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Program Forms

Cell and Molecular Biology Specialist Program Form: 2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17

The Cell and Molecular Biology Major and Specialist programs have the option of a Disciplinary Focus.

CMB Specialist: Focus in Molecular Networks of the Cell: 2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19, 2017-18
CMB Specialist: Focus in Plant Genomics and Biotechnology:
2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19, 2017-18
CMB Specialist: Focus in Stem Cells and Developmental Biology: 2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19, 2017-18

Program Information

The cell is the fundamental unit of all life. Research in cell and molecular biology therefore addresses a large range of questions such as: How does a single cell give rise to a whole plant or animal? How do cells allow us to see, hear or smell? How do stem cells regenerate body parts? What goes wrong when cells become cancerous?

To answer all of these questions we must understand how the thousands of genes in our genomes and the proteins they encode function together to orchestrate cellular processes. Students joining the Cell and Molecular Biology Program offered by the Department of Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto will examine how genes and proteins interact in cells and how cells interact to form organisms. They will also learn how cell and molecular biology research is conducted, and receive training in advanced microscopy, molecular biology and computer analysis.

Cell and molecular biology research is one the most demanding fields in science, requiring the integration of multiple subject areas, experimental skill and creative thinking. The Cell and Molecular Biology Program fosters growth in these areas. Our students gain an understanding of cell and molecular biology, and leave the program equipped to tackle fundamental cell biology questions themselves.

The Cell and Molecular Biology Program begins with a core set of courses providing a foundation in biology in the first and second years of study. In the upper years, the Department of Cell and Systems Biology offers a range courses that cover various aspects of cell and molecular biology. These include advanced lecture, seminar and laboratory courses in addition to research project courses which take students into active labs to pursue their own research. Supplementary courses are also available from other departments. This diverse course offering allows students to customize their educational experience to match their personal interests.

Specialist Program

  • must have completed 4.0 credits including:  BIO120H1, BIO130H1, CHM (135H1, 136H1)/(138H1, 139H1)/CHM151Y1, JMB170Y1/MAT (135H1, 136H1)/MAT137Y1/MAT157Y1
  • must have achieved a minimum grade of 70% in BIO130H1
  • if 70% was not earned in 130, you can apply with a minimum grade of 70% in BIO230H1 or BIO255H1
  • achieving 70% in any of these courses does not guarantee you entry into the programs; it only makes you eligible to apply

Students learn how genes and proteins organize cells and tissues for cellular activities, multicellular development, and interactions with the environment.  Students also learn how cell and molecular biology research is conducted, and receive training in advanced techniques of the field.

After foundational courses in first and second year, students participate in advanced lecture, seminar and laboratory courses, and are encouraged to apply for research project courses in the laboratories of the Department.  Course offerings include gene expression, cell biology, developmental biology, plant development, plant-microbe interactions, plant signaling, neurogenesis, tissue morphogenesis, stem cell biology, genomics and proteomics.