The Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program (IBSP) allows students to design their curriculum around their educational and research needs. Instead of requiring a "one size fits all" core curriculum of all students, the IBSP recognizes that some students are ready to specialize as soon as they enter graduate school. Others, who are less certain of their specific research discipline, have the opportunity to take more general coursework while they explore their multiple interests.
When applying to the IBSP, students are encouraged to select one of our six research tracks:
- Cancer and Developmental Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Physiology
- Genetics, Genomics and Informatics
- Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry
- Molecular and Systems Pharmacology
This will allow them to immediately enroll in core and elective courses related to their research interests. Alternatively, students may prioritize their top three track interests on the application form, and subsequently work with the program and track directors to determine the best core curriculum for them. Any student may switch from his/her original track of interest to another at any time during the first year, in contrast to some programs that impede a student's ability to transfer from one department to another.
All students complete a core curriculum of nine credit hours followed by a minimum of six elective credit hours, but biostatistics and ethics are the only courses required of all students. The remaining core and elective courses depend upon the student's academic background and research interests, and a list of pertinent course offerings can be found at each track's website.
After completing laboratory rotations in the first year, students select their research advisor and begin their dissertation research. During the second year, students select their dissertation committee of five faculty members who can best guide them through their graduate research. Also during the second, or third, year students will complete an admission-to-candidacy exam, the format of which depends upon the research track and is described at each track's website. All that remains is a defense of the student's dissertation following the research phase of his/her training.
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