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). Sixty-one faculty members who come primarily from the Departments of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, offer 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 four training tracks:

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, start a new application, scroll down to the MCD track under the Program in Biomedical Science and Engineering, and select the "PhD" program link.

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, start a new application, scroll down to the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, and select the "MA" program link.

Detailed descriptions of courses and other requirements can be reviewed in the 2016-2017 MCDB Graduate Handbook


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