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Prospective Students

Welcome to the website for prospective Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics (MPB) graduate students.

The majority of our students enter MPB via one of three programs:

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program
Quantitative & Chemical Biology Program
Medical Scientist Training Program

Each of these programs, including the application process, is described at length on their respective sites.  Briefly, they all involve core coursework and rotations through laboratories of the students’ choice within 11 Vanderbilt basic science departments/programs. After completing rotations, students choose a laboratory and department.  MPB is one of the departments that can be chosen through each of the 3 “umbrella” programs.

As apparent from their profiles (which can be found by clicking here), the research interests of the primary and secondary MPB faculty are overlapping but broad. As a result their students belong to one of the following graduate programs:

Cell and Developmental Biology

Chemical and Physical Biology

Human Genetics

Medicine (the Medical Scientist Training Program)

Molecular Physiology & Biophysics (MPB)



The vast majority of students in the laboratories of primary and secondary MPB faculty are associated with the MPB Graduate Program. This is a significant factor in creating a vibrant atmosphere in the department because most of the graduate students in our department interact on a regular basis at MPB graduate program events. The students who are in the laboratories of MPB faculty but who do not belong to the MPB Graduate Program still interact on a regular basis with students in the MPB Graduate Program at our Monday seminar series and departmental retreat.

Students, typically already having a Master’s degree, may also be directly admitted to the MPB graduate program. Direct admits are arranged with a specific MPB faculty member, and must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Education Committee, and the Department Chair.

Further information about the MPB Graduate Program can be found under the link titled “Information for Current Students”. We hope you will find all of the information you need on these pages; however, please do not hesitate to contact our Director of Graduate Studies, Richard O’Brien if you have any questions.