Academic Requirements

The minimum curriculum for Ph.D. students consists of six Graduate Core Courses, two additional Biology-approved Graduate Elective Courses, and participation in the Research and Scholarship Integrity Program. Three lab rotations, each ending with a required data talk, occur during the first year. These rotations allow students the opportunity to explore important questions in the department's existing areas of research and to identify a particular lab environment suitable for a student's thesis research.

All First Year Ph.D. students are required to fulfill two semesters of a Teaching Assistantship. The Responsibilities of Teaching Assistants (TA) vary between courses. TAs attend lecturers, hold office hours, provide student course feedback to instructors, initiate and plan discussion groups, and grade papers and exams. In addition, the TAs assist with the preparation of the lab (set up experiments, check equipment, and supervise clean-up) and support teaching specific lab skills.

Incorporating Teaching Assistantships into the graduate education demonstrates the department's commitment to train and mentor students for careers involving not only research, but also teaching, service, collaboration and interdisciplinary work. The faculty view the competencies acquired as a Teaching Assistant as sound preparation for research, teaching, and scholarly work in academic, industrial, or governmental settings.

*Full-time students are expected to participate in Data Club and to attend all department seminars during their time in the program.