2010 - 2011 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Cell Biology, Ph.D.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Spring: September 1

Applications are evaluated as they are received up until the application deadline. It is advantageous to apply early.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic and research competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

A substantial background in the sciences is required and should include, for example, 16 credits of Biology, 12 credits of Chemistry, 6 credits of Mathematics, and 9 credits of Physics.

Official transcripts of previous college work must be provided in a sealed, signed envelope.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A master's degree in the field is not required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree with a substantial background in the sciences is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your interest in Temple's program, in particular; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. Scores on the quantitative and verbal sections are expected in the 50th percentile or better.

The GRE Subject Exam in Biology is recommended.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 575 paper-based, 230 computer-based, or 88 internet-based.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 45-55

Required Courses:

A+CB 5151:  Cell Structure and Function

A+CB 9100:  Seminars in Cell Biology (each semester)

Molecular Biology

Foundations of Biochemistry

Recombinant DNA Techniques in Molecular Biology

Writing Scientific Documents (2 semesters)

Introduction to Biostatistics

Scientific Integrity and Bioethics

Elective courses include:

A+CB 9101:  Bioinformatics

A+CB 9102:  Musculoskeletal Biology

A+CB 9104:  Readings in Cell Biology and Developmental Biology

MB+G 5451:  Principles of Development

MB+G 9402:  Molecular Biology of Signal Transduction

PHARMA 9703:  Cellular Pharmacology

PHYSIO 5851:  Principles of Physiology

Microbial Genetics

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

The Doctoral Advisory Committee is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research and is comprised of at least four Graduate Faculty members. Three members, including the Chair, must be from the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Committee compositions must be approved by the Department's Graduate Committee. The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the committee members, and informing the student of her/his academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. The Outside Examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student defends the dissertation.

If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the Department's Graduate Committee and registered with the departmental secretary, the School of Medicine's Graduate Studies Office, and the Graduate School on Main Campus.

After the departmental secretary has arranged the time, date, and room for the defense, the student must send to the Graduate School in 501 Carnell Hall a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form at least 10 working days before the defense.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology

School of Medicine
3500 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Department Contacts:

Graduate Admissions:

Mary Abood, Ph.D.

Graduate Chairperson:

Lynn Kirby, Ph.D.

Department Chairperson:

Steven N. Popoff, Ph.D.



About the Program

The Ph.D. program of study is tailored to suit individual interests and needs, and can include courses and laboratory work in cell, developmental, and molecular biology, as well as courses in the anatomical sciences (embryology, gross anatomy, histology, and neuroanatomy). The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology is located on Temple University's Health Sciences Center Campus (HSC) and is part of the School of Medicine. By instituting new and innovative interdisciplinary training programs, we meet the many research challenges of the present and future. The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, with our distinguished faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, has made a solid commitment to be innovative leaders in preparing students for biomedical careers in academia, government, or industry. The Department has excellent research facilities for molecular and cell biology, including a molecular histology core facility, in situ hybridization, histo- and cytochemistry, immunofluorescence imaging, and electron microscope.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Health Sciences

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before 4:30 p.m.

Department Information:

Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Biology

School of Medicine
3500 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Interdisciplinary Study:

The expertise and areas of research for the faculty in Anatomy and Cell Biology provide the student with a breadth of research possibilities using molecular and cellular approaches to study mechanisms vital to human health and disease. The student's work is supported by a variety of facilities. These include a molecular histology core facility, optical and electron microscopy, computer-based image processing and analysis, protein chemistry, molecular biology, and tissue culture.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The varied research interests of the faculty allow the students a breadth of research possibilities. The principal research frontiers in Anatomy and Cell Biology rely extensively on molecular and cellular approaches and techniques. Our graduate students, therefore, receive training in these areas. Areas of particular strength in the department are: (a) Skeletal Biology, e.g., regulation of skeletal development and metabolism, structure and function of bone cells, and etiology of metabolic bone diseases, including osteoporosis and inflammation-mediated osteopenia; (b) Cardiovascular Biology, e.g., regulation of cardiac myocyte growth, fine structure and function of cardiac muscle, and regulation of commitment and differentiation of cardiac myocytes; (c) Reproductive Biology, e.g., genetics and cell biology of sperm function, reorganization of DNA during spermatogenesis, and development and function of Sertoli and germ cells; (d) Neurobiology, e.g., properties of the neuronal cytoskeleton and neurophysiology; and (e) Neuro Virology and Neuro Immunology, including inflammatory demyelinating diseases. Several of the faculty have joint appointments in other departments/research centers, which provide another avenue for interaction and exchange of ideas between students in our Department and faculty.

Job Placement:

The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology offers graduate work leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree as preparation for a career in research and teaching of cell biology and modern anatomy. The program of instruction and training has the flexibility to meet a variety of career goals focused around biomedical research and teaching in diverse settings, including academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and/or the government.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are permitted to take up to 9 graduate credits. If accepted to the program, those courses may be applied toward the degree program.

Financing Opportunities

Students are supported for the first year with departmental funds. Upon successful completion of the oral exam at the end of the first year (Preliminary Part I), the student is supported by her/his mentor using research grant funds. University fellowships are also available. A satisfactory level of performance must always be maintained, as described in the Policies and Procedures document for this program.

Updated 11.11.09