Comparative and Molecular Biosciences PhD program

The intercollegiate Comparative and Molecular Biosciences (CMB) PhD program is transdisciplinary, bringing together basic, applied, and clinical scientists to provide students with individualized, cutting-edge biomedical research training across animal species including humans. Students will receive scientific training that prepares them for careers as independent investigators and educators in:

  • Comparative animal biology and genetics
  • Molecular mechanisms of health and disease
  • Immunology and host defense
  • Animal models of human disease 
 Application Criteria

Students with a BA or BS in biological sciences are encouraged to apply. A minimum grade performance average (GPA) of 3.25 (on a four-point scale), and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores obtained within the past five years are required. Prior research experience is strongly preferred.

Students whose native language is not English will be considered if they have received the following minimal scores obtained within the past two years from one of the following English proficiency examinations:

  • TOEFL: 79; reading, 19; and writing, 21
  • MELAB: 80
  • IELTS: 6.5

Applications are considered for Fall term admission. The application deadline is December 15th.

Filling out an application is easy and can be accomplished through Apply Yourself. But you’ll need to assemble a few things before you start, including a resume or CV, names and e-mail address of three people who can comment on your academic and research skills, an applicant statement, a credit or debit card to pay the application fee ($75-95), unofficial transcripts or academic records from each secondary learning institution attended, GRE scores and, if applicable, TOEFL scores. 

Start your application  

Meet the Comparative and Molecular Biosciences graduate students

PhD students in CMB are engaged in research in a variety of areas in biomedical sciences at the intersection of animal and human health. Our students study infectious and zoonotic diseases, genetics and genomics, molecular mechanisms of health and disease, virology and bacteriology, among other areas of research. Click below to learn more about the CMB students.

CMB Graduate Students


Meet the Comparative and Molecular Biosciences faculty

Our faculty will help to provide you with individualized training to gain new knowledge in the understanding of comparative aspects of biology and pathology across animal species, animal models of human disease, and animal diseases and populations.

CMB Faculty


What to expect

A Doctor of Philosophy degree in Comparative and Molecular Biosciences (CMB) is granted on recognition of scholarly scientific research attainments. Students complete a minimum of 36 course credits and 24 thesis credits. On average, students complete the PhD degree in less than five years.

Students will experience a variety of disciplines, courses, and research projects in the first two years of the PhD program, which are used to define interest areas, broaden scientific background, and refine scientific communication skills. Students identify an adviser by the end of the first year and complete preliminary exams after two years. Students then focus on a dissertation research project that culminates with a final defense. For more information see the CMB PhD timeline and CMB PhD course requirements.

Tuition, fees and funding

The CMB graduate program supports incoming PhD students during their first year with a Research Assistantship position, which includes a $22,500 stipend, tuition waiver, and healthcare benefits. During subsequent years, faculty advisers provide financial support. After successfully passing preliminary exams given during the second year of a PhD program, the stipend is increased to $23,500. The program does not provide funding for MS candidates.
A number of grants and fellowships are also available. Interested students should consult the U of M Graduate School and the college’s graduate program grant and fellowship opportunities.

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  • Last modified on November 17, 2015