Research course

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Harvard University · Harvard University

Entry requirements

Entering students should have a record of introductory courses in chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics. While the following courses should not be regarded as prerequisites for admission to graduate study, most admitted students have completed these courses as undergraduates:

  • Biology (at least one general course in biology and two terms of biology at a more advanced level)
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Physics (a general course)
  • Mathematics (a basic knowledge of differential and integral calculus). Competence in elementary programming is also desirable
  • Laboratory in Biology, Biochemistry, or Instrumental Analysis

GSAS and Harvard University offer a range of exciting and challenging summer research and internship programs designed to help current undergraduates boost crucial research skills.

Further information on how to apply.

Months of entry


Course content

Graduate students in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) are members of an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary training program called Molecules, Cells, and Organisms (MCO). The MCO PhD training program features an unparalleled range of research areas within the biological sciences, including biochemistry, biophysics, cellular biology, chemical and structural biology, computational biology, developmental biology, engineering, evolutionary biology, genetics, genomics, microbiology, molecular biology, neurobiology, physical biology, stem cell biology, and systems biology.

The program contains an unusually diverse group of outstanding scientists, involving faculty from MCB as well as the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Physics, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The program consists of four tracks: Genetics, Genomics and Evolutionary Biology; Cellular, Neuro-, and Developmental Biology; Biochemistry, Chemical and Structural Biology; and Engineering and Physical Biology. The Program in Molecules, Cells and Organisms is a member of the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences consortium, a federation of Harvard life sciences PhD programs, departments, and subject areas that facilitates cross-disciplinary academic and research collaboration.

Fees and funding

5 years’ funding is guaranteed to all Harvard PhD students.

British citizens who are – or will be – graduates of British universities should check out both Kennedy Scholarships and Frank Knox Fellowships.

Both of these awards offer full tuition and health insurance coverage and a generous stipend towards living expenses. They are offered annually in competition. A Frank Knox Fellowship can be particularly welcomed during the early stages of a doctoral degree and both awards offer considerable personal support from their networks.

Please note that you will need to submit your application to either or both awards ahead of the deadline for your Harvard application. Kennedy Scholarship and Frank Knox Fellowship applications are to be made online via their websites between mid-August and late-October in the same application season as you will submit your application to Harvard. Please also note they are totally separate from, and independent of, admission to the program. Awards made at interview in London in January are provisional, pending confirmation of a place on the course.

Qualification and course duration


full time
60 months

Course contact details

GSAS Admissions
001 617 496 6100