Program Features

  • Cross-training in molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, agricultural sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, physics, and engineering

  • Nationally and internationally recognized and respected faculty from 9 academic departments

  • State-of-the-art facilities

  • Generous research and teaching assistantships

Program History and Purpose

The Cellular and Molecular Biology (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 where 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 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 didactic coursework and vigorous research experience and demonstrated through a preliminary examination, which involves students writing a research proposal in the format of a national granting agency and orally defending the proposal. Students ultimately 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 a variety of approaches and equipment. Such a community of scientists fosters collaboration and engenders a sense of cooperation that leads to sharing of resources and knowledge.

The CMB program prepares students for careers in academia, government, 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

Facilities and Resources

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 CMB 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 advisors. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to contact prospective faculty advisors regarding availability of positions.

Top of page