School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Anatomy and Cell Biology

For application information please visit the Anatomy and Cell Biology Website.


MASTER OF SCIENCE with a major in Anatomy and Cell Biology

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY with a major in Anatomy and Cell Biology

The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology offers training for investigation of biological and biomedical problems using molecular, cellular, and morphological approaches. Faculty members are active in a diversity of research areas, including cell and developmental biology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, vision research, neural injury and plasticity, neurophysiology of ion channels, neurochemistry, reproductive and evolutionary biology, immunity and inflammation. Study for the Ph.D. degree includes thesis research in the laboratory of a faculty member and can generally be completed in four to five years. A combined M.D./Ph.D. program in anatomy and cell biology normally requires six years; applicants for this program should also apply for admission to the School of Medicine. A limited number of students are admitted to a research plan M.S. degree program, which typically requires two years for completion.

During their first year, doctoral students participate in the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences curriculum, which includes students from other basic science departments in the School of Medicine. Courses in cellular and molecular biology provide a solid background for future research work and offer opportunities for interactive participation with faculty members in a small-group setting. Seminars and elective courses broaden the exposure to clinically relevant areas of research. Research rotations allow students to become acquainted with the diverse research interests of the faculty and to obtain hands-on experience in selected techniques. By the end of the first year, students are encouraged to select a research advisor who will assist in the development and implementation of a dissertation research project. Advanced courses in select areas of anatomy and cell biology and in related fields widen the area of expertise.

The graduate program is flexible and seeks to design a program that is tailored to the student's specific career goals. In addition to developing research competence, individuals interested in pursuing teaching as part of a career are able to achieve competence in neuroscience, embryology, gross and microscopic anatomy.

Admission to these programs is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School and the School of Medicine. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree. A minimum honor point average of 3.0 is required for admission. An interview with the Graduate Committee Chairperson or designated representative is desirable. The Graduate Record Examination is required for admission. Foreign students must be proficient in English as determined by satisfactory performance on the standardized TOEFL English proficiency examination.

Scholarship: All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the School of Medicine governing graduate scholarship and degrees.

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY REQUIREMENTS: Applicants for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must complete ninety credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, including at least thirty credits in research and dissertation, eight to ten credits in a minor, and fifty to fifty-two credits distributed between the major and required cognate courses and electives.


The department has graduate research assistantship positions available for a number of qualified students. All students accepted into the graduate degree program are considered for financial assistance, and no application forms are necessary for this purpose. Students on assistantships are advised to elect no more than twelve credits in a given semester. All students, whether or not they hold a fellowship or assistantship, are required to assist the graduate faculty in teaching and research activities as a component of their educational experience. For more information on financial assistance, students should consult or write to:

Dr. Paul Walker - Graduate Committee Chairperson
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Wayne State University School of Medicine
540 E. Canfield Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48201

Anatomy and Cell Biology