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Program of Study for the PhD Degree
(Appendix 1 of the Graduate Student Manual)

A. Prerequisites.
General chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, mathematics (through calculus), and one year of biology are required.
If necessary, these courses may be completed during the first year of graduate study.

B. Course Requirements.
A total of 60 credits, which include the following courses, are required.
[NOTE: Withdrawal from a required course will be allowed only under extremely extenuating circumstances
and must be approved on a case-by-case basis by the faculty.]


Fundamental Biochemistry
(201; 5 credits): A minimum grade of "B" is required.

Molecular Biology
(240; 5 credits): A minimum grade of "B" is required.

Molecular Structure and Function of the Cell
(Anatomy, Biochemistry, or Physiology 251; 3 credits):
A minimum grade of "B" in the interdepartmental course is required.

Introduction to Special Methods of Research
(207; 12 credits): Laboratory research carried out during the first 2 years.
A grade of "C" is unsatisfactory and may lead to dismissal from the program.

Seminar
(298 and 299; 6 credits): The Department requires 6 credits of seminar although the Graduate School permits only 4 of these to be applied toward graduation.

Dissertation Research
(400; 15 credits): This may also be divided into 9 credits of Dissertation Research (400) and 6 credits of Thesis Research (300).
Although students generally receive more credits, only 15 may be applied toward graduation.

Electives
(18 credits): These should be selected to provide a broad scientific background and should be chosen in consultation with the Graduate Student Advisor and/or your Examining Committee and Major Professor. At least 8 credits of electives must be taken from Departments other than the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Possible elective courses (or courses in minor fields of study) include, by Department, the following.


Biometry
Biometric Methods in the Health Sciences I. 221, 3cr

Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology
General and Molecular Virology 276, 3-5cr
Fundamentals of Immunology 296, 3-5cr
Techniques in Microbiology 280, 1-6cr

Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Principles of Pharmacology 205, 5cr
Neuropharmacology 233, 2-3cr

Physiology
Molecular Structure and Function of the Cell 251, 2-3cr
History and Philosophy of Science 217, 1-2cr
Scientific Writing for Graduate Students 250, 2cr

Interdepartmental
Computer Science 202, 2cr
Endocrinology 216, 3cr
Neuroscience 210/220, 6/2cr
Molecular Neurobiology 250, 4cr


C. Major Professor Selection.
Each student shall select a Major Professor by 1 July after completion of the first year of graduate school. Any student who fails to identify a Major Professor by this date may be terminated from the Graduate Program. Special circumstances may be considered by the Graduate Advisor and the Department Head.
D. Teaching.
The faculty considers teaching an important part of academic training. As a rule, after their first year, students will be expected to participate as teaching assistants in nursing, dental, or medical school courses offered by the Department. Teaching assignments will be made before the beginning of each academic year. During the second and third years, students may be responsible for lecture attendance, supervised presentation of a portion of lecture material, administration of exams, grading of quizzes, participation in review and discussion sessions, and tutoring assigned by the course director. During the fourth year students may also serve as supervisors of second or third year teaching assistants. The student's performance in each course as a teaching assistant will be evaluated by the faculty involved in teaching the course. A summary of the student's evaluation, prepared by the course director, will be presented to the entire faculty and placed in the student's permanent file.
E. Qualifying Examination.
All students must have attempted their Qualifying Exam by the end of the fourth semester following matriculation (exclusive of summer semesters) or be terminated from the program. If the student receives a conditional pass on the Qualifying Exam, he/she must complete the proscribed remediation within the time frame stipulated by the examining committee. Under extraordinary circumstances such as illness or family emergency, the Department Head may grant an extension at the written request of the student.
This Examination is administered by the student's Examining Committee, which is composed of five (or more) members and includes at least three faculty members with a primary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, your Major Professor and at least one faculty member from outside the Department who is knowledgeable in your research area. A written research proposal which delineates the area in which the student wishes to perform his/her dissertation research must be prepared. This proposal should be prepared according to form PHS 398 guidelines for grant applications to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and distributed to all members of the committee at least two weeks prior to the examination. The proposal should include a title, an abstract, specific aims, background information, working hypotheses, experiments designed to test the hypotheses, and pertinent references. [It is not necessary to complete the Budget, Resources and Environment, and Other Support pages.] In addition to being tested on the specific proposal, the student may also be examined (written and/or orally) on related scientific disciplines to ensure breadth of knowledge. to pass the Qualifying Examination, the student must receive positive ("Pass") ballots from a majority of the committee members.

