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Molecular & Cellular Biology (PHD) 
Program Description

Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biochemistry provide students with a broad range of well-funded research opportunities. These combined resources engender a multidisciplinary, interactive approach to research and education.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Molecular and Cellular Biology -

Our mission is to reveal the secrets of nature and to educate the next generation of science innovators.

We use innovative tools in our research to reveal fundamental biological processes that are common to all life on Earth. Our faculty focus on model systems that allow us to query the most basic of questions about nature, whether they be at the molecular level, at the level of a cell or organism or in development of clinical application of new human disease therapies. We have a diverse group of research interests including cancer, neurobiology, heart development and disease, plant development, evolutionary biology, cell signaling, gene expression, RNA biology, genetic networks and systems biology, and genome stability. For more details, we encourage you to browse our faculty research websites.

We offer student-centered educational experiences for undergraduate and graduate students. The Molecular and Cellular Biology faculty teach over 700 undergraduate majors. In addition, we teach courses available for general education of all students of any major. We also train masters and doctoral level students. We aim for students to develop a deep understanding of current ideas and problems in molecular and cellular biology. At the same time, we build foundational skills in logic, reasoning, self-expression and communication-skills relevant to any career. Throughout our coursework, we emphasize active learning and problem-solving skills. We encourage interdisciplinary pursuits and are committed to providing hands-on and intellectually challenging experiences in research labs. Our goal is to prepare students for creative futures in the pursuit of scientific discovery, science education, or as knowledgeable representatives of science in society.

College of Science  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Denise K Slay
Graduate Program Coordinator
Denise K Slay
Director of Graduate Studies
Joyce A Schroeder
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Christina M Inocencio
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

MCB participates in the Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences umbrella program.  The Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (ABBS) integrates recruiting and admissions for the following graduate PhD programs: Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Cancer Biology GIDP, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Drug Discovery & Development, Genetics GIDP, Immunobiology, Medical Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Physiological Sciences GIDP, and The School of Plant Sciences.  Students with interests in any of these PhD programs should apply through ABBS.  More information can be found at

Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE, TOEFL

Financial Aid

All students that matriculate are are provided full financial support.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: December 1

International Applicants:

  • Fall: December 1
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 0202, 0206, 0208, 0210
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Cell and Developmental Biology

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

36 units required (18 graded).  Required coursework: MCB 572A, MCB 546, MCB 575 (year 2), MCB 695E, One Elective course. Computational track requires two additional courses from the following: MCB 580, MCB 516A, PSIO 572.  Seminar and journal club course required every semester.

Minor Requirements

Three MCB courses are required (nine units).  One course required from this list: MCB 546, MCB 572A, MCB 580.  MCB faculty member must serve on qualifying examination committee.

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate n/a
Med. Time-to-degree (years) n/a
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 63%
Enrollment Percent Female 37%
Enrollment Percent International 11%
Enrollment Percent URM 14%

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Last revised 26 Apr 2018