Wake Forest University

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, School of Medicine

Molecular & Cellular Biosciences


1834 Wake Forest Road

Reynolda Hall

Winston-Salem, NC 27106

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:


Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Molecular and Cellular Bioscience (MCB) Track allows students to enter graduate school with the freedom and flexibility to explore several programs before committing to a specific research topic. A range of mentors can be selected whose research spans basic and translational fields of cutting-edge molecular and cellular biology.

In their first year, students engage in courses to help them critically evaluate basic and translational principles and formulate experiments. Students have the opportunity to rotate through three laboratories in order to narrow their focus to one of five PhD programs. Once a PhD program is selected, students begin specializing in the research area of the laboratory and program-specific courses are completed. All students receive career planning and scientific professionalism and integrity training.

Program Track Options:

  • Biochemistry and  Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Microbiology and  Immunology
  • Molecular Genetics and  Genomics
  • Molecular Medicine and  Translational Science

The PhD training programs in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences provide an interdisciplinary curriculum that utilizes the tools of molecular and cellular biology to train students for research in the detailed analysis of fundamental biological processes. 

The common MCB first year curriculum utilizes a two semester course to provide broad exposure to these fundamentals topics:

  • Macromolecular synthesis, structure and function
  • Regulation of gene expression and genetics
  • Cell structure
  • Cell communication

Additionally, students will take a short course in analytical skills followed by their selection of three Program-Specific electives taught by the 5 participating MCB Graduate Programs. This first year course of study is complemented by a seminar/discussion course in Scientific Professionalism and Integrity.

During the first year, students explore scientific research projects by participating in three laboratory research rotations, choosing laboratories from within the 5 participating PhD programs. These laboratory rotations introduce students to new techniques and guide in the selection of a dissertation research advisor. Once a research mentor has been selected, students begin specialization in the research area of that laboratory.  Students will complete courses specific to that program of study during the second year.


Wake Forest University is accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Intensive

Locale: Midsize City

Size & Settings: 6,000-9,999

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