How our program works

The MCB program at Virginia Tech spans multiple departments. During their first semester, students rotate through three different laboratories, and 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.

MCB program structure

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)
  • STAT 5615 Statistics in Research (3 credits A-F)
  • BIOL 5064 Seminar in Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology (1 credit P/F)
  • 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
  • We strongly recommend BMVS 5174 (Responsible Research Conduct) for the spring semester of your first year. You will need this to apply for NIH fellowships, and your home department may require the course.
  • 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.

Information for students with family

Blacksburg is a great place to raise a family, but you may have lots of questions if you consider coming to Virginia Tech with your partner and/or your children. Here is a site by the Graduate School that is a great place to start collecting information, but don’t hesitate to contact us if any of your questions is not addressed.

Host Department Graduate Programs

Animal and Poultry Sciences – Program website – Graduate catalog

Biochemistry – Program website – Graduate catalog

Biological Sciences – Program website – Graduate catalog

Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences – Program website – Graduate catalog

Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise – Program website – Graduate catalog

Neuroscience – Program websiteGraduate catalog