In order to obtain an PhD in Cell Biology and Anatomy, students must:

  1. complete the qualifying process
  2. fulfill the teaching requirements
  3. pass the preliminary examination
  4. write a thesis/dissertation
  5. defend the thesis/dissertation



The Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy has been designed as a flexible program that, while requiring mastery of basic course work in anatomy, encourages students to identify a research interest and start work on a project as soon as possible. However, the need for adequate formal training in the basic disciplines is essential so during their first three semesters in the program, most students take a defined group of graduate level courses.


The Graduate School requires a minimum of 60 credit hours  for the Ph.D.:


New students entering the program will be advised regarding their course work by the Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy. After a Research Advisor has been selected, any further courses will be selected based on consultation between the Director of the Graduate Program and the Research Advisor.

  • A minimum of forty-eight (48) credit hours must be from Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy courses.
  • Thirty-seven (37) of the 48 CB&A credit hours must be from the required Core courses (see table below).


TABLE 1. Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy Courses

Human Gross Anatomy of Upper Extremity, and  Back* 1

ANAT 189

3 hrs

Human Gross Anatomy of the Head & Neck* 1

ANAT 190

3 hrs

Human Gross Anatomy of the Thorax and Abdomen* 1

ANAT 191

3 hrs

Human Gross Anatomy of the Pelvis, Perineum and Lower Extremity* 1

ANAT 196

3 hrs

Radiographic Anatomy

ANAT 194

1 hr

Cell Biology and Microanatomy*

ANAT 192

5 hrs

Human Anatomy for DPT/MOT students

ANAT 6522

5 hrs

Neuroanatomy for DPT/MOT students* 

ANAT 6533

4 hrs

Advanced Special Dissection

ANAT 220


Advanced Head and Neck Anatomy

ANAT 255

4 hrs

Special Topics in Anatomy

ANAT 280

2 hrs

Anatomy Teaching Practicum (Medical Gross) * 2

ANAT 281

4 hrs

Anatomy Teaching Practicum (Medical Histology)* 2

ANAT 282

3 hrs

Anatomy Teaching Practicum (Nursing Anatomy) * 2

ANAT 283

2 hrs

Anatomy Teaching Practicum (AHP) * 2

ANAT 284

4 hrs

Anatomy Teaching Practicum (Dental Gross) * 2

ANAT 288

3 hrs

Digital Anatomy Techniques

ANAT 285

3 hrs

Seminar* 3

ANAT 290

1 hr

Anatomy Journal Club* 5

ANAT 291

1 hr

Laboratory Rotation6

ANAT 270


Thesis Research6

ANAT 300


Dissertation Research 4,6

ANAT 400


Required courses are designated by an asterisk (*).


1. A minimum of twelve (12) credits hours of Gross and Developmental Anatomy are required. This requirement is usually fulfilled by taking the Medical Gross and Developmental course (ANAT 100) although graduate students can split this course (ANAT 189-191,196). Combined Gross and Developmental Anatomy credits must cover ALL the regions of the body and Developmental Anatomy in a manner equivalent to the ANAT 100 course

2. Students are required to register for at least one Anatomy Teaching Practicum (ANAT 281- 284, 288) each year they are in the Program. A maximum of twelve (12) credit hours of Anatomy Teaching Practicum can be used to fulfill the Graduate school requirements.

3.  A maximum of four (4) hours of Seminar (ANAT 290) can be used toward fulfilling the sixty (60) required hours, however, attendance at Departmental seminars is required each semester a student is in residence. Attendance at Grand Rounds in Clinical Departments may be substituted for Seminar.

4. A maximum of 15 credit hours of Dissertation Research (ANAT 400) can be used towards fulfilling the requirements for the Ph.D.

5. Anatomy Journal Club will be scheduled for weeks when there is not a Departmental seminar, as with Seminar, attendance at Journal Club is mandatory each semester although a maximum of 4 credit hours can be used to fulfill the Graduate requirement.

6. One of these three courses should be used when registering for research experience in a lab. Prior to choosing a Research Advisor students should use Laboratory Rotation (ANAT 270). After choosing a Research Advisor but prior to passing the Preliminary Exam, research will count as Thesis Research (ANAT 300) and after passing the Preliminary Exam students should register for Dissertation Research (ANAT 400).

At the end of each semester reports of each student's progress in major courses will be written by the course directors and sent to the Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy.


In order to insure an adequate background in related disciplines, the Graduate School requires that students take twelve (12) credit hours of courses outside of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. The student will choose courses in consultation with his/her Research Advisor and committee and the Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy. The Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy must approve graduate level courses taken outside the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. These courses may be taken in other departments at LSUHSC, or at other schools (e.g., Tulane University, University of New Orleans, or Xavier University).  Only one of these courses may be taken for a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grade with this choice being designated at the time of registration. Courses available to fulfill this requirement include:

TABLE 2. Courses in Departments other than Cell Biology & Anatomy


Professional Skills for Graduate Students


1 hr

Biostatistical Methods I

BIOS 6100

4 hrs


Biostatistical Methods II

BIOS 6200

4 hrs

Ethics in the Biomedical Sciences


1 hr


Responsible Conduct of Research


1 hr

Basic Physiology


6 hrs


Scientific Writing for Graduate Students


2 hrs

Required courses are designated by an asterisk (*).


Transfer students will have their records reviewed on an individual basis. Students may be excused from repeating required courses in which they have had previous graduate level experience and have obtained a grade of B or better. While the Department may accept transfer credits for courses taken elsewhere, it will not assign or accept grades for courses not actually taken while the student is enrolled at LSUHSC.


