Graduate Program

Former MCD Biology graduate student Laura Gaydos is continuing her career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.

Ph.D. Program: The Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology participates in the graduate Program in Biomedical Science and Engineering (PBSE). Forty five faculty from four departments participate in PBSE, together offering an unusual breadth of expertise and exceptional opportunities in interdisciplinary graduate research training. When students apply to the PBSE they indicate interest in one of three training tracks: Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology (MCD Track), Mechanistic, Structural and Chemical Biology (MSCB Track) or Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB Track). Each of the tracks provides a set of focused core courses and advanced electives that draw on the expertise of the PBSE faculty and provide students with advanced training in interdiscipinary approaches to biomedical science and engineering. During the first year, students do research rotations in the labs of three PBSE faculty members. Interdisciplinary rotations are encouraged. The MCD track has an excellent training record and is supported by a National Institutes of Health Training Grant. Former graduate students have obtained faculty positions at prominent academic institutions such as Harvard Medical School, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Texas, as well as at top tier biotechnology firms, such as Affymetrix.

To apply, access UCSC's online application system and open the link to the Program in Biomedical Science and Engineering and select the MCD Track.

Master's Program: The MCD department also accepts applications from students interested in obtaining a Masters degree. This is typically a two year program carried out under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Students interested in a Masters degree are encouraged to directly contact faculty members with whom they would like to work before applying, although this is not required. To apply, access the online application system, open the link to the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, and indicate interest in the Masters program.


Programs for Underrepresented Groups:  Our program is firmly committed to furthering the careers of women and underrepresented minorities in biomedical science, and is closely affiliated with UCSC's highly successful Minority Access to Biomedical Research Careers.

Financial Support: The National Institutes of Health recognized the quality of the MCD training program and its students by awarding an NIH T-32 Training Grant. The program was also awarded a collaborative training grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to support research trainees in the area of stem cell biology.  The department also has abundant sources of Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships available to support all of our graduate students.  Support levels are competitive with other graduate programs in the Bay Area.

See Also