Programs of Study
The department offers programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The combined M.D./Ph.D. degrees are available in collaboration with the School of Medicine. Applicants with a bachelor's degree in
- Molecular Biology
- or related fields
are encouraged to apply.
The first year is an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary program (IGPBS) taught by faculty members from the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Molecular and Integrative Physiology; Pathology and Laboratory Science; and Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics. Applications for graduate studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are accepted via the IGPBS program.
At the end of the first year, students choose a research lab and affiliate with the related department. Advanced coursework is described here. The Ph.D. candidacy examination is taken before the end of the second year and consists of written and oral comprehensive examinations. The written component is a grant proposal in the format of the National Institutes of Health. The oral comprehensive examination is a defense of the grant proposal and a test of the student's basic science knowledge. More information may be found here.
The Ph.D. degree requires at least 35 credit hours of coursework, emphasizing theoretical concepts as well as practical aspects of laboratory work. Students develop the ability to apply basic knowledge and experience to an independent research problem. The program accommodates the individual student's prior educational experience and ultimate goals. Completion of the requirements for a Ph.D. generally requires four or five calendar years. The M.S. requires about one year of course work and a year of supervised research leading to a thesis. Graduates of the M.S. and Ph.D. programs are routinely placed in industrial and academic research positions.