Pathway Masters Program

Program Goals and Admissions Criteria

  • Prepare students to succeed in top-rated Ph.D. programs in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.
  • Bring students to the field of biology.
  • Provide students with opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research in MCDB labs.

The Pathways Program is looking for students graduating with a Bachelor's degree who:

  • Have demonstrated academic excellence and would benefit from further research and course experience prior to beginning a Ph.D. program
  • Have experienced financial hardship and/or are under-represented in the field of biology, including students of African-American, Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander ethnicities
  • Are U.S. citizens or permanent residents

Why join the Pathways Master's program?

image of woman working with plants in lab

The Pathways Program is a two-year thesis-based Master's program, providing students with the research- and course-related training necessary to succeed in a top-flight Ph.D. program. The Pathways program will enable students to gain critical research experience in MCDB labs towards the ultimate completion of a research-based Master's thesis. The Pathways students will become part of an exciting research community here at the University of Michigan, engaging with other Masters students, Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty in the department. The Pathways Master's program offers an outstanding opportunity to train with researchers and faculty in a supportive environment, instilling students with the academic foundation to successfully apply for a Ph.D. program.

Students who complete the Pathways Master's program will have performed research in a faculty member's lab and will have made important connections with at least two additional faculty members who served on the student's thesis committee. This places each pathways graduate in an excellent position for letters of recommendation and a successful transition into a Ph.D. program. We will help students prepare their application materials for both our Ph.D. program and those of our peer institutions. We will monitor the progress of our students regardless of where they go next and offer them continued advice on their career path. One major advantage of the Pathways Master's degree relative to other non-degree-granting programs is that in addition to providing students with an excellent educational foundation for transition into and completion of a Ph.D. degree, it also provides graduates with a stand alone degree that will be valuable in the job market for research positions in industry, government, and teaching at the high school or college level. This feature places our students in an excellent position for a fulfilling career if a student chooses to enter the workforce after graduation.

photo of young male worker in a lab

The Pathways Master's program enables you to:

  • Gain essential laboratory research experience as training for a Ph.D. program.
  • Gain a solid foundation in coursework related to molecular biology, cellular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and developmental biology.
  • Complete a focused research project with a supportive mentor.
  • Interact with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty through one-on-one meetings, group meetings, classes, seminars, research symposia, and departmental retreats.
  • Develop teaching skills and experience, with extensive training and support.
  • Participate in research and career development workshops on topics including career options, applying to a Ph.D. program, presentation skills, grant writing, and research ethics.
  • Benefit from the mentoring and support of a faculty program director and staff committed to your academic success.

Why Study Biology at the University of Michigan?

The University of Michigan is a world-renowned academic institution, and the MCDB program is itself one of the top-ranked graduate programs in its disciplines in the country. Graduates from our departmental Masters and Ph.D. programs have moved onto high-level jobs in academia and industry with great success. Furthermore, Ann Arbor provides an exceptionally comfortable environment, with tremendous entertainment and cultural resources both within town and in nearby communities.

The Pathways Master's Program of Study

Please visit our Pathways Program of Study page for a detailed description of the program and its curricular requirements.

Research Faculty and Areas of Research

Please browse through a current listing of research faculty and broad areas of research within the department.

Funding

young woman working in lab at microscope

The Pathways Program is a fully funded Master's program. Students in good standing receive a stipend, tuition support, and health care for two years at rates determined by University policies. Support is available for three-four incoming students each academic year.

How to Apply

Applications to the MCDB Pathways Master's Program should be submitted using the Rackham Graduate School's on-line application process. The application deadline is March 15. Please note that there is a fee waiver available to prospective students applying for this program; contact the departmental graduate coordinator to obtain a code to be used when applying.

Correspondence and Information

For specific inquiries regarding eligibility or content of the Pathways Master's program, please contact the MCDB Graduate Coordinator or the pathways Program Director.

Graduate Coordinator
Mary Carr
carrmm@umich.edu
Dept. of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
1121A Natural Sciences Builiding
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048

Pathways Master's Program Director
Anuj Kumar, Associate Professor
anujk@umich.edu
Dept. of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
4071-D Natural Sciences Builiding
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048