Cell & Molecular Biology Graduate Group

CAMB Home » GGR Home » GGR Academics

GGR Academics

Rotations |Prelims| Thesis Defense/Graduation|Teaching and Outreach|Responsible Conduct of Research


GGR students typically complete their degree in 5 - 6 years.  Students complete coursework and a thesis proposal-based Preliminary Exam in years 1 and 2. Years 3+ are spent primarily on thesis research, supplemented by a variety of seminars and other activities that promote scientific interactions and continued development of communication and other career-relevant skills.

Typical Academic Program for GGR students

Fall Year 1:                                        

BIOM600/Cell Biology & Biochemistry
CAMB605/CAMB First Year Seminar
CAMB699/Lab Rotation #1|
CAMB Faculty minitalks         

Spring Year 1:

BIOM555/Regulation of the Genome
CAMB550/Genetic Principles
CAMB699/Lab Rotations #2 and #3

Summer Year 1: CAMB899/Pre-dissertation research; or 4th rotation if needed

Fall Year 2:    

CAMB899/Pre-dissertation research                                                                

Spring Year 2:

GCB535/Introduction to Bioinformatics
CAMB695/Scientific Writing (minicourse)
CAMB899/Pre-dissertation research

May Year 2: Thesis-proposal based Preliminary Exam

Years 3+:  Dissertation Research.
Trainees become eligible for GEN-TG support.

Required courses

CAMB 605/Cell and Molecular Biology First Year Seminar (Fall)
BIOM 600/Cell Biology and Biochemistry (Fall)
BIOM 555/Regulation of the Genome (Spring)
CAMB 550/Genetic Principles (Spring)
GCB 535/Introduction to Bioinformatics (Spring).

Elective courses:

The courses listed below are particularly relevant for GGR students, but students can also select from other CAMB or BGS courses to fulfill their three electives.

All CAMB Courses

BIOM 520/Concepts and Methods in Biostatistics (Summer mini-course)
BIOL 446/Statistics for Biologists (Fall)
CAMB 483/Epigenetics (Fall)
CAMB 485/The RNA World (Spring)
CAMB 486/Chromosomes and the Cell Cycle (Spring)
CAMB 512/Cancer Biology and Genetics (Spring)
CAMB 534/Modeling Human Disease in Animals (Spring)
CAMB 578/Topics in Behavioral Genetics (Spring)
CAMB 608/Seminar in Regulation of Eukaryotic Gene Expression (Fall)
CAMB 630/Topics in Human Genetics and Disease (Fall, even years)
CAMB 695/Scientific Writing (Spring mini-course)
CAMB 752/Genomics seminar (Spring)
GCB 536/Computational Biology (Fall)

Back to top

See CAMB Academic section of this site for more information on the CAMB graduate group's requirements and related topics.

BGS Course Listings



Thesis committees

Thesis defense and graduation

Teaching and Outreach

Teaching opportunities in Genetics

GGR students are not required to teach, but interested dissertation-stage students can gain teaching experience via Teaching Assistantships (TAs). Courses that need TAs include the graduate courses BIOM600/Cell Biology, BIOM555/Eukaryotic Gene Expression and CAMB483/Epigenetics and the undergraduate course BIOL221/Molecular Biology and Genetics.  Students also have opportunities to work with undergraduates in the lab through UPenn’s formal summer internship program (SUIP) or through individual lab initiatives. Senior students can also work as private tutors. Contact course directors or the CAMB office for more information.

Outreach oportunities in Genetics

GGR students can participate in a variety of community outreach activities, including running a booth at the annual Philadelphia Science Festival (http://www.philasciencefestival.org/) or mentoring high school students in local science fairs (http://www.ipraxis.org/programs).


GGR students at the Philadelphia Science Festival. Photo courtesy of Meera Sundaram.








Responsible conduct of research (RCR)

Back to top