Cell and Developmental Biology (PhD) Program
Message From the Director
Brian Link, PhD
Professor of Cell Biology, Neurobiology, & Anatomy
Director, Graduate Program in Cell & Developmental Biology
The Graduate Program in Cell & Developmental Biology provides outstanding doctoral level training in research to understand the fundamental unit of life, the cell. Research groups in CDB study diverse aspects of cellular science including regulation of cellular differentiation, the molecular basis of regeneration, how neurons sense their environment, the intricacies of signal transduction, and the mechanisms of disease pathology. The Faculty of CDB are committed to excellence in research, education, and career development. We are very proud of our students, post-doctoral fellows, and staff who provide the foundation of a very strong scholarly culture. Please consider joining us – it is such an exciting time to be a cell biologist!
Cell and Developmental Biology
About the Program
The Graduate Program in Cell and Developmental Biology (PDF) provides doctoral research training in cell and developmental biology and the neurosciences. Students are prepared through formal coursework, independent readings, seminars, journal clubs and faculty-supervised research for careers of scientific research in academia and industry.
Our current research strengths are in cellular and molecular mechanisms in developmental biology and neurobiology which employ genetic approaches offered by mice, zebrafish and stem cells. The developmental biology focus is on differentiation and specification in heart, liver, muscle and the nervous system. The neuroscience strengths include pain mechanisms, circadian rhythms, mitochondrial gene expression, color vision, sleep, muscle atrophy, and neuronal development and plasticity.
Our departmental and institutional facilities offer state-of-the art equipment for molecular-to-organism approaches to research problems and hands-on experience with modern cutting-edge technology, including automated protein and DNA sequencing. An imaging core and an electron microscopy service facility offer laser confocal microscopy and high resolution transmission imaging. The College supports medical imaging facilities equipped for scanning brain function (fMRI).
Those interested in pursuing education and research within the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy should pursue admission through either the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences (IDP) and/or Neuroscience Doctoral Program (NDP) as well as the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD).
A Bachelor’s degree (either completed or in the process of completing) is required for admission to any MCW graduate program. Applicants will ideally have a 3.0 or higher grade point average (GPA), as well as quantitative and verbal reasoning GRE scores at or above the 50th percentile (3.5 or higher writing score). Personal statements and letters of recommendation from professors, advisors, and research supervisors. who know you well are highly regarded in the admission process. Prior research experience is also strongly considered.
The MCW Graduate School operates on a rolling admissions basis. However, applications accepted by the priority application deadline of December 15th will receive first priority for admission the following Fall. Students are admitted once per year.
Tuition and Fees
If you have questions regarding tuition or your account, please contact the Office of Student Accounts, at (414) 955-8172 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to the All Student Handbook (PDF) for tuition payment policies and information.
All full-time PhD degree-seeking students in good academic and professional standing receive the following financial support package:
- Full tuition coverage
- Yearly stipend ($31,530 for the '20-'21 academic year)
- Complimentary health insurance
There is no additional process to secure this package aside from accepting an offer of admission. Further, this package is guaranteed from the time of enrollment through completion of degree requirements.
Current MCW Employees
Tuition Course Approval Form - Human Resources (PDF)
There will be a $100 late registration fee for anyone not completing registration by the date indicated on the schedule each semester.
There is also a $250 late payment fee for tuition not paid on time according to the Tuition Payments policy in the All Student Handbook (PDF).
Late payment fee is in addition to any late registration fee.
Preparing for Graduation
Depending on your degree and program within MCW’s Graduate School, there will be several forms that you will need to complete in preparation for earning your degree. Here you will find information on the steps you need to complete before you will be awarded your PhD, Master degree, or graduate certificate from MCW.
Current graduate students in Cell & Developmental Biology Programs
- Guide for PhD program (PDF)
- Guide for mentors of written qualifying exam (PDF)
- Masters degree requirements (PDF)
- CDB Program Info for NIH Predoctoral Fellowships (PDF)
- CDB Travel Award Application Instructions (PDF)
- CDB Travel Award Form (PDF)
PhD and Master's Degree Forms
- PhD Dissertation Final Checklist (PDF)
- Master of Arts Non-Thesis Completion Checklist (PDF)
- Master of Science Completion Checklist (PDF)
- Intent to Graduate (PDF)
- Committee Approval-Doctoral Dissertation/Master's Thesis (PDF)
- Outline Approval-Doctoral Dissertation/Master's Thesis (PDF)
- Qualifying Examination Evaluation Form-Doctoral Dissertation (PDF)
- Qualifying Examination Chair Report-Doctoral Dissertation (PDF)
- Confidential Report of Completion (PDF)
- Report of the Final Exam – Master’s (PDF)
- Report of the Final Exam – PhD (PDF)
- Signature Page Sample (PDF)
- Binding Form (PDF)
- Shipping Request for Diploma (PDF)
MCW Graduate School
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-0084 (fax)