Program in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Emory University

Program in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Emory University

Atlanta, GA
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
January 3
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
1 Degree Offered
degrees offered


A Top Graduate Program in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology

Emory University offers a cross-disciplinary Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology (BCDB) through its top-ranked Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS). The "Chronicle of Higher Education" ranks 7 of the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences' research areas among the top 10 in the nation for research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize the excellence of Emory's Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology program through their long-standing financial support of the program.

With faculty members drawn from 15 departments within Emory University, graduates can pursue pure basic science or translational research in order to improve human health and understanding of the world. Students may also work with any of the almost 330 GDBBS faculty members from Emory University, as well as from the American Cancer Society and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are associated with the GDBBS.

Doctoral students in the BCDB program receive generous financial support.

Research Opportunities in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology

Graduate students conduct research in one of four fields: biochemistry and structural biology; cell biology; development biology; and cancer biology.

Within biochemistry and structural biology, graduate students and faculty members investigate the structural, functional, and physical characteristics of macromolecular complexes.

Within cell biology, students conduct in vitro and in vivo studies of cellular processes using a range of model cell biological techniques.

Students who pursue research in developmental biology at Emory investigate the mechanisms and molecules associated with embryogenesis of many different model organisms.

Students who pursue cancer biology through the BCDB program have access to top-notch basic and clinical resources as they conduct studies of the molecular and cell biological basis of cancer.

Doctoral Program Coursework and Research

Doctoral students in the program in Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology generally complete the degree program within six years. During their first year, students take "Foundations in BCDB," in which students focus on one major topic per two-week block. Shortly after they start the program faculty members give a 15 minute presentation about their research and students meet with at least five possible mentors to assist them in selecting rotation advisors (most students complete three rotations). The foundations course and lab rotations allow students to get a rigorous overview of the discipline as they select advisors and research topics for their dissertations. Students also participate in introductory seminars through which they are trained in how to present scientific information, and attend monthly ethics sessions and professionalization workshops. During the summer following their first year students participate in a two-day Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity (TATTO) Program.

During their second year, students take "Statistics for Experimental Biology" and "Hypothesis Design and Scientific Writing," which help them develop proposals for their dissertation research according to NIH grant application guidelines. Students finish with proposals that they can use to apply for predoctoral fellowships.

BCDB students typically apply for the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowships, National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, and the American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship.

From their second year, students participate in an advanced research seminar in which they present yearly reports on their research projects.

Competitive Financial Support

Students in the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Emory receive tuition scholarships, health insurance, and stipends. They enjoy the low cost of living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia.

The stipend for the 2015-16 academic year is $29,000. In addition, several competitive fellowships are offered to outstanding applicants each year. These fellowships provide students with supplements to their stipends that range from $2,500 to $5,000 per year for five years, depending on the award.

Living in Atlanta

Emory University is located in a beautiful, wooded area of northeast Atlanta, Georgia, just four miles from downtown. The area serves as a hub of medical research, encompassing both the CDC and the American Cancer Society.

Midtown Atlanta is home to museums, galleries, and cultural activities that students enjoy. Atlanta's temperate climate affords students many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, and camping.

Location & Contact

Program in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology

Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Emory University

1462 Clifton Road, Suite 314
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Dr. Richard Kahn

Program Director

Phone: 404-727-3561
Fax: 404-727-3746

Ms. Kathy Smith

Director of Recruitment and Admissions

Phone: 404-727-2547
Fax: 404-727-3322

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Developmental Biology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 2
    • Doctoral Degrees 10
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


15% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 118
    • Accepted 18
    • Acceptance Rate 15
    • Enrolled 10
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 3rd January 1st Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0 in science course work (recommended)
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Tuition Waivers, Health Care Benefits, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students57
    • Female Percentage65%
    • Male Percentage35%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students57
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino10%
    • Black / African American4%
    • White / Caucasian73%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian6%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown7%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty46
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage22%
    • Male Percentage78%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchSignal transduction, molecular biology, enzymes and cofactors, receptor and ion channel function, membrane biology
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported