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Common Core Curriculum

During the fall semester, all first year students take a 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 how the whole organism functions.  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.  This will be one of the first courses introducing concepts of rigor and reproducibility in research.   
  • 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 and each topic includes a lecture followed by discussion using case studies.
  • Biomedical Laboratory Experience
    • The purpose of the 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 Sciences 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.