All students enrolling in the BBS PhD Program will take a core curriculum that is intended to provide training in research design, translational science, oral and written scientific communication, and research ethics. The student will also select a concentration that is associated with the area of their thesis research. In addition to coursework, students are required to complete 3 research rotations in the first year, complete a one-semester teaching experience in the second or third year of training, and participate in professional development opportunities.
All BBS PhD students will take the following courses:
BIOAP 6100 - By Scientific Design: Skill Building for a Career in the Life Sciences during the Fall semester 1st year. Topics for this course will include; grant writing, public presentations, design of experiments, interpretation of data, and literature analysis.
BIOAP 7100 - Translational Biology during the Spring semester 1st year. Topics for this course will include; hypothesis development, scientific design, critical evaluation of literature, and oral defense.
VTBMS 7200 - BBS Seminar - Work-in-Progress (WIP) during Fall and Spring semesters. Designed to highlight and disseminate BBS student research, students are required to present on an annual basis until their 5th year. All BBS students are required to attend 75% of the BBS WIP (attendance will be taken). All BBS faculty are encouraged to attend. First-year students will give a presentation on their rotation projects. Students beyond the first year should coordinate their annual Special Committee meeting with their BBS WIP research presentation and request their committee members attend the seminar.
- BIOMG 7510 - Ethical Issues and Professional Responsibilities (can be taken 2nd or 3rd year) Ethical issues in research and the professional responsibilities of scientists are discussed based on readings and occasional lectures. The topics are intended to cover the requirements for ethical training of graduate students on training grants and follow the recommendations of the Office of Research Integrity.
- The remainder of coursework you will take is determined by your special committee.
- Selection of your Special Committee chair takes place at the end of your second semester, once you've completed the three lab rotations.
- Your full Special Committee needs to be selected by the end of your third semester. In addition to your chair, your Special Committee should be made up of two minor members and a field-appointed member.
- The admission to candidacy exam (A exam) should be taken no later than the end of the fifth semester of enrollment and consists of a written proposal on the thesis project, an oral presentation, and an examination by the thesis committee.
- Completion of the Ph.D. program requires a written thesis and oral examination (B exam).