PhD Program


The Ph.D. program in Physiology prepares students for academic careers involving research and teaching, as well as other careers where physiology training is required (biotechnology, government laboratories, industry, and health-related organizations).

The first two years of the Ph.D. program are largely devoted to course work. During the first year, students will complete interdisciplinary course work (see Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences) emphasizing molecular aspects of cell and organismal biology, along with three research rotations with faculty from multiple departments (Physiology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Microbiology & Immunology, Neuroscience, Pathology).

Advanced subjects in physiology will be taken during the second year.

After successful completion of a qualifying examination, the Ph.D. candidate performs original research leading to a dissertation; the student works closely with a mentor and receives guidance from an advisory committee. Completion of the program in four years is a realistic goal.

Required courses

* Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences Curriculum
* Integrative Aspects of Physiological Systems
* Care and Use of Research Animals

Program Schedule and Course Requirements

Year 1: Interdisciplinary Curriculum

* Fall
1. Molecular Systems I & II (2+3 hrs)
2. Cellular Systems I & II (3+2 hrs)
3. Research rotation (3 hrs)
4. Current Issues in Biomedical Research (1 hr)
5. Journal Club (1 hr)

* Spring
1. Systemic Biology (1 hrs)
2. Neurobiology (1 hrs)
3. Immunology (2 hrs)
4. Molecular Basis of Human Disease (1 hr)
5. Research rotation (3 hrs)
6. Current Issues in Biomedical Research (1 hr)
7. Journal Club (1 hr)
8. Elective Courses (7 x 1 hr)

* Summer
1. Research rotation (4 hrs)

Year 2: Physiology Curriculum

* Fall
1. Integrative Aspects of Physiological Systems (7 hrs)

* Additional Requirements
1. Care/Use Research Animals (3 hrs)
2. 4x Interdisciplinary Seminars (1 hr each)
3. Dissertation Research (min 45 hrs)
4. Integrity in Scientific Research (1 hr)

*includes other biomedical sciences courses

Total minimum hours = 90