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Questions Related to Life as a First-Year MCDB Ph.D. Student
If accepted into the Ph.D. program, how will I pay for it?
All students receive a stipend (currently $26,500), tuition waiver, and health insurance. Funding will come from a variety of sources, depending on year of study, eligibility for pre-graduate training programs and faculty mentor.
Do I have to pay tuition?
No. As an MCDB Ph.D. student, you will not pay tuition for any activity associated with the program.
Will I have health insurance?
All graduate students have free GradCare health insurance. For more information, see http://www.uhs.umich.edu/gradcare.
Will I teach as part of my training?
Teaching and effective communication are integral aspects of Ph.D. training. All MCDB students must teach twice during their Ph.D. training.
Will I attend national/international research meetings?
Yes. The department provides $1,000 towards a meeting in the second year of study. Thereafter, the student can apply for (and often receives) travel funds from the department and Rackham Graduate School.
Can I start early?
Yes. In some cases there may be advantages to starting research rotations in the summer. This is possible for domestic students but often a challenge for international students because of visa issues.
How many research rotations do I do?
MCDB students must do at least 2 research rotations (unless admitted directly to a laboratory). Typically, students will do a full rotation in the fall semester, although other arrangements are possible. For the winter term, some do another full rotation and some split the term into two "half" rotations.
Which labs are available for research rotations?
MCDB students may rotate with any MCDB faculty member. Specific research rotations are set up by mutual faculty and student consent. Students in the PIBS program typically rotate within their primary department or program but are free to choose additional rotations with any PIBS faculty member.
When do I choose a thesis laboratory?
PIBS students and MCDB general students and their potential faculty mentors can make commitments to each other no sooner than April 15 of their first year.
How long will graduate school take?
Doctoral students typically take four to six years. Our departmental average is 5.3 years.