PhD Degree—Later Years

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

Within six months of passing the qualifying exam, students put together a thesis advisory committee, comprised of three to six faculty members from different departments. The committee meets every six months to review the student's progress, make suggestions and provide direction.

After completing their research projects, students write a thesis and defend it before a dissertation defense committee.

SUNY Upstate Is a Good Environment for Student First Authors

Michelle farah and mentor and co-author, Associate Professor David Amberg, PhD

Michelle Farah is the first author of a paper that appeared in the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell. Her mentor and co-author, Associate Professor David Amberg, PhD, holds a $1.45 million NIH grant to analyze complex genetic interactions in cells.

Examining how certain proteins in yeast cells respond to oxidative stress is the core of the research that Michelle Farah published, and was based on work she began in her third year.

Specifically, Farah is looking at the role of actin, a highly conserved protein that makes up part of the cell structure.

"It was very exciting to be published, and I'm working on a second paper now," Farah said.