Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs

Doctoral Degree Curriculum Outline


Summary of Degree Requirements: 

All students are required to successfully complete the following courses: 

 GMS 6001 Foundation in Biomedical Sciences 6 hrs
 GMS 6091 Responsible Conduct in Research* 1 hr
 GMS 6094 Experimental Design & Analysis 3 hrs
 GMS 6002 Success Skills in Biomedical Sciences* 1 hr
 BCH 6935 Grant Writing & Scientific Communication 2 hrs

*S/U Courses

Students must complete at least 24 credit hours of didactic coursework (excluding journal clubs, seminars, laboratory rotations, directed research, S/U courses, etc.). This includes the program required courses indicated above, along with coursework within the student's chosen concentration. 

Students work with their advisory and dissertation committees to choose appropriate courses from the course list for their chosen concentration.

A minimum of 90 total hours are required to complete the PhD program. 

The First Year of Study

In their first year, students typically take the sequence of courses outlined below. 

  • Foundation in Biomedical Sciences
  • Responsible Conduct in Research
  • Lab Rotations
  • Bioscience Seminar 
  • Success Skills
  • Directed Research
  • Bioscience Seminar
  • Concentration Courses
  • Experimental Design & Analysis
  • Directed Research 

Most students will identify a mentor at the conclusion of Lab Rotations in the Fall semester. 

The Second Year of Study

Students will complete the didactic coursework required for the program and their concentration, and will continue to enroll in Directed Research. By the end of the second year, a student has usually completed sufficient coursework and has met the other research requirements to take the Comprehensive Qualifying Examination. Successful completion of this examination leads to formal candidacy for PhD admission. 

Doctoral Degree Completion

The final phase of the program emphasizes research and independent study, which leads to a written dissertation. The PhD degree is awarded upon successful completion and oral defense of the dissertation.  Most students complete the entire degree within 4 to 6 years. 

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