PhD Degree: First Year

All first-year students participate in three lab rotations of their choosing. Lab rotations give students exposure to diverse research environments and help them select a mentor with whom to do their dissertation research.

To help students select their rotation labs, the college offers the Graduate Student Research Opportunities course during the first three weeks. In this course, representatives from each of the six biomedical sciences programs describe the research interests of their faculty members. A faculty advisor also helps students select their rotation labs.

All first-year students also participate in a core curriculum designed to provide a broad-based education in the basic biomedical sciences and to develop a sense of community and collegiality. The first-year core curriculum courses are:
  • Foundations of Molecular and Cellular Biology, covering fundamental and advanced topics in biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology
  • Principles of Biostatistics, introducing the basic principles of biostatistics for research in the biomedical sciences
  • Journal Club, where students practice analyzing papers and giving oral presentations.

Beginning in January, students take elective courses.

By the end of the spring semester, students begin focusing on research. They have until the end of the first year to select a mentor and become affiliated with their mentor's degree granting program.


First Year | Fall Semester

GS604 Graduate Student Research Opportunities: 0 credits
GS612 Biomedical Sciences Laboratory Rotations (1st rotation): 2 credits
GS616 Foundations of Molecular and Cellular Biology: 4 credits
GS892 Intro to the Presentation and Analysis of Scientific Literature: Journal Club: 1 credit
MPH602-002 Principles of Biostatistics:3 credits

First Year | Spring Semester

GS612 Biomedical Sciences Laboratory Rotations (2nd rotation): 2 credits
GS612 Biomedical Sciences Laboratory Rotations (3rd rotation): 2 credits
In addition, students take at least 5 additional credits of program course requirements and additional advanced electives.


>>>See our Frequently Asked Questions regarding Research and Lab Rotations, etc.<<<