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Course and TA Requirements


  • Completion of coursework—prior to Comprehensive Examination
  • Completion of Comprehensive Examination—end of second year
  • Completion of teaching requirement—prior to thesis defense
  • Satisfactory completion of thesis defense


Cell and Developmental Biology (CDB) Program Course Requirements

A total of 72 semester hours is required for the PhD degree. This includes academic course work, seminars, and research hours. 

A cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 must be maintained. 

Applicants whose first language is not English are required by the University of Iowa to satisfactorily complete an English language course before fulfilling the department’s teaching requirement (see below). Newly admitted graduates to whom this applies are strongly encouraged to enroll in this course during the summer prior to the first academic year.

CDB Program Teaching Requirements  

Students are required to complete 1 semester of teaching assistantship (TA) in a course agreed upon by the CDB Program Graduate Student Advisory Committee. The student must achieve a satisfactory report from the Course Director to receive credit for meeting the teaching requirement. 

Credits for Course and Teaching Completed Elsewhere  

Students may receive credit toward meeting specific course and teaching requirements for work completed elsewhere, as specified by the Graduate Manual. Examples include:

  • graduate-level courses completed satisfactorily at another institution
  • graduate-level courses completed satisfactorily at the University of Iowa prior to entry into the Cell and Developmental Program professional courses 

Approval for applying these credits toward the course and teaching requirements of the department will be granted only when specifically requested in writing by the student and if, following an evaluation and positive recommendation by the  Program Committee, the Program Director also extends their support.