Advanced Degree Program for Corporate Employees (ADP)

A biochemistry and molecular biology student working in the lab

About the ADP Program

The Advanced Degree Program for Corporate Employees was established at the University of California, Davis, to enable employees at regional biotechnology, biomedical, or bioscience corporations to pursue a doctoral degree in one of the following programs:

Biological Sciences:
Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Plant Biology

Chemical Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering

School of Veterinary Medicine:

College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences:
Pharmacology & Toxicology

This program is offered through the Biotechnology Program in conjunction with Graduate Studies, the College of Biological Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the School of Veterinary Medicine. It is designed to meet the special needs of corporate students while maintaining the campus’ high standards for graduate education.

General Framework

  • Students spend at least three academic quarters on the UC Davis campus, enabling them to interact with a diverse group of faculty members and students.

  • Requirements of the program foster considerable subject matter breadth and depth.

  • UC Davis faculty members and corporate scientists provide mentorship.

  • Periodic meetings of students and mentors will be arranged.


Corporate students take a course of study comparable to that of other students in the graduate group. For specific requirements, please refer to each graduate group’s web page at:

College of Biological Sciences
College of Engineering
School of Veterinary Medicine
College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

To complete the requirements, corporate students must, in general, spend at least three academic quarters on the UC Davis campus.

     Laboratory Rotations
Corporate students participate in laboratory rotations if required by the graduate group/program. Students choose laboratory rotations that help broaden the research experience. Most graduate programs require three to four rotations in different laboratories before the student joins the lab in which the thesis research will occur. Usually, corporate students return to their sponsoring industrial laboratory for completion of their thesis research. However, other arrangements are possible if approved by the thesis committee.

     Teaching Assistantships
Students may undertake a one-quarter teaching assistantship if required by the graduate group. The corporate student can meet this requirement during the first year when he or she is a resident on campus.

     Qualifying Examinations
Corporate students and other graduate students in the degree program must successfully complete a qualifying examination to advance to candidacy for a Ph.D. A qualifying examination committee appointed by Graduate Studies oversees the examination, which usually occurs at the end of the second year.

     Dissertation Committee
Each student in the degree program has a three-member dissertation committee.  In general, a major professor chairs the committee and the student’s corporate mentor serves as co-chair. The remaining member of the committee is a faculty member in the graduate group/program. 

     Appointment of Corporate Scientists to Graduate Group (Optional)
To supervise the thesis research of a corporate student, a corporate scientist may apply for membership in the graduate group to which the student will belong. Review of the corporate mentor’s application (and subsequent appointment) is contingent on the acceptance of the corporate employee into one of the graduate groups participating in the Advanced Degree Program. 

It is expected that the corporate mentor will be involved in an on-campus teaching endeavor: team-teaching a course, leading a seminar, etc.


Student Fees and Support

Corporate students in the Advanced Degree Program are responsible for the same enrollment fees as students in other graduate programs at UC Davis. The campus will not offer financial support. If the corporation will be paying the student's fees, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this.

     Corporate Sponsorship Agreement
Each corporation/industry partner will be asked to set up a sponsorship agreement and contribute $7,500 per ADP student. A portion of this contribution will be returned to the ADP student's home graduate group and a portion will be used to support the Advanced Degree Program.


Prescreening Application

Corporate employees who wish to be considered for admission into the Advanced Degree Program should send an email to the Biotechnology Program ( expressing interest along with a current CV at least three months prior to the application deadline.



Corporate applicants are subject to the admission requirements of the graduate group that administers the chosen program. These requirements may include submission of complete undergraduate transcripts and Graduate Record Examination scores, basic and subject exams, taken within the last three years. For required subject exams, see the specific graduate group.

The graduate group prescreens all potential candidates for any academic deficiencies. Any necessary remedial work must be completed before filing a formal application. The program will admit only applicants who are capable of entering directly into the core curriculum.


Call or Email Us Today for More Information

If you would like more information about the Advanced Degree Program, please inquire at or by phone at: (530) 752-3260.