Credit Requirments

The Ph.D. in the MCB program requires successful completion of a minimum of 30-credit hour courses, a qualifying exam and thesis research. The maximal length of study in this Ph.D. program is seven years.

Molecular and Cell Biology 4
Seminar 4
Thesis Research 12
Elective Courses >10
Total 30
Note: with B.S. degree only: 42 credits

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The Study Plan

  1st Semester 2nd Semester Summer
1st yr
Molecular and Cell Biology +    
Seminar + +  
Lab Rotation + +  
Thesis Research     +
2nd yr
Seminar + +  
Thesis Proposal +    
Thesis Research + + +
Qualify Exam     +
3rd yr – Graduation
Thesis Progress Report +    
Thesis Research + + +

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Transfer Credits

New students who have previously completed graduate school coursework with a grade of 70 or higher at other domestic or international colleges and universities within five years of admission, students can request to have these credit transferred with Curriculum and Degree Committee if any of the following condition is met:
1.     course with identical titles and contents (transcript required)
2.     course with similar titles and contents (transcript, the course outline, syllabus and textbook used need to be provided to get approval by Curriculum and Degree Committee and the corresponding course instructor)
2.3.  If necessary, take the oral or written exam in time.

Requests for transfer credits should be submitted by the end of the Add/Drop period of the first semester after enrolling in the program. The total numbers of transfer credits should not exceed 1/3 of the total elective credits required by the program for graduation (Thesis credits excluded). Molecular and Cell Biology, thesis research and Seminars credits cannot be transferred.

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We have three required courses: Molecular and Cell Biology,Seminar, and Thesis Research and many elective courses for you to choose. In addition, students can take any courses offered by other programs in TIGP and by NDMC. more about courses

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Thesis Research

A minimum of two-year thesis research is required. Twelve credits will be granted to the student upon completion of the thesis defense.

Lab Rotation
Students may rotate through several labs with the goal of finding a lab to conduct their thesis research. The duration of each lab rotation is upon mutual agreement between the student and the advisor, but shall not exceed 4 months. A maximum of 2 credits will be granted, even if students take more than 2 lab rotations. Students are highly recommended to decide on the thesis research lab by the end of the first summer. Studentship will be terminated if a student cannot find a thesis research lab before applying for qualifying exam. See the guideline

Thesis Committee
The thesis advisor will organize the thesis committee within one month after the student chooses the lab. Each committee should consist of at least 3 members, including the advisor. The thesis committee shall meet at least once a year for the progress report of the student. The committee evaluates the progress and advises on current research problems and the future direction of the project.

Progress Report
Students must give an annual progress report to the thesis committee. The first report is a thesis proposal and should be given by the end of the third semester. Thereafter, the progress report should be given once a year by the end of each fall semester. Students should prepare a written proposal or progress report according to the format given by the MCB office, and submit it to the thesis committee and MCB office 1 week before the committee meeting.

Annual Progress Report

I. The first progress report is combined with seminar course.

The 2nd year students should coordinate the schedule for progress report and notify the thesis committee members to attend his/her progress report.

1. Progress report process
(1) presentation in public
(2) question and discussion
(3) thesis committee session only

2.Written proposal
A. Format: total page do not exceed 15 pages (single space)
  (a) title page
  (b) introduction (2-5 pages)
  (c) results and discussion
  (d) future work
  (e) references
B. Hand in the proposal to the thesis committee and MCB Office one week before presentation.

II. The following annual progress reports

1. Progress Report should be given by the end of each Fall semester.
2. A written progress report of the same format as proposal is required, and should be submitted to the thesis committee and MCB Office one week before presentation.

Starting from 2008, students are required to complete the annual progress report in a timely manner in order to graduate.

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Qualifying Exam(Revised on February 18, 2011)

Qualifying exam (QE) will be held from June to August every year. Students should take the QE before the start of the third academic year. Students who pass the Molecular and Cell Biology course are eligible to apply for taking QE. Student shall submit an application form and a one-page non-thesis research proposal that contains Abstract and Specific Aims to the Curriculum and Degree Committee during April 15th - 30th. The topic shall not be related to your master and PhD thesis, or to your advisor’s research. The topic can be in the field of student’s thesis research. The application deadline is April 30th.

The Curriculum and Degree Committee will appoint a non-thesis proposal evaluation committee to evaluate each proposal and appoint QE committee for each student according to the subject of the proposal. The QE committee consists of 5 members, excluding the student’s thesis advisor.

The date of QE exam will be announced before June 1st. Student shall turn in the complete non-thesis proposal to the MCB office no less than two weeks before the exam date. Qualifying Exam Form

The format of non-thesis proposal:

  • Abstract or Summary
  • Specific Aims
  • Backgrounds and Significance
  • Experimental Design and Methods
  • Perspective Results
  • Discussion
    (The item 5, 6 can be presented separately or combined together.)
    The format of reference should follow that in the journal “Cell” or “Nature”.

Students will conduct an oral presentation and defend their proposal in front of the QE committee. It requires at least four QE committee members’ approval to pass the exam. In case of failing the exam, students can retake the exam after 3 to 6 months.

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Degree Requirements

In order to earn a Ph.D. in TIGP-MCB, the candidate must successfully complete/meet the following criteria within seven(7) years.

  • Completion of course requirement. 18 credits of course work is required for students with M.S. degree and 30 credits for students with B.S. degree only.
  • Publication: The student should publish, or have the manuscript accepted, at least one first-author paper* on the thesis research. The affiliation of TIGP students in their published work should be listed as "Molecular and Cell Biology, Taiwan International Graduate Program, Academia Sinica and Graduate Institute of Life Science, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan", followed by the primary affiliation of the advisor. Please follow the template(1) or template(2).
    Alternative option is:" Molecular and Cell Biology, Taiwan International Graduate Program, Academia Sinica and National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan".
    (*: If there are more than one first-authors in the publication, the student's thesis committee is required to verify that the quality and quantity of the student's work is sufficient to gain a of TIGP-MCB Program.)
    In principle, the thesis advisor should be the only corresponding author of the publication for graduation. If more than one corresponding authors in publication, student and advisor MUST submit a written statement to specify the reason to Curriculum and Degree Committee before the beginning of the semester toward graduation for approval.
  • Written thesis in English
  • Completion annual progress reports in a timely order
  • Consent of the thesis committee to proceed with the thesis defense
  • Pass the thesis defense

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Termination of Studentship

Studentship will be terminated under any of the following conditions:

  • Student who does not pass the course” Molecular and Cell Biology” the second time.
  • Student who fails to find a thesis research lab before applying for Qualifying Exam.
  • Student who does not meet the criteria to apply for Qualifying Exam in time.
  • Student who fails the Qualifying Exam the second time.
  • Student who does not fulfill the requirements for Ph.D. degree after seven school years.
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Contact the TIGP-MCB Office if the resources above do not address your questions.