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PhD Requirements

The core curriculum for Cancer Biology is designed to introduce students to research related to the introduction, properties, and therapy of cancer and to ensure that they have the necessary background in one or more areas of related fundamental science to enable you to do original research. Courses are drawn from the Department of Oncology, as well as various related departments, including Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Biomolecular Chemistry, Chemistry, Genetics, Human Oncology, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Pharmacology.

The Graduate School requires PhD students to complete a minimum of 51 credits in order to obtain a PhD Degree.  These credits are fulfilled via core curriculum course, Oncology 990 research credits, and electives.  Courses numbered below 300, audit, and pass/fail do not satisfy the minimum requirement.  The Graduate School requires PhD students to maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 in order to make satisfactory progress toward the degree. Courses in which a grade of D or F were assigned will not be counted toward the Graduate School minimum credit requirement of 51 credits.  A student may be placed on probation or suspended from the Graduate School for low grades or failing to resolve incompetencies in a timely fashion.

All PhD students in the Cancer Biology Graduate Program will complete their core curriculum and elective courses during their first and second years .  Students are required to earn a B or better in all common core curriculum courses (e.g., Oncology 640, 703, 715, 725, and 735), otherwise the course must be completed.

During their first semester students complete three laboratory rotations.  At the end of the third rotation, students and faculty-mentors (PIs) through a mutual decision join a home laboratory.  All courses must be completed by the end of your second year, before completing the Preliminary Exam.

All students, regardless of year, are required to attend the weekly McArdle Trainee Seminar Series (student/postdoc) (Mondays, 3:30 PM-4:30 PM, Rm. 6571 WIMR II) and the Cancer Biology Seminar (Wednesdays, 10:30 AM-11:30 AM, Rm. 1345 HSLC) during the academic year.