Molecular Biosciences

Joint Graduate Program in Cell & Developmental Biology

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The graduate program in Cell and Developmental Biology (CDB) offers both PhD and MS degrees and is part of a diverse, interactive community of biological scientists working at Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The graduate program has approximately 130 faculty members from the two universities with research that spans the broad fields of molecular biology, cell biology, cancer biology, genetics, neurobiology, and developmental biology. Researchers draw upon diverse experimental systems ranging from tissue culture, invertebrates, and humans. The goal of the program is to provide a challenging and rewarding environment in which students can develop fully their research skills for future careers in academia or in biotech/pharma.

Applicants for the Ph.D. are admitted through an umbrella program, the Graduate Programs in Molecular Biosciences, which consists of five graduate programs and manages admissions and first year courses for Ph.D. students (see listing for MBS in this catalog). Applicants to the M.S. program apply directed to the CDB Graduate Program.

The PhD requirements include a set of first-year core courses, encompassing a broad range of biological topics. In addition, a series of seminar courses designed to enhance critical thinking and experimental design are incorporated into the first year curriculum. At the end of the first year and going forward, students are required to conduct laboratory research, pass parts I and II of the qualifying examination, and write and defend a research dissertation. All Ph.D. students will receive a competitive stipend, health benefits, and tuition remission for the duration of their graduate studies, provided that academic standards are met and progress towards a Ph.D. is maintained.

The MS requirements include a minimum of 30 credits. Students may select either a research thesis or non-research thesis option of study. All students must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better to remain in the program.

Application deadline for the Ph.D. is December 1st and the deadline for the M.S. program is April 1st.


As a result of The New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act effective July 1, 2013, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, formerly affiliated with UMDNJ, became part of Rutgers.

Learn more about the new Rutgers