The MCLS Ph.D. program requires that students obtain a high level of proficiency in the foundations of the field through core courses in biochemistry and molecular biology. The program combines course work and original scientific research, with greater emphasis on the latter. The considerable flexibility and diversity available to students while conducting their degree work allows them to customize the MCLS program to their specific professional needs and interests. The expected time from enrollment to graduation for most students is approximately five years.
MCLS students will also carry out a modest teaching requirement in order to prepare for future careers as teachers and scientific mentors. MCLS students are also encouraged and expected to participate in the intellectual life of both the local and broader scientific communities. This includes giving regular research presentations; attending weekly seminars featuring outside speakers; and participating in local, regional, national, and international meetings. Lastly, MCLS students are expected to become comfortable and skillful at presenting their scientific research results in public formats.