Section VIII: Course Requirements


MCDB students must complete a minimum of 80 semester credits in graduate level courses.  This includes the core courses, elective courses, and dissertation research.

VIII.1  Required courses

MCDB students are required to complete the following five core courses before they may apply for candidacy:

  1. MCDBIO 7600: First-Year Student Orientation
  2. BIOCHEM 6761: Macromolecular Structure and Function
  3. MOLGEN/BIOCHEM 5701: DNA Transactions and Gene Regulation
  4. MOLGEN 5705: Advances in Cell Biology
  5. MOLGEN 5715: Developmental Genetics

MCDB students are required to complete the following seminar and elective courses before they may apply for graduation:

  1. MCDBIO 7890: Student Seminar (for students that are not presenting).
    Required number of semesters: 4
  2. MCDBIO 7891: Student Seminar (for students that are presenting).
    Required number of semesters: 2 (must be repeated if grade is lower than a “C”)
  3. MCDBIO 7990: Molecular Life Sciences Seminar Series.
    Required number of semesters: 6 (course first offered in AU 2017)
  4. BSGP 7070: Fundamentals of Grant Writing.
    Required for all MCDB students that joined in AU 2017 and beyond
  5. A minimum of three (3) approved elective courses, totaling at least six (6) credit hours.

The syllabi of the Student Seminar and Molecular Life Sciences Seminar Series courses can be found on the Program website.

VIII.2  Electives

A list of approved electives can be found in Appendix C.  Students may petition the program for approval of other courses not found on this list.  The petition should include a brief rationale for taking the course as well as a copy of the course syllabus.  Approval of electives is determined by the director or co-directors.  To be approved as an elective, a course must be taught at a level appropriate for doctoral students and must be assigned a letter grade.  Courses that are grade S/U are not eligible to be approved as electives. Once students have selected a dissertation advisor, selection of electives should be made with the advisor’s knowledge and approval.

Students who have taken any of the required or elective courses prior to enrolling in the MCDB Program (for example as OSU undergraduates), or who have taken equivalent courses at other universities, may petition the Program to have specific course requirements waived.  The petition should include the course syllabus and a copy of the student’s course transcript showing the grade that the student obtained in that course. 

VIII.3  Research credit

Students are also required to register for research credit each semester.  Students that are conducting laboratory rotations register for MCDBIO 7780.  Once they have joined a lab, they register for 8999 dissertation research in the home department of their dissertation advisor.

VIII.4  English As Second Language (ESL) Courses

International students may also be required to take specific ESL composition courses as determined by the post-admission placement examination.  International students may also be required to take specific spoken English courses for teaching certification if they wish to serve as a teaching assistant.


Rev: October, 2021