The Doctor of Philosophy degree is designed to prepare students for careers in independent research and teaching in a university, clinical, or biotechnology environment. Doctoral degree students are expected to develop creativity and independence in addition to technical skills.

For the Ph.D. degree, students must complete a minimum of 61 units—as detailed in the table below—and must maintain a G.P.A. of at least 3.0.  Students must adhere to all University and program policies as published in the Student Handbook, University CATALOG, or Student Guide. Policies and requirements are subject to change.

Basic science core  
IBGS 501 Biomedical Communication and Integrity 2
IBGS 502 Biomedical Information and Statistics 2
IBGS 503 Biomedical Grant Writing 2
IBGS 511 Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems I 6
IBGS 512 Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems II 6
IBGS 522 Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems II Journal Club 2
IBGS 523 Cellular Mechanisms and Integrated Systems III Journal Club 2
Seminars (all required)  
IBGS 604 Introduction to Integrative Biology Presentation Seminar 1
IBGS 605 Integrative Biology Presentation Seminar (1) 2
IBGS 607 Integrated Biomedical Graduate Studies Seminar 1 0
RELE 525 Ethics for Scientists 2 3
RELR 588 Personal and Family Wholeness 2 3
RELT 617 Seminar in Religion and the Sciences 2 3
Program specific courses 6
Emphasis: Developmental/regenerative biology
Stem Cell Biology and Medicine  
Human Embryology Lecture  
Emphasis: Cancer biology
Advanced Topics in Biochemistry  
Seminar in Stem Cells and Cancer  
Cancer Journal Club
Biology of Cancer  
Electives: 6-12
Choose from the following and other courses as approved by advisor:
Clinical Exposure in Oncology  
Biochemical Basis of Human Disease SM  
Translational Research Training  
Special Topics in Biomedical Sciences  


Basis of Medical Genetics  
Introduction to Bioinformatics and Genomics  
Fundamentals of Electrophysiology  
Cell and Molecular Biology  
Physiology of Reproduction  
Research and dissertation  
BCHM 697 Research (1-10) 12
IBGS 696 Research Rotations (1) 2
IBGS 699 Dissertation (1-5) 1-5
Total Units 61

Noncourse requirements

  • pass written and oral comprehensive examinations in order to advance to candidacy.
  • successfully defend the dissertation before their guidance committee prior to being awarded the Ph.D. degree.

Normal time to complete the program

Four (4) years — full-time enrollment, part-time permitted


See the comparison of the M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs.