Scientist working in a lab.

Doctor of Philosophy

Biomedical Sciences

Program of Study


Core Courses

  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Introduction to Biomedical Sciences
  • Laboratory Rotations in Biomedical Sciences
  • Current Literature in Biomedical Sciences
  • Responsible Conduct of Scientific Research
  • Principles of Public Health

Supporting Electives

Sample course subjects: Biodefense Sciences, Bioecology of Vector-Borne Diseases, Cancer Biology, Cellular Neuroscience, Chemical Principles in RNA Biology, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Microbial Pathogenesis, Nervous System Disorders, Structural Molecular Biology


Qualifying Exams

Part 1 of the qualifying exam, completed at the end of your first year, is an oral presentation of a primary research paper related to your area. Part 2 is a written research proposal and oral defense of the your dissertation project and is completed at the end of your second academic year.

Research Tool

Develop proficiency in an approved research tool, such as competency in computer programming, statistical analysis, or biostatistics, or reading knowledge of an appropriate foreign language.

Doctoral Research: 30 credits (minimum)

Dissertation and Defense

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact the department at [email protected].

Associated Faculty Research Interests
  • Dynamics of introns and inteins in bacterial pathogens
  • Evolutionary and population genetics, ecology, mosquito vectors of viral and protozoan pathogens
  • Molecular genetics and genomics of mycobacteria, virulence, mobile DNA, drug design
  • Host-vector-virus interrelationships and viral evolution of Category B viral encephalides


  • Mucosal immunity to ricin and Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B
  • Reverse genetics, RNA synthesis, and pathogenesis of coronaviruses, including SARS
  • Tuberculosis and plague virulence gene regulation and pathogenesis
  • Mutagenic effects of lesion-bypass DNA polymerases
  • Regulation of gene expression in bacteria
Career Paths

Most PhD graduates in biomedical sciences pursue post-doctoral training or employment at universities, schools of medicine and health sciences, biotechnology firms, and government research agencies such as:

  • Centers for Disease Control
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • National Science Foundation
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Veterans Administration
Team of engineers working on instruments in research center

International Students

This degree is designated as a STEM program. International students maintaining F-1 status are allowed to apply for up to 12 months of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) following completion/graduation from their degree program. Currently, this degree program is also designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as an eligible degree for the F-1 STEM OPT work authorization extension; students who secure qualifying employment may be eligible to apply for the STEM OPT extension for a cumulative total of up to 36 months of F-1 OPT work authorization.

Admission Requirements


Priority: January 5

Applicants who wish to be considered for a doctoral graduate assistantship or scholarship must submit their application by the priority deadline.  Some scholarships require that applications be received earlier than the published priority deadline. Students who wish to be considered for one of the early submission scholarships should consult our Financing Your Degree page and must submit the degree application and any additional required documents by the stated date for that scholarship.

Applications may be accepted on a space available basis after the priority deadline. Contact the department directly at [email protected] with questions about submitting your application after the priority deadline.

PhD Biomedical Sciences Degree Application

The application and all supporting materials for the PhD in Biomedical Sciences must be submitted directly to The Graduate School at the University at Albany.

Application Requirements

  • Must hold a bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing
  • Grade point average of 3.00 or better
  • A combined total of at least 42 credits in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.
  • Prior research experience, either through an undergraduate experience, enhanced summer research, or post-baccalaureate degree
  • Applicants are reviewed in the context of academic preparation and performance, potential for success, fit for the graduate program, as well as potential match with mentor

For application specific questions, contact us at [email protected].

International Requirements

  • International students must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 98 or IELTS score of 7.0. We will only accept official scores sent by the testing institution.
  • UAlbany TOEFL code is 2532. We do not use department codes. For electronic IELTS score results reporting, provide the following information to your test center:
    University at Albany (SUNY)
    1400 Washington Avenue
    Albany, NY 12222
  • The TOEFL or IELTS is not required for international students who have completed at least four semesters of full-time study within a four-year time frame from time of application, and maintained at least a B average at a college or university in the United States or a country from an approved list.  For questions regarding English Language Proficiency waivers, please email Soha Acosta at [email protected].

Required Application Materials

Official transcripts

  • Official transcripts from EVERY post-secondary academic institution attended, including college coursework completed during high school, must be sent directly from the institution to the Graduate School. You must report all colleges and universities attended and submit official transcripts, even if your transfer credits are listed on your primary transcript. 

Three letters of recommendation

  • A minimum of two letters must be from academic faculty 
  • At least one letter must be from a university faculty member in the major field of study
  • Letters must be signed and on institutional/organizational letterhead

Personal Statement

  • Why do you wish to pursue a career in biomedical sciences and why are you interested in your chosen area of concentration?
  • 1500 word limit
  • The personal statement must have well-defined research interests


Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Core Competencies:
  • Apply fundamental concepts in the core areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology to a succinct research problem in the chosen specialty area.
  • Apply laboratory skills such as planning of experiments, data acquisition, management and analysis to a selected research problem.
  • Critically evaluate the scientific literature.
  • Demonstrate needed communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Apply fundamental concepts in the biomedical sciences to public health issues, in particular, in the detection, treatment and prevention of disease.
  • Understand the contribution of advanced biomedical science disciplines to public health.
  • Understand and demonstrate the proper conduct of scientific research.
  • Plan and execute, with considerable independence, original and extensive laboratory research on a significant problem in the biomedical sciences.
  • Critically evaluate the work of peers in biomedical sciences, including the choice of methods applied to problems and the interpretation of results obtained.
  • Demonstrate advanced communication skills, both verbal and written, to disseminate the results of research.