Refer to the 2021 CMB Graduate Program Handbook for full details.

CMB Graduate Program Curriculum

All students are required to take:

CMB 621 – Cell & Molecular Biology I

CMB 622 – Cell & Molecular Biology II

CMB 611, Seminar in Biomedical Sciences, each semester

CMB 626 – Ethics in Biomedical Research

CMB 654 (various) – Annually

In the Fall of the second year, students must pass the qualifying exam, a two-part exam consisting of a written multiple choice test and an oral presentation.

PhD students

Are also required to take:

CMB 631 – three 13-15-week research rotations.  Please refer to the Faculty Directory ( to identify faculty research interests.

QHS 601 – Fundamentals of Biostatistics

CMB 669 – Essentials in Grant Writing

MS students

Must obtain at least 30 credits. Thesis and non-thesis options are offered.

A graduate student is considered to be enrolled full-time with a course load of 6-9 hours if a Graduate or Teaching Assistant, and 8-12 hours if not a GA or TA. Audited courses do not count towards these course load limits. Upper limits may be exceeded with permission of the Graduate Chair and the Graduate Dean.

Neuroscience Specialization Curriculum

The Neuroscience Specialization is open to any CMB student who wishes to pursue this aspect of the CMB program. Students may enter the program under the Neuroscience specialization, or add it later. CMB-Neuroscience students are required to take the following additional courses:

CMB 606 – Introduction to Neuroscience

CMB 705 – Special Topics in Neuroscience

Research rotations with members of the Neuroscience Graduate Faculty (Visit the UH Neuroscience website).

The Special Topics course is a journal club that runs each semester. All of the coursework and the research rotations are aimed at bolstering the students background and training in Neuroscience. Basic knowledge and understanding of Neuroscience are integrated into the qualifying exam.


Cell & Molecular Biology Graduate Program
John A. Burns School of Medicine, Biosciences Building, Suite 222-4 
651 Ilalo St., Honolulu, HI 96813
ph: 808 692-1514 fax: 808 691-1970