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Doctoral Program

Research Concentrations:
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuroscience

The Ph.D. degree is awarded on the basis of each individual student’s contribution to new scientific knowledge. Students will initially focus on course work to establish a solid foundation in experimental biology. This will be followed by independent, hands-on exploratory research in the laboratory of choice. Students will have ample opportunities to work alongside and collaborate with faculty members.

Who Should Apply?

Students who are eager to develop the necessary skills to conduct independent basic and biomedical research are encouraged to apply. Most of our graduates continue their careers as post-doctoral researchers in academic institutions while others directly enter the industrial workforce.

Program Highlights

  • Generous stipend of $28,455/year with tuition and student fees waived
  • Paid health insurance
  • Low student-to-faculty ratio with personalized training
  • Two years of general and specialized Ph.D.-level course work
  • Intensive research in an area selected by the student and their faculty mentor
  • Research toward dissertation begins within the first year
  • Student training includes preparation and presentation of seminars
  • Each student’s progress is closely monitored by an advisory committee of five faculty

Curriculum Information

The academic program for Ph.D. students features a combination of core, skill, and focus courses that include:

  • Core Courses:
    • Graduate Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology of the Cell
  • Skill Courses:
    • Critical Readings in Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Experimental Design
    • Scientific Writing and Hypothesis-Driven Research
  • Focus Courses:
    • Graduate Genetics
    • Fundamentals of Neuroscience
    • Cell Culture & Stem Cells
    • Biomolecular Interactions

Research Training

Our faculty has a wide range of research interests including developmental biology, cancer, neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases, immunology, mitochondrial biology, ribosomal biology, DNA replication and repair, regulation of gene expression, and stem cell biology.

Our research is conducted within a 74,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art Science Center integrated with a medical school campus. Facilities in the Science Center include a transgenic mouse core, next-generation sequencing, mass spectrometry, flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, etc.

Our Ph.D. student scientists learn while performing cutting-edge research on the following timeline:

  • Three laboratory rotations during the first year
  • Responsible Conduct in Research training
  • Thesis mentor selection upon completion of rotations
  • Approval of thesis project by student-selected faculty advisory committee at the end of the first year
  • Generation of preliminary data followed by qualifying exam at the end of the second year
  • Dissertation research with bi-annual written and oral progress reports to your advisory committee
  • Public defense of dissertation and graduation

    Additional Information

    Don't forget to review our Admissions Requirements. You can browse this section for cirriculum charts, course catalog and schedules.