How our program works

The MCB program at Virginia Tech spans multiple departments. For the first semester, while rotating through three different laboratories, all MCB students take the same courses. Once students have picked a specific laboratory for their Ph.D. studies, they become part of the department of their supervisor, and enter the Ph.D. program of that department. Even after this transition, they remain a member of the MCB community, and continue to attend events and have opportunities that are only open to MCB students. The MCB program places an emphasis on high quality research. Students will be able to get regular feedback on their projects, and are expected to work on challenging projects that considerably add to the knowledge in their respective field.

Fall of year 1

  • Identify and participate in three laboratory rotations: GRAD 5974 MCB Laboratory Rotations (6 credits P/F)
  • BIOL 5884 Molecular Biology of the Cell (3 credits A-F)
  • BIOL 5174 Intro to Graduate Studies (1 credit P/F)
  • BMVS 5594 Current Techniques in Biomedical Science (1 credit A-F)
  • BIOL 5064 Seminar in Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology (1 credit P/F)
  • 12 total credit hours
  • Two weeks prior to the start of spring semester, complete Change of Degree Graduate Program to reflect the department of the lab that you have chosen

Spring of year 1 and beyond

  • Follow the graduate student guidelines established by your home department
  • Continue to participate in MCB monthly lunches, summer seminars, and retreat
  • The Graduate School offers exciting courses as part of their Transformative Graduate Education program, which we suggest you explore. Examples are: Communicating Science, Preparing the Future Professoriate, Future Industrial Professional in Science & Engineering, Topics in Interdisciplinary Research.

Host Department Graduate Programs

Animal Poultry Science – Graduate catalogue overview – Program website

Biochemistry – Graduate catalogue overview – Program website

Biological Sciences – Graduate catalogue overview – Program website

Human Food Nutrition and Exercise – Graduate catalogue overview – Program website

Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences – Graduate catalogue overview – Program website

Neuroscience (currently within Biological Sciences) – Graduate catalogue overview – Program website