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Doctor of Philosophy in Integrated Biomedical Sciences Curriculum

Program Objectives

Our Doctor of Philosophy in Integrated Biomedical Sciences program prepares you for leadership in research and academic positions.

The program also provides you with career path education relevant to your specialized fields.

You will work with faculty and scientists to generate new knowledge in the fields of biomedicine using sophisticated research methods.

You will design and conduct research that culminates in a dissertation. And you must pass a comprehensive preliminary examination based on your research proposal.

Graduates perform high-quality, impactful biomedical research in a variety of settings.

Find admissions information

Graduation Requirements

First year

The first year of the program provides didactic classes to ensure you have a solid scientific background in the following:

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Organ systems biology

You will also take reading classes that introduce you to scientific literature and how to apply it to scientific problems and disease.

Three laboratory rotations familiarize you with the labs on campus and help guide your choices for labs and future collaborations.

Second year

The second year marks the beginning of the experimental phase of the curriculum.

After selecting a research track and adviser, you will generate preliminary data and write a proposal focused on planned research. This will be in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) predoctoral grant format.

This gives you experience in planning research and writing a grant. Following revision, you will submit your grant to the NIH for review.

In addition, a candidacy exam requires you to write a literature review using a multidisciplinary approach to a disease process.

Third, fourth and fifth years

Your final three years are focused on completing your dissertation research.

Course Curriculum

First year

Fall term

  • GCC - 516 Foundations in Biomedical Sciences (Credits: 7)
  • GCC - 530 Laboratory Rotations I (Credits: 1-9)
  • GCC - 546 Principles of Biostatistics I (Credits: 2)
  • GCC - 548 Bioinformatics (Credits: 1)

Spring term

  • BTN - 525 Experimental Design and Models in Disease (Credits: 2)
  • GCC - 506 Biomedical Ethics (Credits: 1)
  • GCC - 533 Laboratory Rotations II (Credits: 1-9)
  • GCC - 547 Principles of Biostatistics II (Credits: 2)
  • GCC - 549 Bioinformatics II (Credits: 1)

Summer term

  • GCC - 534 Laboratory Rotations III (Credits: 1-9)

Second year

Fall term

  • GCC - 699 Dissertation Research (Credits: 1-9)

Spring term

  • GCC - 699 Dissertation Research (Credits: 1-9)
  • GCC - 594 Introduction to Grant Writing (Credits: 2)

Summer term

  • GCC - 699 Dissertation Research (Credits: 1-9)


Laboratory rotations are part of the core curriculum. You must register for a minimum of two credits of laboratory rotation I, II and nine credits of laboratory rotation III.

You are expected to register for nine research credits each term, as 54 credits of dissertation research are required for graduation.

While registration appears similar in years two through five, the nature of the research changes. You reach a number of milestones as you work toward the PhD.

Research Specific Courses

For graduation, students will need a minimum of four credits of research area specific coursework. Each student should select and take an introductory and advanced course.

  • BMC - 500 Musculoskeletal Biology (Credits: 3)
  • BMC - 508 Techniques in Orthopedic Biomechanics (Credits: 2)
  • GCC - 519 Intro to Neuroscience (Credits: 3)
  • GCC - 652 The Changing Nervous System (Credits: 2)
  • GCC - 611 Cancer Biology I (Credits: 3)
  • GCC - 612 Cancer Biology II (Credits: 3)
  • IMM - 507 Basic Immunology I (Credits: 3)
  • IMM - 510 Advanced Immunology I (Credits: 4)

View the current course catalog

Refer to the course catalog for our most up-to-date curriculum information.