The major emphasis of the Doctoral Program is in the acquisition of research expertise designed to prepare graduates to become principal investigators in their own laboratories as well as educators in the academic setting. During the first two years of study, students learn fundamentals of molecular and cellular biology at the graduate level, as well as receive advanced instruction in the areas of anatomical sciences, vision sciences, and neurosciences. They also perform laboratory rotations that lead to the selection of the permanent advisor who will guide the Ph.D. research project. The 3rd and 4th years are devoted to the completion of the research project in consultation with the advisor and dissertation committee.
This is a 4-step process that includes: 1) The development of a testable hypothesis and research plan; 2) implementation of experiments; 3) critical analysis of the data; and 4) the assembly of the data and conclusions in the format of a Ph.D. dissertation.
The entire program is designed to be completed in 4-years. Graduates get the opportunities to present their research in National/International meetings, and in Graduate Student Research Day (GSRD) at School of Medicine. They publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals and advance to successful postdoctoral (research) positions at prestigious research universities. Review our program guidelines.