Curriculum: PhD Degree, MS Degree

Graduate students have a major role in SUNY Upstate's progressive approach to research. All exploration here is focused on better understanding health, disease, and other human conditions.

From the start, graduate students focus on research. Through their immediate work in labs and their on-going interactions with Principal Investigators, our students explore some of the most intriguing questions in the biomedical sciences.

PhD students, in particular, have great flexibility in charting their future. As part of the curriculum, they are exposed to a variety of research projects before choosing which program will ultimately bestow their degree.

PhD Degree Overview

The PhD program—including research, didactic course work and successful defense of a dissertation—is intended to be completed in four to five years.

By the start of the second year, most PhD students have begun work on the research project that will lead to their dissertation.

Within six months of passing the qualifying exam, students put together a dissertation advisory committee of three to six faculty members from different departments.

Master's Degree

Three programs in the College of Graduate Studies offer master's degrees. Students enter these programs directly: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Cell and Developmental Biology; Pharmacology; and Physiology.

Teaching Opportunities

Student teaching

Most students in the College of Graduate Studies are not required to teach, but there are opportunities to do so if schedules allow.

Justin Siebert, a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Dennis Stelzner, Cell and Developmental Biology, teaches neuroanatomy to students in the College of Medicine.

"I like teaching other people about things I enjoy," Siebert said. "And sometimes I can incorporate my own research into it."