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Course Requirements

Graduate Program


Course Requirements

Qualifying Exam

Guidelines and Procedures


For students entering the Cell and Developmental Biology department from the MSTP program, the Graduate School permits a transfer of up to 48 credit hours for the first two years of medical school, toward a total of the 72 total required hours for a Ph.D. degree. Incoming MSTP students begin their G1 year with the equivalent of 16 didactic credits toward the requirement of 24 didactic hours.

Starting the next fall semester, CDB graduate students take Cell Biology (CBIO 8310) (see chart below). Attendance and participation in two departmental seminar series,  Seminar in Cell Biology (CBIO 8330) and Research Seminar REx (CBIO 8339) are also required in the fall and spring semesters.  In addition to these courses, students entering CDB from the IGP must earn an additional 4 didactic credits in their second year of study from elective courses offered by any department.  Additional course requirements for MSTP students in the CDB Graduate Program are provided in the MSTP Handbook. A minimum GPA of 3.0, or a B average, must be maintained by all CDB students in all formal course work.

After earning 24 didactic credits, students are eligible to take their qualifying examination.

Detailed information about earning a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology can be found in the CDB Graduate Program guidelines and procedures.

Additional information about graduate study at Vanderbilt can be obtained from the Vanderbilt Graduate School and the Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET).

Total Credits Didactic Credits
Year 1 – IGP – Bioregulation 16 16
Year 1 Summer Semester
CBIO-GS 8999 – PhD Dissertation Research 12
Year 2 Fall Semester
CBIO-GS 8310 – Effective Scientific Communication 3 3
CBIO-GS 8311 Contemporary Technologies and Approaches 1 1
CBIO-GS 8339 Research Seminar (REx) 1
CBIO-GS 8999 – PhD Dissertation Research 7
Year 2 – Spring Semester
CBIO-GS 8339 – Research Seminar (REx) 1
Electives 4 4
CBIO-GS 8999 – PhD Dissertation Research 7
Total Credits at End of Year 52 24
Year 3 and 4 – CBIO 8999/9999 @ 12 credits/semester 20
Total Credits Needed for Graduation 72 24