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Integrated Physiology


Year 1

In the Fall semester, Integrated Physiology students take the required Core Knowledge Course.  This course provides basic background knowledge in molecular biology and genetics, structural, cellular and developmental biology and cellular signaling systems for students in the all University of Colorado School of Medicine graduate programs.  In addition, students will take an ethics course.

In the Spring semester, students will take elective courses related to their specific tracks.  Students with deficiencies in Physiology have the opportunity to enroll in the dental physiology course. During that first year, students also perform three, 11 week long, laboratory rotations. At the end of the first year, students take a preliminary examination covering course materials from all Fall and Spring semester courses, and then choose a thesis laboratory in which to do their doctoral work.

Year 2​​​​​

Second year students register for 5 or more research credits per Fall and Spring semester, as they begin work in their thesis lab. Students are also required to take one Advanced Topics or Elective course in their 2nd year. To be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, students must pass an oral comprehensive examination around the end of their 2nd year in the program (but it must be taken by December of the 3rd year). This exam comprises a public seminar, followed by an oral defense of a written proposal based on the student’s thesis research.    

Year 3 and beyond

Following a successful comprehensive examination, students register for 5 doctoral thesis research credits in the Fall and Spring semesters. Additionally, students are required to take one Advanced Topics or Elective course each year.

The Graduate School requires at least 30 semester hours in course work and 30 semester hours of research for the Ph.D. degree (thesis research hours cannot be accumulated until the semester before the Comprehensive Exam is passed). Rotations and Research credits from the first year count as course hours.

Additional Curriculum

In addition to formal courses, students attend and participate in research tract specific weekly seminars (times and locations are indicated in our events), and student run journal clubs. 

Students hone their analytical and didactic skills through informal and formal seminar presentations, laboratory/ research group meetings and attendance at regional and national scientific meetings. In addition, the program holds an annual research retreat that provides an important opportunity for students to meet and learn about the work being performed in different laboratories, and to present the results of their work in oral and poster presentations.

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