Biomedical Sciences Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program

Applicants to the Ph.D. program are expected to hold a baccalaureate with a combined total of at least 42 credits in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. A minimum of 18 credits in one of these areas will be required.

Doctoral programs in the Department of Biomedical Sciences are designed to train qualified individuals for careers as scientists and teachers in academic and research institutions, public and governmental agencies, and various industrial settings.

The program of study and research requires at least three academic years of full-time study and research or the equivalent over a longer period beyond the baccalaureate and, typically, may involve four or more years of full-time study.

Program of Study and Research (60 credits, minimum)

The course of study of each student is planned with a faculty advisor who takes into account the student's previous preparation and professional objectives.

  1. Required courses: 22 credits maximum;
    • Bms 500A Molecular Cell Biology A (2)
    • Bms 500B Molecular Cell Biology B (2)
    • Bms 500C Molecular Cell Biology C (2)
    • Fundamental Biomedical Sciences Courses: 6 credits total from among Bms 531 Fundamentals of Biomedical Science Research (3), Bms 555 Biodefense Sciences (1), Bms 556 Biodefense Laboratory Sciences (1), Bms 557 Biodefense Sciences: Emerging Infectious Diseases (1), and Bms 601 Biomedical Science Horizons (3 credits)
    • Bms 590 Laboratory Rotations in Biomedical Sciences (3 credits)
    • Bms 665 Journal Club which must be taken every semester beginning with the second semester (0 or 1 credits for a maximum of 3 credits)
    • Bms 670 Responsible Conduct of Scientific Research (1 credit)
    • Epi 503 Principles of Public Health (3 credits)
  2. Additional courses as approved by advisor, 11 credits minimum. Total course credits to equal 30 credits minimum.
  3. Doctoral research, minimum of 30 graduate credits.

Department Examinations

The student must complete satisfactorily:

  1. A Qualifying Examination, Part I, in the fields of Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Biology;
  2. A Qualifying Examination, Part II, consisting of a written and oral defense of a proposal for a research dissertation topic before the dissertation committee;
  3. An oral presentation and defense of the dissertation.

Research Tool Requirement

The student must demonstrate proficiency in an approved research tool. This can be accomplished by demonstrating a reading knowledge of one appropriate foreign language or competency in computer science, statistical analysis, or biometrics. Alternatives may be allowed through approval of a student petition.


The student must submit an acceptable dissertation which represents a significant and original contribution in his/her area of specialization.

Full Time Study in Residence

All students are required to be registered for a minimum of 7 credits per semester for 2 semesters.

Admission to Candidacy

A student is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon the following:

  1. Satisfactory record in course and seminar study, 30 credits minimum;
  2. Completion of University residence requirements;
  3. Satisfactory completion of the research tool requirement;
  4. Satisfactory completion of both parts of the qualifying examinations;
  5. Approval of the proposed dissertation topic.