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Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry

Course Information

Formal Course Requirements

All course requirements of the Program and Graduate School are minimum requirements. Additional courses may be required by the student's graduate committee to meet any deficiencies or provide proficiency in a specialized area. Certain courses are required of all students, while others meet the requirements of individual student's area of specialization, as determined by the student's graduate committee. The Program Director, with the advice of the Curriculum Committee or the student's graduate committee may designate certain other courses within or outside of the Program which meet some formal course requirements. Any course (or its equivalent) that meets the requirements of the Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry graduate program and taken at SIUC or at any other institution before admission to the program need not be repeated. Course equivalency will be determined by the Program Director in consultation with the appropriate committee or faculty.

The formal core course requirements for both Master's and Ph.D. degree can be met by taking MBMB 451a, b, and 460; or their equivalent. All students must take either MBMB 502, Introduction to Research, or MBMB 504, Research Methods, and must also take during each semester in residence 1 hour of MBMB 597, Seminar and Professional Training.

Master's students have to take two courses and the Doctoral students have to take three courses from a list of approved courses for specialization. Only one 400 level course from this list can be used to meet this requirement. Currently this list consists of MBMB 403, 421, 423, 425, 441, 444, 453, 455, 456, 470, 477, 480, 481, 520, 530, 531, 532, 533, 543, 551, 552, 553, 560, and 562. These courses are selected with the approval of the student's graduate committee, Research Director or the Departmental Graduate Advisor, as appropriate at the time of selection. In addition, Master's students are also required to earn at least a total of 8 hours in research and thesis (MBMB 515, 598 and 599; a minimum of 3 and maximum of 6 hours for MBMB 599) credit, prepare a thesis on the research project and pass a final oral examination, which serves as the comprehensive examination.

Preliminary Examination and Dissertation for the Ph.D. Degree.

Each student in the doctoral program must pass a preliminary examination and meet the Graduate school residency requirement before being advanced to candidacy. The students can take the preliminary examination after completing the formal course requirements.

The student's graduate committee will prepare and administer a written preliminary examination covering various areas of molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry, with particular emphasis in the area of concentration declared. This declaration will be done by means of a prospectus of a dissertation composed of (1) a proposal for the dissertation research, (2) biographical information on the candidate, and (3) a list of the courses taken during the candidate's graduate program. The proposal should address the proposed graduate research project, and be written in the NIH (National Institutes of Health) or NSF (National Science Foundation) approved format. The prospectus shall be available to the committee members at least 14 days prior to the date of examination.

Upon satisfactory completion of the written examination, the candidate will meet the committee as a whole and discuss the prospectus in detail. The committee will then conduct an oral preliminary examination. At this time, the committee may ask in-depth questions about the research project and other areas of molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry particularly relevant to the candidate's research. A written examination score of at least 80 percent is required before a student can proceed to the oral portion of the preliminary examination, and at least 4 of the 5 committee members must judge the oral performance acceptable for a student to pass the preliminary examination overall. In the event that either the written or oral preliminary examination is failed, a student may request only one re-examination.

Ph.D. students must earn at least 24 Dissertation (MBMB 600) credit hours and prepare and successfully defend a dissertation.