In the Fall semester, our students take the required Core Course. In Spring, our students are required to take our course in Developmental Biology (CSDV 7605) and an elective course. Also during that first year, each of our students performs three, 11 week long, laboratory rotations. At the end of the first year, students take a written preliminary examination covering all course materials (from all Fall and Spring semester courses), and then choose a thesis laboratory in which to do their doctoral work.
Second year students register for 5 or more research credits (CSCV 7650) 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 students thesis research.
Year 3 and Beyond
Following a successful comprehensive examination, students register for 5 doctoral thesis research credits, CSDV 8990, per 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 (CSDV 8990) for the Ph.D. degree (thesis research hours cannot be accumulated until the semester before the Comprehensive Exam is passed). Rotations and Research CSDV 7650 credit from the first year count as course hours.
For a complete discussion of the CSD Graduate Program rules and guidelines, download the current CSD Student Handbook.
Additional curricular resources
In addition to formal courses, students attend and participate in weekly departmental seminars (Wednesdays at noon), and a student run journal club. We also have numerous journal clubs focusing on specific topics, such as: Membrane Trafficking, Chemosensory Biology, and Developmental Biology.
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 each fall, 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.
For additional information, please consult the CSD Student Handbook.