The graduate program in cell and developmental biology is part of a
diverse, interactive community of biological scientists working at
Rutgers and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The graduate program has
approximately 130 faculty members from the two universities.
Faculty research spans the fields of molecular, cellular, and
developmental biology. Researchers draw upon diverse experimental
systems to study such subjects as developmental, human, and molecular
genetics; signal transduction and regulation of gene expression;
developmental biology; cancer biology; regulation, structure, and function of the
cytoskeleton; parasitology; cellular and molecular endocrinology;
ultrastructural and molecular analysis of mammalian cells; and
Applicants are expected to have had one year
each of undergraduate mathematics, chemistry, and physics and two years
of biology-related courses. Those who lack some of these prerequisites
may complete them (without graduate credit) after admission to the
program. Undergraduate concentrations in biology or other life sciences
and research experience are desirable but not necessary. The graduate
program in cell and developmental biology offers advanced studies
leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Classroom instruction combines a
core of courses in biochemistry and molecular biology, molecular
genetics, cell biology, and developmental biology, with area courses
aimed at a student's specialty. Other graduate-level courses at Rutgers
and UMDNJ-RWJMS provide training in such related areas as neurobiology,
immunology, biostatics, computer science, and systems physiology. The
goal of the program is to provide a challenging and rewarding
environment in which students can develop fully their research and
While requirements for the Ph.D. students
may vary with the area of specialization, all students are expected to
complete certain courses during their first two years in the program.
This core curriculum includes biochemistry, molecular genetics, cell
biology, developmental biology, and laboratory rotations. For advanced
graduate students, the program offers special topic courses in cell and
developmental biology. The minimum requirement for the Ph.D. degree is
72 credits. To qualify as a candidate for a Ph.D. degree, a student
must pass a written comprehensive examination, make an acceptable oral
presentation, and successfully defend a research proposal before a
graduate faculty committee. A minimum of one academic year in residence
is required. The program has no foreign language requirement.
Students may pursue a master's degree with or without writing a thesis.
The requirement for the degree without thesis is 30 credits of coursework. This includes a minimum of 1 credit of 16:148:509,510 Advanced
Problems in Biology and the acceptance of the student's library or
research project by a committee of three program faculty members. The
requirements for the M.S. degree with thesis are a minimum of 24 course
credits, 6 credits of research, and the satisfactory completion and
defense of the thesis. All students must maintain a cumulative
grade-point average of 3.0 or better to remain in the program.
Teaching assistantships are available for first-year and advanced
graduate students. The program also offers fellowships to outstanding
applicants. Joint Ph.D. degrees are available in this program. Further
information about these may be found in the Degree Programs Available chapter.
* Admission is offered by the consolidated
graduate programs in molecular biosciences. For further information,
refer to the Molecular Biosciences
heading within this chapter.