The PREP coursework will allow trainees to develop important new skills and to supplement their prior experience, as well as to demonstrate their academic preparedness for doctoral studies, and to complete requirements for the Ph.D. degree at the URMC. Coursework will include two required classes (Ethics and Microbiology Student Seminar). Trainees will also be permitted to take a total of up to 10 optional credits of additional coursework at the recommendation of the PREP Steering Committee and trainee Supervisory Committee (with input from the trainee). These may be selected from among "core" courses that are required for the URMC Ph.D. curriculum, and "elective" courses involving quantitative/mathematical skills or other disciplines.
In most cases, the number of optional academic credits per semester will be limited to 4 credits or less, but flexibility will be retained to best meet individual trainee needs. The total amount of coursework in this program has intentionally been kept to a minimum to allow trainees to focus on their research. The decision as to which courses a particular trainee should take will be based on:
- recommendations by the PREP Steering Committee and the trainee's Supervisory Committee, following evaluation of the trainee's prior academic record and research focus.
- the particular desires of the trainee. Note that the employer (mentor) will provide his or her trainee with flexible scheduling of work activities, in order to make coursework feasible. Flexible scheduling of this kind is common at the URMC.