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Program Timeline

This is a typical plan; there can be lots of variation.


First Year

  Summer                                  Fall                                       Spring                                        
 Rotations            Optional early rotation

Rotation 1 & 2

Rotation 2 & 3
Join permanent lab by 5/15


RCR on-line training                
Safety courses                    

BCH 395G
BCH 395J

BCH 387D
BCH 394

 General info          

Program support ends 5/31
Lab support begins 6/1


Second Year

  Summer                                    Fall                                           Spring                                       
Research             -----------------------------------------  Ongoing  -------------------------------------------------
Courses TA Training Workshop

BIO 391 Grant Writing Course
Biochemistry elective*

Biochemistry elective*

Teaching   Complete one long-semester teaching requirment**
Exam     Qualifying Exam

*One 3-credit Biochemistry elective course is required to advance to candidacy. These course can be taken anytime in the second or third year.

**The one long-semester teaching requirement can be completed in the second or third year.

Third Year

  Summer                                     Fall                                           Spring                                      
Research            -----------------------------------------  Ongoing  ----------------------------------------------------
Courses   Dissertation Hours
Elective Requirement
Dissertation Hours
Elective Requirement
General Construct Dissertation
Committee and apply for Candidacy#
   First Annual Committee Meeting
(conduct within one year of 
passing the Qualifying Exam)


# Advancement to Candidacy requires: completion of 4 core coures with B or higher, overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, and successful completion of the Qualifying Exam.  Please see below for more details.

Fourth Year - Graduation

  Summer                                     Fall                                          Spring                                     
Research             Ongoing; Annual Meeting

Dissertation Hours

Dissertation Hours


Your Final Semester:
File to graduate; the deadline is early in the semester
Schedule final defense with committee
Complete all forms required to graduate
Meet all deadlines required by Graduate School
All defense and graduation procedures, deadlines and forms can be found here.

Program Requirements



Choosing a research adviser and a dissertation research project are some of the most significant decisions you will make in graduate school. First year lab rotations provide students the opportunity to explore different research interests and lab management styles prior to the selection of a Ph.D. supervisor. Students will have the opportunity to complete three rotations within the first academic year.  You may do first year research rotations with any faculty member on the Biochemistry, Microbiology or Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Studies Committees.

To help make an informed decision about your lab rotations:

  • Attend seminars by faculty members.
  • Meet individually with faculty members.
  • Consult with other graduate students.

Rotation Schedule for 2017-2018 fiscal year

  • Early Rotation: June 1, 2017 - August 25, 2017
  • Rotation #1: September 5, 2017 - November 10, 2017
  • Rotation #2: November 13, 2017 - February 2, 2018
  • Rotation #3: February 5, 2018 - April 27, 2018

Students join the laboratory of a Ph.D. mentor after rotations (typically by May 15). From that point forward, the emphasis of the student’s training is on laboratory research rather than formal course work.