No foreign languages are required by the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy


An overall average grade of "B" is required by the Graduate School for all course work, and no grade less than "C" will be accepted towards the degree. If a student is issued a grade of "C", the faculty will review the student's record and decide if remedial work is required. Should a student's cumulative average fall below a "B", the faculty will review the student's record and determine whether to place the student on probation for two semesters or to drop the student from the program. Should a student on probation fail to raise his/her cumulative average to a "B" during the probationary period, the student will be dropped from the program. No student will be permitted to be on probationary status for more than two semesters. Students who exhibit marked deficiencies in any or all aspects of their performance may be dismissed from the program by consensus of the Research Advisor, the Directors of the Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy and Head of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy.


At the end of the student's third semester in the program, the Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy will form a Qualifying Committee for the student.  This committee, will conduct a Qualifying Examination (written and oral) covering the basic course work in gross anatomy, histology, developmental anatomy, and neuroscience. 

If the student fails to satisfactorily complete the Qualifying Examination the student will be placed on Academic Probation for one semester. The Committee may recommend additional remedial work covering the student's deficiencies and the student will be given an opportunity to retake the Qualifying Examination following the completion of the remedial work.  The Qualifying Process should be completed by the end of the student's second year in the program. Failure to pass the Qualifying Examination on the second attempt, or by the end of the students second year in the program will result in automatic dismissal from the program.


If the student has not already done so, upon completion of the Qualifying Process, he/she will choose a faculty member to serve as Research Advisor / Major Professor. The student and his/her Research Advisor / Major Professor, with the approval of the Department Head, will recommend faculty members to serve on a Research Committee and will submit this committee to the Graduate School for the Graduate School Dean's approval.

The Research Committee will consist of at least five (5) members, (the student's Research Advisor / Major Professor and four (4) other members of the Graduate Faculty) with at least three (3) members being from the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy and at least one member from another Department. One member can be from outside the Health Sciences Center. One of the members of the committee from the Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy shall be the Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy.  If the Committee is composed of more than five (5) members, the majority will be from the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. Within the constraints of the Graduate School rules, the Committee members shall be selected for expertise in the research area chosen by the student. The Research Advisor / Major Professor will serve as the Chair of the Research Committee.

It is the responsibility of the Research Committee to recommend and/or approve a program of study encompassing both the major and minor fields of interest to the student, to conduct the Preliminary Exam, to help direct the thesis / dissertation research, and to conduct the thesis / dissertation defense.





A)  After their first semester in the Clinical Anatomy Program all students are required to register for at least one Anatomy Teaching Practicum (ANAT 281 – 285) each calendar year.  Students will be required to assist in the laboratory and give at least one lecture. They should also gain experience of setting up exams, producing prosections and other skills necessary to teach an Anatomy course.

B)  Course assignments will be decided by the Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy.  After a Research Advisor has been selected, the annual teaching commitment will be determined by the Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Anatomy in consultation with the Research Advisor.   Consideration will be given to the optimum time for the teaching commitment that will minimize conflict with the student's and the Research Advisor's research programs and the career goals of the student.   The student will be evaluated by the course director and staff.

C) The program’s teaching requirement can be satisfied by assisting in any of the required core anatomy courses (Table 1), however, students will usually be expected to teach in Medical Gross Anatomy (ANAT 281) in the fall semester of their second year. It is recommended that students try to vary their teaching assignments so as to increase their exposure to different curricula and different levels of anatomy 

TABLE 3. Teaching Options




Medical Gross Anatomy (281)

Senior Surgical Elective

Allied Health Anatomy (284)

Dental Gross Anatomy (288)

Nursing Anatomy (283)


Nursing Anatomy (283)

Cell Biology & Microanatomy (282)





When the student is sufficiently prepared as determined by the Research Committee, the Preliminary Examination will be scheduled. This examination must be completed at least one academic year prior to graduation. The Preliminary Exam will not be a retest of previous course work unless that course work pertains directly to the area of research. Performance on the Preliminary Examination will be decided by vote of the Research Committee. Satisfactory completion of this examination requires that the student receive no more than 1 negative vote. Successful completion of this examination admits the student to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

The format of the Preliminary Exam will be

Defense of a research proposal prepared by the student

Preparation of such a proposal should help the student to develop writing skills, discover library resources and, in particular, to become acquainted with the large body of primary research literature pertinent to his/her field. It is expected that this proposal will have relevance to the dissertation research. The defense will be conducted by the Research Committee. The defense may include questions related in any way to the proposal, including relative basic science questions, theoretical questions about proposed techniques, questions on rationale for techniques, questions about the literature cited, etc.




Research in preparation of a doctoral dissertation will normally occupy the majority of the student's time during the final stage of his/her training. Each doctoral student will undertake a research project that will form the basis of a dissertation to be submitted to the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy and the School of Graduate Studies. The standards and procedures for completing the dissertation are described below. The dissertation should be of a quality acceptable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Students will provide manuscript drafts of the dissertation to the members of the Research Committee for their critique prior to scheduling the defense.




The final oral examination (Defense of Dissertation) will be scheduled and taken only after all other departmental requirements have been satisfied and the dissertation has been approved in its final form. Students must submit a final draft of the dissertation to their committee at least 2 weeks before the defense.

The student will present his/her research in a departmental seminar (usually 45 to 60 minutes), immediately preceding the defense of dissertation. The public is invited to attend and ask questions. The Research Committee will have the last opportunity to question the student on the dissertation work. After questioning has been completed, the Research Committee will adjourn to deliberate on the defense.

Following successful completion of the defense, it will be the student's responsibility to comply with all the regulations of the Graduate School in regard to turning in the final version of the dissertation.