Cancer Biology PhD Programs in Washington

Jun 10, 2019

This article lists schools with cancer biology PhD programs available in Washington. Each program offers a biology PhD capable of being tailored to cancer biology; one offers the specific area of interest while others provide faculty specific research and courses. Find out more details about these programs and admission requirements.

Washington Schools with Cancer Biology PhD Programs

University of Washington - joint venture

The Seattle Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) Interdisciplinary PhD program is a special joint venture between the University of Washington, the Fred Hutch Cancer Institute and Seattle Children's Hospital. The MCB program has a specific cancer biology area of interest track and grants students access to cutting edge cancer research. This program employs methods and research from multiple disciplines to try to explain how and why healthy cells become cancerous. Understanding cellular oncology is the first step to finding novel treatments, and this program offers many research opportunities to aid in that endeavor.

Successful completion of the program requires approximately 140 credits, a final exam and a dissertation; the general program length is 5-7 years. Some of the required courses include topics in cellular biology, research and independent study.

Washington State University

This school offers a PhD in Molecular Biosciences. With specializations in areas such as chromosome biology and DNA repair, the program allows students to focus on cancer biology. Students can join faculty labs devoted to cancer research, learn specialized techniques and be on the forefront of cellular and molecular oncological research. Students are expected to participate in a lab rotation and are required to spend an average of 15-20 hours each week conducting research in the laboratory.

The program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours with a GPA of 3.0 as well as a final exam and dissertation. A minimum of 15 hours of graded 500-level credits are required as well, but students are encouraged to complete 21 graded credit hours. Some of the required course areas include molecular biology, research tips, biomedical experimentation and molecular biosciences.

University of Washington

The University of Washington is home to the Joseph Gottstein Cancer Research Laboratory, which is overseen by the Biochemistry and Pathology departments. The school offers a biochemistry PhD program, and one avenue of research to focus on is the relationship between mutagenesis and oncology: how mutations drive cancer and vice versa. While this program does not offer a specific cancer biology track, it offers an established cancer laboratory and a solid pool of different cancer research opportunities from which to choose.

Successful completion of a final exam and dissertation is required, and the program length is generally 4-5 years. Some of the required course topics include advanced biochemistry, systems biology and interactions of molecules. The program requires its applicants to possess solid undergraduate scores, previous laboratory experience and established experimental skills. Due to the interdisciplinary theories and techniques, required to approach modern biochemistry, students from a wide variety of undergraduate disciplines are encouraged to apply; though generally applicants have experience in biochemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, physics or advanced quantitative sciences like physical chemistry.

General Admission Requirements

Admission into these programs usually requires a 4-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, accompanied by relevant transcripts, as well as letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, successful GRE scores and a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0. Applicants are expected to have undergraduate training which includes general biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, calculus and/or statistics. Coursework in advanced biology is also desired. Prospective students should also compile a list of faculty members whose research areas they are interested.

There are currently three cancer biology PhD programs in Washington; while some programs are more specific to cancer biology than others, each program provides the courses and experience required to focus on a cancer biology track.

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