Doctor of Philosophy
Graduate studies in the program are highly individualized; programs should fit each student's unique needs and interests. Students are required to perform original, publishable research and to present a thesis based on research to the faculty of the molecular and cellular biophysics program.
A student qualifies for the PhD degree after demonstrating growth as an independent investigator—identifying a significant research question; proposing a hypothesis or model to answer the question; testing the hypothesis with appropriate experiments; and writing a dissertation acceptable to the department.
The structure of the PhD program in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics is as follows:
- required core courses and elective courses during the first year
- required lab rotations during the first year
- required seminar/special topics courses during the second year
- qualifying exams first year and second year
- thesis research second year to completion
The degree requires 90 credit hours approved by the program steering committee. Required courses in the first year include BIOP 4100 Foundations of Biophysics, BIOP 4150 Cellular Biophysics, CHEM 3130 Chemical Systems III, and two or three lab rotations (BIOP 4993 Lab rotation). During the second year three quarters of "Topics in Biophysics" (BIOP 4210) are to be taken. In addition, during the first two years electives can be chosen from existing 3000 or 4000 level courses in the Division and must be chosen with consultation and the approval of the Steering committee. This use of electives is critical given the interdisciplinary nature of this PhD program and scientific discipline and the fact that incoming students will come from a range of disciplines in the physical sciences and life sciences.
The remainder of the credit hours required for the degree may include BIOP 4992 Directed Study or BIOP 4995/5995 Independent Research. Additional requirements:
- successful completion of research rotations during the first year
- maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.0
- passing performance in the qualifying examinations
- attendance at departmental seminars and the presentation of one seminar per year
- completion of a research dissertation of publishable quality
- successful oral defense of the dissertation
A complete description of the program's official requirements and details of qualifying examination are available on the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics website.