The Departments of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Physiology and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Biological Sciences offer Ph.D. programs for highly qualified persons. In addition there is also a M.S. degree offered in Biomedical Science. The programs include a core curriculum of course work designed to meet the particular interests, aptitudes, and needs of individual students. Each candidate is encouraged to acquire a broad understanding of human biology as well as in-depth knowledge of a specific area. All of the programs are highly research oriented.
The typical program of study consists of a minimum of 58 semester hours in graduate-level courses combined with individualized instruction in current laboratory research techniques. Each student may work with several faculty members before selecting a thesis preceptor. By the end of the second year, after approval of a dissertation research proposal and a successful doctoral candidacy examination, the student is admitted to candidacy for the degree. Thesis research, along with some specialized graduate-level courses, occupies most of the third and fourth years of training. Committee acceptance of a written doctoral thesis and successful defense of the thesis are the final degree requirements. Publication of thesis work in refereed journals is expected. The individual programs are intended mainly as preparation for careers in biomedical research, but some emphasis is also placed on the development of teaching and administrative skills.