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Common Core Curriculum

In the fall semester, all first year students take the core curriculum that focuses on topics that are important to all contemporary scientists.

  • Foundations for contemporary biomedical research
    • This course is team taught by faculty across the biomedical graduate programs.  The course begins with the basic molecules that form cellular structures and conduct cellular functions.  Cell biology emphasizes the commonalities and differences across the cell types found in complex organisms.  This information is further integrated into who the whole organism function.  The complexity of human function is further illustrated through detailed consideration of human diseases.
  • Cellular Methods
    • The object of the methods course is to provide an in depth consideration of common research techniques.  The theory and methodology for each technique is taught by current graduate students.  The methodology is then illustrated by reading a paper from the scientific literature using a journal club style discussion.
  • Scientific Integrity
    • This course is one component of your training in the Responsible Conduct of Research and covers the topics recommended by the National Institutes of Health.  The course is taught by faculty each topic includes a lecture followed by discussion using case studies.
  • Short Laboratory Experiences
    • The purpose of the short laboratory experiences is to help you find a laboratory to do your dissertation research and to introduce you to the research projects that are ongoing at the health science center.  Each rotation is 5 weeks in length and you complete 3 rotations in the fall semester.  Your faculty advisor is available to help you in selecting these rotations.

At the end of the fall semester, you will have the option of selecting a dissertation advisor and a graduate program.  You will then begin your dissertation research and take courses specific to your selected graduate program.

If you still need more time to make this very important decision, you can continue to do 5-week rotations in the spring semester until you find the right match.  You and your faculty advisor will work together to design a spring semester curriculum that reflects your long-term interests.