The Department of Physiology and Biophysics offers graduate training leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Degree programs are designed to provide students a wide range of opportunities in the study of biological function at the level of the gene, protein organelle, cell, tissue, organ system or intact organism. For all students the curriculum includes required coursework, seminars, and conferences to establish fundamental concepts in disciplines related to Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology.
Within the M.S. program, students may pursue their degree in either a thesis- or non-thesis track. The M.S. thesis track is designed for students who wish to pursue a research career in either an academic, government, or private laboratory. In the thesis track, students must complete and defend a thesis based on original research. The M.S. non-thesis track is designed for students who wish to either enter a professional school (e.g., medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary), or obtain advanced training in preparation for a teaching career.
After completing the first year of coursework, Ph.D. students choose to enter one of three tracks: Cellular Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, Pathophysiology or Neuroscience. In later years in each track, students are able to select from a wide range of courses according to their interests and career goals. To facilitate selection of a research advisor, students rotate through three laboratories during the first year. All Ph.D. students must pass a qualifying examination prior to beginning their dissertation research under the direction of their research advisor. Doctoral students usually complete their graduate work in five years, and typically take a postdoctoral position before establishing a research or teaching career in academia, industry or government.