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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Cancer Biology (CNB)

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CIP Code: 26.0911
College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 96
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Masters Degree): 96

Contact Information:
College of Arts and Sciences
Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology Department (BCM)
12902 Magnolia Drive MRC 4E
Tampa FL  33612

Program Director or Coordinator:
Kenneth Wright
Phone: 813-745-3918


Faculty Search: Arts and Sciences Faculty List

Program Information

The Cancer Biology Program consists of interdisciplinary training in multiple fields emphasizing the facets which impact cancer. This will prepare students to enter the emerging new technological workforce required to implement biomedical advances that will have a key impact on global health and yield significant societal advantages.

The Program is a joint endeavor between the Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of South Florida. Tremendous advances in the detection and treatment of cancer has occurred through basic research and translational medicine, yet cancer continues to adversely affect millions of people worldwide in terms of quality of life, life span, and economic burden. The Moffitt Cancer Center located at the University of South Florida is a leading institution of basic research, clinical research, and patient treatment with a focused mission "to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer." The Moffitt Cancer Center is officially designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

The Cancer Biology Ph.D. Program's goal is to train the next generation of cancer researchers. Studies of cancer require specific knowledge in multiple fields that have traditionally been independent. Our Cancer Biology Ph.D. program emulates the Moffitt Cancer Center and eliminates these boundaries. Students receive cancer oriented training in multiple areas include: molecular biology, immunology, functional genomics, bioinformatics, drug discovery & development, cancer genetics, cancer prevention & control, cancer therapeutics, cell biology, biochemistry, and proteomics. The Program requires a minimum of 96 graduate hours as specified in the degree program requirements irrespective of whether a student holds a bachelor's or a master's degree upon admission.

Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: January 15
Spring: ---
Summer: ---

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: January 15
Spring: ---
Summer: ---

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

  • Extensive background in field of biology or chemistry
  • GRE required for full consideration
  • GPA of at least 3.0 or greater
  • Advanced coursework and research experience preferred

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

All students are required to successfully complete the Cancer Biology Program Core Courses. Dissertation Committees may require students to take additional course work if needed to correct deficiencies. In special circumstances the Cancer Biology Education Committee can waive course requirements, if the student has recently completed identical coursework elsewhere. Students are required to achieve a minimum GPA of B in all Cancer Biology Core courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 (B) in order to remain in good standing.

All Cancer Biology Ph.D. students in good standing will receive a highly competitive stipend. Please visit the Program's website for current stipend levels. All students also receive student health insurance coverage and direct payment in full of all required tuition and required fees. Please visit the Program's website for current stipend levels.







Cancer Research Techniques
Basics of Molecular Oncology
Cancer Immunology
Cancer Genomics and Drug Discovery
Cancer Genetics
Bioethics for Cancer Researchers

LAB ROTATIONS2 hours minimum
PCB 6910Cancer Laboratory Rotations1-3
During the first year, students will be required to complete two or three laboratory rotations according to their interest. Laboratory rotations may be for a full semester or 10 weeks for students that choose to do three rotations. Students doing rotations will need to enroll in the laboratory rotation course. If a student has not chosen a major professor after two semesters, they may enroll in an additional summer rotation. Rotations have several purposes. The foremost is to help the students choose a compatible major professor and an exciting research project. A second purpose is for students to develop necessary technical skills. Students will be evaluated by the host professor and the Graduate Advisor will assign a grade to each student at the end of the semester.
Other Course Requirements18 hours minimum
BSC 7911 Directed Research 4-12
PCB 6931 Advances in Cancer Biology 4-12
PCB 6930 Current Topics in Oncology 4-8
Optional Cancer Biology Courses1-6
BCS 6939 Selected Topics in Cancer Biology 1-6




Dissertation: Doctoral

24 hours minimum

Prior to the dissertation defense, students must have an original first-author research report accepted for publication in a peer reviewed scientific journal.


Remaining credit hours required to meet the 96 hour minimum for graduation will consist of additional Dissertation hours (BSC7980), Selected Topics in Cancer Biology (BCS6939), and/or Program approved electives.





College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

BSC6056, PCB6230, PCB6231, PCB6910, BSC7911, PCB6931, PCB6930, BSC6939, BSC7980,