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Course Requirements

Graduate Program



Course Requirements

Qualifying Exam

Guidelines and Procedures

Student Travel Guidelines

Graduate Students entering CDB from the IGP or QCB program enter with 16 didactic credits from their first year of graduate school. In the second year of graduate school, students must earn 8 didactic credits, to reach a total of 24 didactic credits, before they can schedule their qualifying exam, usually at the end of their second year.

Starting in Fall 2020, CDB graduate students are required to take Effective Scientific Communication (CBIO 8310) for 3 didactic credits in the fall and Teaching Cell Biology (CBIO 8315) for 2 didactic credits in the spring. Attendance and participation in Research Exchange Seminar REx (CBIO 8339) is also required in the fall and spring semesters of the second year. In addition to these required courses, students entering CDB from the IGP or QCB must earn an additional 3 didactic credits in their second year of study from elective courses offered by CDB or by any of the programs within the BRET umbrella; electives from another science department will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Graduate Studies.

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 and need to earn another 8 didactic credits in CDB.  Additional course requirements for MSTP students in the CDB Graduate Program are provided in the MSTP Compass.

A minimum GPA of 3.0, or a B average, must be maintained by all CDB students in all formal coursework.

After earning 24 didactic credits, a student is eligible to take the 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).