broad area of Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology, with the specialization required for their particular research area. The committee will also administer the comprehensive examination for Ph.D. students, give guidance for thesis or dissertation research, and will be responsible for conducting the thesis or dissertation defense.