The ABBS program integrates recruiting and admissions for ten PhD degree-granting programs: Biochemistry or Molecular and Cellular Biology (BMCB), Cancer Biology GIDP (CBIO), Cellular & Molecular Medicine (CMM), Drug Discovery and Development (DDD), Genetics GIDP (GENE), Immunobiology (IMB), Medical Pharmacology (PCOL), Pharmacology and Toxicology (PHCL), Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics (PHSC), Physiological Sciences GIDP (PS) and the School of Plant Sciences (PLS).
Students are admitted to ABBS with no formal commitment to any of the participating degree- granting programs. All students perform three laboratory rotations (two in fall and one in spring) during the first year. Students are free to complete these rotations with any faculty member associated with the participating programs. This provides maximum flexibility for students to explore diverse fields of study. Students with identified goals can focus immediately on a particular research area and program.
Upon completion of the third rotation (approximately nine weeks into the spring semester), students will select a faculty mentor and transition from ABBS to the degree-granting program associated with their faculty mentor. Students can also learn about the ABBS program by going to our website: https://abbs.arizona.edu.
University of Arizona - Main - Tucson
The following items are required to complete your application: Statement of Purpose, transcripts from all colleges and/or universities you have attended, and 3 letters of recommendation. All required documents must be uploaded electronically to your application; no paper copies will be accepted during the application process.
**Our campus is taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. You can find response and mitigation information here: https://covid.arizona.edu/. Please be aware that all our admitted students are hired and funded as a Graduate Assistants and are thus required to comply with the employee vaccine requirement or provide documentation of a religious or disability/medical accommodation. You can read more about the requirement here: https://hr.arizona.edu/content/employee-covid-19-vaccine-requirement.**
The GRE is no longer required for admission to the ABBS program.
For any international applicant not born into an English speaking country, proof of English proficiency is required from at least one of the accepted tests found below. Tests must be dated within two years of enrollment term to be considered valid. The following are acceptable English proficiency credentials:
You can find more information about exceptions for international applicants here on the University of Arizona's Graduate College page. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
All students admitted to the program are provided full financial support which includes: annual stipend, paid tuition, and individual student health insurance. Financial support is provided by the ABBS Program for the first one and a half semesters. By the middle of the spring semester (after three laboratory rotations), all students are expected to select a faculty mentor who will then provide support for the remainder of their graduate career, assuming satisfactory academic progress.
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Grad 696c ABBS Student Forum, 1 unit
MCB 972 Independent Study, 2 units
Students in the this program are required to complete the ABBS forum class, Grad 696c, that is designed to support students in their professional and personal growth as they start their graduate school journey. Students must also complete the rotation course three times, MCB 972. This is to account for the three laboratory rotations students complete to explore labs and get a feeling for the best fitting lab to join for their dissertation.
In addition to the core requirements of the ABBS program, students will enroll in four core courses from the program of their choice, two journal clubs, and two seminars between their first and second semester in the ABBS program. Examples of the classes are listed below.
12 units selected from:
BIOC 565 Proteins and Enzymes, 3 units
CBIO 552 Cancer Biology, 4 units
CBIO/PCOL 630B Cellular Communications and Signal Transduction, 3 units
CHEM 550 Synthetic and Mechanistic Organic Chemistry, 3 units
CMM 577 Principles of Cell Biology, 4 units
ECOL 553 Functional and Evolutionary Genomics, 4 units
EPID 576A Biostatistics in Public Health, 3 units
IMB 548 Basic and Advanced Immunology, 3 units
MCB 572A Cell Systems, 4 units
MCB 580 Introduction to Systems Biology, 3 units
NRSC 588 Principles of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 4 units
PCOL 601a Epigenetics in Development and Disease, 2 units
CMM 518 Fundamental Genetics Mechanisms: from Molecules to Genoems, 2 units
PCOL/PHSC 530 Proteins and Nucleic Acids as Drug Targets, 3 units
GENE 670 Recent Advances in Genetics 2 units
PLS 539 Methods in Cell Biology and Genomics, 3 units
PLS 540 Mechanisms in Plant Development, 3 units
PLS 548A Plant Biochemistry and Metabolic Engineering, 3 units
PLS 560 Advanced Plant Biology, 4 units
PLS 580 Medicinal Plants, 3 units
PLS 583 Controlled Environment Systems, 3 units
PLP 527R General Mycology, 3 units
PSIO 503 Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 6 units
PSIO 572 Quantitative Modeling of Biological Systems, 3 units
4 units selected from:
BIOC 595B Journal Club, 1 unit
BIOC 696D Seminar in Biochemistry, 1 unit
CBIO 595A Journal club: Oncogenes and Signal Transduction, 1 unit
CBIO596h Cancer Biology Seminar Series, 1 unit
CMM 595A Journal Club, 1 unit
CMM 696A Seminar, 1 unit
GENE 670 Recent Advances in Genetics, 2 unit
IMB595A Journal Club, 1 unit
IMB696A Research Seminar, 1 unit
IMB 696B Trainee Seminar, 1 unit
MCB 595 MCB Journal Club, 1 unit
MCB 596 MCB Seminar, 1 unit
PCOL 696a Seminar, 1 unit
PHSC 596a DDD Seminar, 1 unit
PLS/PLP 596A Plant Sciences Seminar, 1 unit
PLS 695A Plant Sciences Journal Club, 1 unit
PS 696C Physiology Student Forum, 1 unit
PSIO 696A Physiology Seminar, 1 unit
While students in this program do not earn a degree, the courses they take during this year long program are building towards the requirements of the program they will choose to major and earn their PhD in. The courses specific requirements of the 10 ABBS programs differ, so we encourage each of our students to work with individual program advisors to determine the best selection of courses.
There are no additional requirements that are not already listed above.
Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.