Admission to Harvard programs

Students interested in conducting doctoral research with our faculty should apply for admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at Harvard University. Cell Biology faculty can accept students from any of the biomedical and life sciences graduate programs that are part of GSAS' Harvard Integrated Life Sciences (HILS) federation.

Graduate students in Cell Biology most frequently come from the following HILS graduate programs:

If you would like to join our department as a Harvard graduate student, please apply through Harvard Integrated Life Sciences (HILS).

Our NIH T32 Training Grant

Since 1975, the Department of Cell Biology faculty have been the PIs of a continuously renewed NIH T32 grant that funds a large number of graduate students, including students who eventually join other research departments. The original parent grant (Cellular and Molecular Biology) evolved over time into our current program: Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Dynamics (MCD2), which reflects the increase in intellectual breadth and depth, as well as multiple programmatic innovations, that enhance the quality of the training experience offered to our students.

The mission of the MCD2 program is to train future leaders at the forefront of discovery that will investigate the fundamental organizing principles and dynamics of molecules, cells, and tissues. Our goal is to build versatile and independent scholars capable of advancing important scientific frontiers with rigorous and novel approaches. To accomplish this, we offer a coordinated curriculum with emphasis on transferrable skills in experimental design, quantitative analysis, and project development. In addition to four compulsory Research Skills courses, our students select a series of Quantitative Analysis and Core Content courses to complement their existing strengths and scientific vocabulary. Our program has consistently led the forefront of educational innovation within the Harvard landscape, producing novel courses and training activities.

Each year we will select a cohort of MCD2 predoctoral students from a pool of over 200 talented candidates from multiple Harvard Integrated Life Science graduate programs. MCD2 members will be supported by this grant during their second and/or third year of PhD training, after Dissertation Advisor and research focus have been selected. As our trainees progress to degree completion, we also offer an assortment of professional development activities, workshops, and resources to prepare them for success at the next stage of their careers. While the majority of our trainees pursue careers in research and medicine, we also appreciate that many other professions are required to bring biomedical discoveries into clinical and other applications.

Visiting graduate students

If you are a graduate student from another institution, you can still join our department!  Please contact faculty of interest directly and work with your home institution to fulfill your degree requirements.