Biological and Environmental Sciences M.S., Ph.D.

Specialization: Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB)

This graduate research group focuses on the molecular basis of life, offering solid foundations in biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular genetics, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary training.

Faculty research interests are diverse and include the molecular basis of microbial colonization and virulence; the biochemistry of cellular signaling; the molecular origins of cancer; the development of vaccines against infectious disease; the roles of microbial consortia in the marine environment; comparative and evolutionary genomics; the control of gene expression by endogenous and environmental signals; the genetics of marine organisms; the molecular biology and genetic modification of plants; agricultural biotechnology; and developmental gene regulation.

Specialization group coordinator:
Bethany Jenkins,
Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology
College of the Environment and Life Sciences
Phone: (401) 874-7551
What should I submit with my online application?

All applications must be submitted online using the ApplyYourself system. EES application deadlines are outlined in the FAQs section. For access to the system and detailed instructions on what must be submitted, please visit the URI Graduate School web pages. In addition to the graduate school submission requirements, please make sure the following are also included in your application materials submitted on ApplyYourself:

  1. Arrange for submission of two letters of recommendation.
  2. Submit a scan of your GRE scores, uploaded as “supplemental materials” (in addition to requesting that ETS send a copy directly to URI).
  3. Consider submitting any additional materials that provide direct evidence of relevant experience or writing ability, such as published papers, research posters, or reports. Please upload any such documents as “supplemental materials”.
Degree Recommendations
All Tracks
BCH581 & 582: General Biochemistry I & II (6 credits)
MIC413: Adv. Microbiol. Lecture I (3 credits) & either MIC415: Adv.Microbiol. Lab I (2 credits) or BCH412: Adv. Biochem. Lab (2 credits)
BIO500: Scientific Ethics (1 credit)
BCH/MIC695: Graduate Seminar (1 credit)
Biochemistry Track Microbiology Track Molecular Genetics Track
BCH521: Physical Biochemistry (3 cr) MIC414: Adv. Microbiol. Lecture II (3 cr) BCH437: Fundamentals of Molecular Biology (3 cr)
BCH453: Cell Biology (3 cr) MIC416: Adv. Microbiol. Lab II (2 cr) MIC552: Bacterial Genetics (3 cr) or
BCH453: Cell Biology (3 cr)
Electives* – 3 cr Electives* – 4 cr Electives* – 3 cr

*Electives must be in relevant areas of study

Note: For M.S. students all courses taken for plan credit should be at the graduate level. At least half of the total plan course credits should be at the 500 or 600 level, i.e. usually 12 credits can be at the 400 level.

M.S. Degree Program requirements: A total of 30 credits is required – 21 coursework credits as outlined above for each track plus an additional 9 research credits (MIC/BCH599).

Ph.D. Degree Program requirements: A total of 72 credits is required (30 coursework credits; 42 research credits). Core courses are the same as the MS program. Of the credits earned beyond the master’s degree (42 credits), 9 credits (500-600 level) should be in coursework and 33 as research credits (MIC/BCH699)

Laboratory Rotations

Approximately 2 weeks into their first (Fall) semester, CMB graduate students will select two (M.S. program) or three (Ph.D. program) laboratories in which to perform five-week research rotations. Following the completion of the research rotations graduate students select a laboratory in which to complete their research thesis project. New students who are supported by a research assistantship are exempt from this requirement.