Progress to Degree

Goal and objectives

The goal of graduate education for the Ph.D. degree within the Computational Biology Program is to enhance students’ academic knowledge base, teaching ability, communication ability, and in-depth basic research ability within a particular scientific area in the discipline.

Year One

The student will begin taking formal courses to fulfill requirements for the degree, including the Bioinformatics core course. At least two individual lab rotations are required for each new graduate student during the first year of graduate study. By the end of the first year the student will select the thesis Advisor. During the first and subsequent years, the student is required to attend the weekly Computational Biology seminar series. The student is also required to participate in the Computational Biology Student Seminar series.

Year Two

By the end of the second year, the student will have completed the formal course work to fulfill requirements for the degree. The student will complete and submit a research proposal for the Comprehensive Oral Exam. This proposal will be written in the format of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) or National Science Foundation (NSF) grant proposal. The proposal must develop a research topic related to the general areas of computational biology. The topic of the research proposal is decided upon by the student in consultation with the thesis Advisor.

Subsequent Years

Upon completion of the Comprehensive Oral Exam, the student will aggressively carry out research in the laboratory of the thesis Advisor. In addition, the student will continue attending the weekly Computational Biology seminar series and participating in the Computational Biology Student Seminar series.

A PhD degree is awarded once the student has written a final dissertation, and carried out a successful defense of it before a committee.