Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree
Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics usually have a baccalaureate degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or biology, and have taken courses in introductory biochemistry, calculus, physical and organic chemistry, and physics. Prospective students should apply for admission through the Biochemistry graduate group of the Biomedical Sciences.
Most students will complete our required foundational core course: BIMS 6000 Core Course in Integrative Biosciences
SECOND SEMESTER AND BEYOND
Training in Responsible Conduct of Research is required and provided through BIMS 7100 Research Ethics.
All students will be expected to gain additional knowledge and experience through completion of research rotations. Students should register for up to 18 credits of BIMS 8995 (S/U) during their first year of graduate work. BIOC 5050/5051 (S/U) may be substituted for BIMS 8995 per the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
In addition, two modules of advanced and specialty courses are required post-BIMS 6000. These courses are available in a wide range of areas, including biophysics, computational biology, cancer biology, epigenetics, genetics, immunology, pharmacology, proteins structure, statistics, and many others. Students are expected to enrich their knowledge by selection of modules based on student interest and advisor recommendations.
Most students will complete 24 topical credit hours of course work by the end of their first year. Thus, the requirements of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will be fulfilled and students will devote the vast majority of the remaining portions of their graduate studies to dissertation research, seminars and journal club. During all years of the graduate program, students are also required to attend the departmental faculty research seminar series, as well as Journal Club.
Students generally complete a minimum of three research rotations during their first year. Laboratory rotations are chosen in consultation with the Graduate Advisor. Students are expected to choose an advisor and dissertation project during the second semester of their first year. Experimental work in the mentor’s laboratory leads to the writing of the dissertation and its defense before the Dissertation Committee and the rest of the Department.
Research for the dissertation is regarded as the candidate’s major training. The final examination for the Ph.D. is devoted entirely to a defense of the dissertation by the candidate. Generally the degree program is completed in five years.