Our Program

Our Program at a Glance

doctor and patient

We focus on a broad training experience that is geared to provide a wide range of employment opportunities for our students. Formal coursework in the first two years includes courses in Biophysics, Chemical Biology, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Cellular Pathway and Regulation, Statistics, Bioinformatics, and Pharmacology. A short practical course in grantsmanship is also part of the first two years of studies and prepares trainees for writing individual fellowships should they desire to do so. After the foundational courses are completed, trainees are free to choose from a wide variety of elective courses at the School of Medicine to meet their particular research interests and career objectives.

In addition to coursework, our program emphasizes research. Students begin work in a research laboratory immediately upon their arrival. During the first year, two or three laboratory rotations are completed concurrently with the core courses. These rotations provide experiences in diverse experimental systems, so that by the end of the first year, students are able to choose a laboratory for their thesis research.

By the end of the second year, all students have completed the formal course requirements, and take the Doctoral Board Oral Qualifying Examination. The subsequent years in the program are focused on thesis laboratory research and completing elective courses.

Each candidate defends his or her thesis research in a formal thesis defense, and also presents their work at a public seminar. The average time for completing the entire program is about five years.

Our graduates typically move on to postdoctoral positions or to industry, government or consulting positions upon completion of the degree.