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Program Features

  • Nationally and internationally recognized and respected faculty from 11 academic departments
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Cross training in biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology
  • Generous research and teaching assistantships

The CMB program was formed in 1988 and was the first interdisciplinary graduate program at NDSU. The program was designed to respond to the evolving nature of research in the life sciences in which it was recognized that biological phenomena emerge from molecular and cellular events and that the elucidation of such processes increasingly relies on multidisciplinary approaches.

The CMB program provides cross training of graduate students in the areas of biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology. In this setting, students learn the most up-to-date approaches from a variety of fields. Integration across concepts as well as the application of various approaches to addressing biological problems is developed through their preliminary exam, in which students are required to write a research proposal in the format of a national granting agency different from their dissertation research, and to defend it orally. The students also develop and conduct an original line of research under the supervision of their major advisor. The program also brings together faculty with common interests and who use common approaches and equipment. Such a community of scientists fosters collaboration and engenders a sense of cooperation that leads to shared use of common equipment.

The CMB program prepares students for careers in academia and private industry. All graduates of the program have obtained permanent positions in their field or are engaged in postdoctoral training.

"NDSU afforded me the opportunity to receive a broader, interdepartmental education.  This was appealing because I wanted to be able to keep my options open when it came time to head out into the workforce.  To this day, the broad education has continued to be a benefit." -- Barton Slagter, Ph.D. 2004, senior research scientist at Novartis Animal Health


NDSU possesses top-quality facilities and equipment, including confocal and fluorescence microscopy, DNA sequencing, laser capture microdissection, flow cytometry, microarray analysis, proteomic analysis, real-time PCR, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy.

Financial Assistance

Financial support, if required, is usually provided by the department in which the student will carry out research. In reviewing each application, the Steering Committee will contact the faculty member(s) identified by the applicant to determine if financial support is available. Students seeking financial support also can contact either the CMB faculty member(s) with whom they wish to study or the chair of the CMB Steering Committee.

The program offers competitive graduate assistantships plus full tuition. The number of positions is limited and support is typically provided by major advisers.  Therefore, applicants are encouraged to contact prospective faculty advisers regarding availability of positions.


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Last Updated: Friday, August 05, 2011 12:48:46 PM
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