Course master: Robert Mercer, PhD (

Block: 1

Teaching style: Lecture, weekly small group discussions

Grading: Three exams with in-class and take-home portions, plus a few homework assignments

Passing: Letter-graded (the vast majority of students receive As and Bs), though grades are converted to Pass/Fail for MD/PhDs.

Molecular Cell Biology (MCB) is the grad school course offered to first-year MSTPeeps in lieu of MFM. Featuring weekly discussion sections where you can delightfully rip apart each other’s research papers, MCB is quite unique. Why take MCB? (1) If you take MCB, you’ll be required to take two fewer med school selectives, (2) it is required for some (but not all) PhD tracks anyway, and (3) it’s a nice break from med school. You meet some rad grad students while spending quality time with your MSTPals.

— Jennifer S., M1