The program is 'home' to first and second year students while they complete lab rotations and foundational courses; at the end of the first year, students choose a permanent thesis lab and advisor, and prepare for the Qualifying exam at the end of year 2. For a complete description of the program requirements, training goals and student support, please see the GDSC Student Handbook.
Coursework is completed in the first two years of the program. The curriculum consists of courses that provide a comprehensive theoretical background in to genetics, genomics, cell biology and molecular biology. A wide spectrum of advanced elective courses chosen by the student and advisor to augment topics relevant to the individual's research.
|Examples of Electives
|GEN 503/504: Genetics Seminar
||BIO 426: Developmental Biology
|GEN 507: Advanced Genetics & Genomics
||GEN 506: Stem Cell Biology (alt. years with GEN 508)
|IND 419: Introduction to Quantitative Biology
||GEN 508: Genomics and Systems Biology (alt. years with GEN 506)
|IND 431: Foundations in Modern Biology I
||IND 411: Methods in Structural Biology
|IND 432: Foundations in Modern Biology II
||IND 447: Signal Transduction
IND 501: Ethics & Professional Integrity
|IND 443: Eukaryotic Gene Organization & Expression
||MBI 456: General Virology
||MBI 473: Immunology
||PTH 507: Cancer Biology
Rotations in the first year of study in three different laboratories introduce the student to the scientific thought and method. The candidates gain experience at the bench, attend research seminars, and practice their communication skills. Furthermore, they familiarize themselves with prospective advisors for their thesis project.
A Qualifying Examination at the beginning of the third year of studies is a means of determining the potential of the student for independent thought, experimental acumen, comprehension of the general field, and potential for exploiting a relevant problem in a scientifically sound manner. The M.S. degree is awarded upon successful completion of this examination.
A one semester Teaching Assistantship is required. Students complete this requirement in their third or fourth year of study. In addition, students are expected to participate in Science Outreach activities.
At the end of the first year, students choose a permanent advisor and embark on a Ph.D. thesis research program. Students may choose any faculty member in the School of Medicine and Dentistry or a participating faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences as their research advisor. The Ph.D. is awarded based on development of an Independent Thesis Research Project as well as a written dissertation describing the rationale, methodology, results, conclusions and significance of the project.
See the Thesis Defense
website for more information
Stipend Ph.D. Students
Doctoral students are provided a fellowship award, which includes an annual stipend, a full tuition scholarship and single coverage health insurance while they are enrolled, and making satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. degree.
Students are strongly encouraged to apply for support from extramural agencies. Students who receive competitively funded extramural fellowships are eligible to receive an additional $2,000 per year in stipend support for the duration of the award.
The stipend is $29,567 for the 2019-20 academic year. Stipend amounts are reviewed annually and generally increased each year.
Doctoral students who meet the criteria of other sources of assistance may apply for additional aid through the Financial Aid Office.