Curriculum

Ph.D. Program

First Year
Integrated Core Curriculum

During Year 1, all new graduate students in the biomedical sciences graduate programs matriculate in a common interdisciplinary core curriculum. This integrated first year allows students to build competence in key areas of contemporary science, gain exposure to the various training program options, meet potential thesis advisors, and form social connections with each other before having to select an advisor, training program, or research specialization.

Thus, the first year of the Ph.D. program is both undifferentiated and integrated to provide maximum flexibility. This enables students to select a training program that fits their goals. For students who had pre-selected a specific department upon application, this integrated first year gives them the opportunity to change programs at the end of Year 1 without disrupting their academic progress or their stipend support.

In the second semester of Year 1, students who already have clear research or program interests may customize their coursework by selecting from an array of program-specific electives. At the end of Year 1, students can select one of the program tracks for their advanced graduate research training.

Ph.D. training typically takes 4-5 years to complete. Stipend support and tuition waivers are provided for the duration of this training.

1st Year

First Semester (Fall) - (13 total credit hours)

  • Cell Structure & Metabolism (5 hours)
  • Fundamentals of Integrated Systems (overview) (4 hours)
  • Statistics for the Basic Sciences (1 hour)
  • Scientific Ethics and Lab Certification (1 hour)
  • Laboratory Rotation (1 hour)
  • Journal Club (1 hour)

Second Semester (Spring)- (13 total credit hours)

  • Molecular Genetics (4 hours)
  • Microbial Pathogenesis (1 hour)
  • Modules - Student chooses 3:
    • Cardiovascular/Renal
    • Respiratory
    • Muscle & Exercise
    • Neurobiology II
    • Immunology II
  • Protein Structure and Proteonics (6 hours)
  • Laboratory Rotation - 2 (1 hour)
  • Laboratory Rotation - 3 (1 hour)

Summer 1 & 2

  • Research (3 hours each)
    Research variable

2nd Year

First Semester

  • Advanced Physiology (variable hours)
  • Graduate Colloquium (1 hour)
  • Traching Practicum (1-2 hours)
  • Research (variable hours)

Second Semester

  • Advanced Physiology (variable hours)
  • Graduate Colloquium (1 hour)
  • Traching Practicum (1-2 hours)
  • Research (variable hours)
  • Graduate Seminar (1 hour)

Summer I and II Semesters

  • Research variable

After the second year, students will continue to take Graduate Colloquium, Teaching Practicum and Research credits each semester, and Graduate Seminar in the second semester of each year.

Note: Advanced Physiology consists of 5 modules: Cardiovascular, Renal, Neuroscience, Respiration, and Endocrine. Each module is 3 credit hours. Ph.D. students must take all 5 modules or a total of 15 hours that combine one or more Advanced Physiology modules with other courses tailored to the student’s particular research interest.

M.S. Program

M.S. and M.D./Ph.D. Options

The M.S. degree is a two-year program that includes the integrated core curriculum. The School also offers a joint M.D./Ph.D. program. These students take the first two years of the medical curriculum, followed typically by three years of research for the Ph.D. degree, before returning to the M.D. program.

Integrated Core Curriculum

1st Year

First Semester (Fall) - (13 total credit hours)

  • Cell Structure & Metabolism (5 hours)
  • Fundamentals of Integrated Systems (overview) (4 hours)
  • Statistics for the Basic Sciences (1 hour)
  • Scientific Ethics and Lab Certification (1 hour)
  • Laboratory Rotation (1 hour)
  • Journal Club (1 hour)

Second Semester (Spring)- (13 total credit hours)

  • Molecular Genetics (4 hours)
  • Microbial Pathogenesis (1 hour)
  • Modules - Student chooses 3:
    • Cardiovascular/Renal
    • Respiratory
    • Muscle & Exercise
    • Neurobiology II
    • Immunology II
  • Protein Structure and Proteonics (6 hours)
  • Laboratory Rotation - 2 (1 hour)
  • Laboratory Rotation - 3 (1 hour)

Summer 1 & 2

  • Research (3 hours each)
    Research variable

2nd Year

First Semester

  • Advanced Physiology (variable hours)
  • Graduate Colloquium (1 hour)
  • Research (variable hours)

Second Semester

  • Advanced Physiology (variable hours)
  • Graduate Colloquium (1 hour)
  • Research (variable hours)

Summer I and II Semesters

  • Research variable

Graduate Seminar I

  • (Thesis defense)

Note: Advanced Physiology consists of 5 modules: Cardiovascular, Renal, Neuroscience, Respiration, and Endocrine. Each module is 3 credit hours. M.S. students must take a total of 6 Advanced Physiology credit hours.