The program's Graduate Studies Committee assists each entering student in tailoring a program to match his or her interests. First year students take courses in a core curriculum taught by the faculties from the medical basic science departments. Courses are taught not only by formal lectures but also as seminars and informal discussions. The curriculum is designed to provide broad knowledge in the various aspects of modern cell biology, developmental biology, molecular biology and biochemistry in addition to intensive training in certain specialized areas of research according to the student's interests. In the remaining years of study, nearly all of the student's time is spent on original laboratory research. Students are usually admitted in the Fall semester.
Minimum credit requirements for the Ph.D. degree are 36 course credits (including specific required courses) and 24 credit hours of research. The course credits must be earned in graduate level (500 and above) courses. Students may elect to take any of the other graduate courses offered by this program, or to choose from a large variety of advanced courses offered by other departments at the University of Miami. At the end of the Fall semester students are required to take the qualifier exam (QE). The goals of the QE are (1) to assess the scientific proficiency of the student, especially his/her ability to design experiments and to write a competitive grant application; and (2) to aid the student and mentor in the process of obtaining extramural funds to support the student's stipend.
Mandatory courses for the program include Advanced Molecular Cell Biology (MDB 651), Current Topics in Mammalian Development (MDB 652), Histology (MDB 653), Biostatistics (EPH 501), and Tumor Cell Biology (MDB 665). The latter can be replaced by any graduate course in human disease or neuronal Cell Biology. These courses are electives but not mandatory for M.D./Ph.D. students.
See MDB Core Curriculum
for description of our courses.
Throughout the Program the students are expected to attend Seminars (Tuesdays at noon), Journal Club (every other Wednesday at noon) and Student's presentations (every other Wednesday at noon).
The Thesis proposal is expected to be passed during the first year. It is important to point that in our program this is not the qualifier exam. It is rather a collegial meeting with the Thesis committee were the student discusses his/her preliminary data and plans for the Thesis. Students normally meet with the committee for progress meetings every 6 months.