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Biological Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences

General Program Information

The Biomedical Science Program of the James H. Quillen College of Medicine offers courses of study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Science with concentrations in seven basic science disciplines: anatomy and cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, microbiology, pharmacology, physiology, pharmaceutical sciences, and quantitative biosciences. The program is designed to prepare students for professional careers in research in the life sciences. Graduates find career opportunities in a variety of settings including universities, health science centers, health care industry, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

A unique feature of the Ph.D. program is its multidisciplinary character, giving students a broad choice of faculty and laboratories for their research training. Students are admitted centrally rather than to departmental graduate programs and need not select an area of concentration until the end of the first year of study. An interdisciplinary core curriculum covers the basic knowledge and skills necessary for research in all areas of the biomedical sciences. Students become familiar with the laboratory environment of different faculty through a flexible program of laboratory rotations. After choosing a research advisor, students receive individualized research training. There are currently over 60 faculty, from five basic science and seven clinical departments, participating in the graduate program.

The course of study leading to the Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences will be designed in accord with the student's prior training, the student's stated interests and goals, and the specific background required for demonstration of competence in an area of biomedical science. A minimum of 60 credit-hours are required beyond the baccalaureate degree. Students accepted into the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences who have earned an M.S. Biology degree from East Tennessee State University may have a program of study that is up to 16 credit hours shorter depending on coursework taken as part of the M.S. Biology program. For admission to candidacy, at least 30 of the minimum 60 credit-hours must be earned in courses at the 6000 and 7000 level. More than
the minimum hours may be needed for completion of the degree program.


Admission Requirements

All applications for admission to the Ph.D. program will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee of the Biomedical Science Program. Admission decisions are made on the basis of an overall evaluation of the applicant's ability to complete advanced study in Biomedical Science. Particular attention is paid to the applicant's cumulative GPA, performance in physical science and natural sciences courses, scores for the Graduate Record Examination and letters of recommendation. A personal interview may be required.


Core Requirements

  • Biom 6010 - Biomedical Science I: Molecular Organization of Cells
  • Biom 6020 - Biomedical Science II: Gene Expression and Regulation
  • Biom 6030 - Biomedical Science III: Cellular Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biom 6040 - Biomedical Science IV: Cell and Organ Interactions
  • Biom 6110 - Introduction to Biomedical Research
  • Biom 6120 - Laboratory Rotations
  • Biom 6210 - Scientific Communication I
  • Biom 6220 - Scientific Communication II
  • Biom 6300 - Scientific Ethics
  • Mded 6010 - Biometry and Biomedical Computing

Additional Requirements

  • 15-21 Credit hours of dissertation research
  • A minimum of 9 credit hours of advanced concentration courses
  • 4 Credit hours of guided electives, 2 credit hours of which must be departmental seminar courses 
  • 4 Credit hours of electives of your choice




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