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PhD Curriculum


In the first semester, all students take the identical core curriculum, described below. In conjunction with the course work in the first year, students rotate in 6-week blocks through three of the Program’s participating research laboratories of the student’s choice. This allows students to become more familiar with BMS research and faculty. Students should choose a Dissertation Advisor by the end of the second semester but must choose a Dissertation Advisor by the end of the third semester. Students may choose to further specify their study by choosing an Area of Research Emphasis (a Departmental Concentration in Anatomy, Biochemistry, Medical Genetics and Genomics, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology or - starting in Fall 2021, Biomedical Informatics). Core courses are the same for all specializations except Biomedical Informatics as shown in the table below. Although core course requirements are the same for all concentrations other than Biomedical Informatics, other concentrations may add further course requirements beyond those required for the Biomedical Sciences PhD degree without specialization.

Printable curriculum

Coursework in the 2nd year must include at least 6 credit hours of lecture-based course work (Electives) and 11 credit hours of Independent Study (Research).

A minimum of 48 credit hours of course work and independent study is required for the PhD. All formal course work is to be completed within the first two years. Students may take Independent Study (BMSP-7990 or equivalent) for 1-6 credits per semester for a maximum of 12 credits total during the first two years. The remaining hours of coursework are selected from the elective curriculum by the student in consultation with the dissertation advisor.  Once coursework is completed, the student must demonstrate the ability to carry out independent study and research in a chosen field, as evidenced in the dissertation. Students ordinarily complete the requirements for the Ph.D. degree between four and seven years from the date of matriculation in the program.