Graduate Training Ph.D. Program Outline

Pathology & Lab Medicine

Students in the Ph.D. program acquire a solid scientific background through didactic coursework in the First Year Core Curriculum of the College of Graduate Studies and within the Pathology Department. Also during the first year, students participate in laboratory rotations in order to select a graduate advisor. During the second year, students gain an understanding of the mechanisms underlying human disease in the General Pathology course. At the end of year two, Ph.D. students take a comprehensive written qualifying examination after satisfactory completion of all required coursework. Upon passing the written portion of the qualifying exam, each student works closely with his or her advisor to select an academic Advisory Committee to guide the student in the completion of an independent dissertation research project. Students are required to present and defend a formal dissertation proposal to the Advisory Committee within 6-12 months after passing the qualifying exam. Passing the oral dissertation proposal is the final step in qualifying as a Ph.D. candidate. The student is required to meet with the Advisory Committee at least once per year after the committee is formed. At least one first-authored research paper must be accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal prior to the final dissertation defense. A second paper on which the student is an author must be submitted for publication. In addition, students gain essential skills and experience in communicating their research results by presenting their findings at local, regional, national, and international research conferences. The average time for completion of the program is about 5 years.

Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Ph.D. Curriculum

Year 1

  • Fall
    • College of Graduate Studies First Year Core curriculum (CGS 701, 710, 760, lab rotations)
  • Spring
    • College of Graduate Studies First Year Core curriculum (CGS 702, 712, 760, lab rotations)
  • Spring Selective
    • PATH-798 Spring Selective in Histology (Hazen-Martin)
  • Summer
    • CGS Core Curriculum - Scientific Writing, Biostatistics

Year 2

  • Fall
    • PATH-621G General Pathology (Presnell, 6sh)
    • PATH-700 Seminar in Pathology 
    • PATH-970 Dissertation Research (Student's Advisor)
  • Spring
    • PATH-700 Seminar in Pathology
    • PATH-970 Dissertation Research (Student's Advisor)
    • Elective course(s) - need 6h total (varies) 
  • Summer
    • Qualifying Exam

Year 3

  • PATH-700 Seminar in Pathology 
  • PATH-970 Dissertation Research (Student's Advisor) 
  • Formation of Advisory Committee 
  • Dissertation Proposal 

Years 4 & 5

  • Dissertation research

Notes

The College of Graduate Studies requires at least 12 didactic hours beyond the core curriculum for Ph.D. students. Most students will fulfill this requirement with PATH 621-G (6h) and one or more electives (6h total) to be selected in conjunction with the student's Advisor and/or Advisory Committee. Seminar and Research hours cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.