F. Preliminary Examination.
All students must have attempted their Preliminary Exam by the end of the fifth semester following matriculation, exclusive of summer semesters, or be terminated from the program. If the student receives a conditional pass on the Preliminary Exam, he/she must complete the proscribed remediation within the time frame stipulated by the examining committee. Under extraordinary circumstances such as illness or family emergency, the Department Head may grant an extension at the written request of the student.

This Examination is administered by the student's Examining Committee, which is composed of at least five members and includes at least three faculty members with a primary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, your Major Professor and at least one faculty member from outside the Department who is knowledgeable in your research area. A research proposal, limited to 12.5 pages (one-half the standard NIH PHS 398 length), must be distributed to all members of the committee at least two weeks prior to the Examination. The research topic must be different from that of the student's proposed dissertation research. The topic is to be chosen by the student and then approved by the Examining Committee. The purpose of this proposal is to provide the student with an opportunity to gain breadth of knowledge and to demonstrate independence in conceiving and designing a research project. The proposal should include a title, an abstract, specific aims, background information, working hypotheses, experiments designed to test the hypotheses, and pertinent references. [It is not necessary to complete the Budget, Resources and Environment, and Other Support pages.] In addition to being tested on the specific proposal, the student may also be examined (written and/or orally) on related scientific disciplines. In order to pass the Preliminary Examination, the student can receive no more than one negative ("Fail") ballot from the committee members. After passing the preliminary examination, the student becomes a candidate for the PhD degree.

G. Departmental Seminar.
All PhD degree candidates are required to present a Departmental Seminar within one year after passing their preliminary examination.
H. Final Examination.
After preparing a dissertation based on original, meritorious research, the PhD candidate will present a seminar to the members of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and all other interested parties. The candidate will also defend the dissertation to the Examining Committee in a session preceding or following the presentation.
I. Other Requiremen ts.
The student is required to have at least one full-length, peer-reviewed paper published or in press prior to approval by the five-member committee that the requirements for the PhD degree have been fulfilled.
J. Committee Meeting Requirements.
All students must hold at least one committee meeting per year following successful completion of the Preliminary Examination. Committee meetings will preferably coincide with their annual Work In Progress seminar. Committee members will be provided with a written summary of progress to date at least one week prior to the committee meeting. Failure to hold an annual committee meeting will result in an independent evaluation of progress by the Department Head or his/her designees and possible termination from the program.
K. Additional Comments.
Laboratory research and investigation are vigorously emphasized at all stages of the program. To provide broader experience, rotation through at least three laboratories during the first year is required. Registration in Introduction to Special Methods of Research (207) is necessary to obtain academic credit for laboratory rotations. It is expected that one of the rotations will be through the laboratory of the Major Professor. Rotating students are expected to be in the lab when not in class during standard working hours and as necessary to perform their experiments. At the end of the rotation, the mentor will provide the student and the Graduate Coordinator with a letter summarizing the student's progress and abilities.

Until the Major Professor has been identified, research and didactic activities can be coordinated by the Graduate Student Advisor and other appropriate faculty. The Qualifying Examination should be taken about one month after the third semester of study (excluding summer sessions), although it may be taken earlier. Al l students must have attempted their Qualifying Exam by the end of the fourth semester following matriculation (exclusive of summer semesters) or be terminated from the program. The student's Major Professor or Examining Committee may require that additional subjects and/or examinations be taken during the course of study. In so far as possible, required and elective course work should be completed during the first two years of graduate study, and advanced years should be spent predominantly in the research laboratory. Continuation in the laboratory of the Major Professor is determined by mutual agreement of both the student and the Major Professor at all stages of study. Unforeseen circumstances (lack of adequate research grant support, transfer to another institution, etc.) may necessitate a change in Major Professor.

[Approved by the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Faculty on 30 July 1987, 12 August 1987, 2 June 1988, 3 February 1989, 25 April 1990, 9 April 1991; 11 March 1992; May 12, 1993, June 9, 1994, 3 February 1997, 17 June 1997, 13 August 1997, October 28, 2004.]


In addition to inspiring them with the desire to carry on research, it is necessary in the training of young scientists
to give them a good background of the knowledge that has already been obtained.

Linus Pauling

Making a discovery is such a wonderful thing. It's like falling in love and getting to the top of the mountain all in one.
Max Perutz