Curriculum

Summary of Pathology PhD Program Curriculum Requirements

  1. Coordinated Curriculum in Cell and Molecular Biology ("C3MB", including CBIO 453 and CBIO 455, 4 graded credits each). BSTP 400 (1 credit, P/F).
  2. IBMS 500 Ethics course (zero credits).
  3. Basic Pathophysiologic Mechanisms (PATH 510, 4 graded credits) and at least one of the other core courses: Fundamental Immunology (PATH 416, 4 graded credits) and Basic Cancer Biology and Interface with Clinical Oncology (PATH 520 with simultaneous registration in PATH 521, 4 graded credits).
  4. Additional graded didactic electives or core courses to a total of 24 graded credits (2 of these credits must represent track electives (see Section X: List of Courses); the remainder may include track electives or courses offered by other departments). To optimize course planning, and a requirement when advancing to candidacy, students must complete a Planned Program of Study online in the Student Information System (SIS).
  5. Pathology Student Seminar (PATH 511/PATH 512), 1 P/F credit per semester. Students must participate fully in all semesters but formally register only for two semesters (Spring of Year 1 and Fall of Year 2).
  6. At the end of the spring semester in the first year of PhD study, students must take a course on biomedical ethics ("Being A Professional Scientist" IBMS 500). This required zero credit course is three hours per day for three days, and usually occurs in May of the summer semester. If necessary, this course can be delayed no later than spring of year 2. The ethics course MUST be completed prior to advancing to candidacy.
  7. Prior to advancing to candidacy, students must take 9 credits/semester. At least 6 graded credits must be taken for each fall and spring semester until 24 graded credits have been achieved. The goal is to complete all didactic coursework within the first two years. Courses must be taken for a letter grade unless offered only with pass-fail grading. Courses are to be selected by the student under the guidance of the Thesis Mentor and Thesis Committee.
  8. Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better. In addition, a student receiving two or more C grades may be placed on academic probation and reviewed to determine whether he/she may continue in the program. Students who receive one "C" may be reviewed by the Pathology Graduate Program Committee or the relevant Track Committee, and tutoring, remedial coursework or other actions may be recommended to assist the student.
  9. Research Elective (PATH 601, P/F) must be taken to complete a nine-credit semester load. This course is critical to building laboratory and research skills and generating preliminary data necessary for preparation of the Thesis Proposal and advancement to candidacy for the PhD degree. Students must devote significant time to lab work and make substantial progress toward research objectives and preparation of the Thesis Proposal.
  10. The Student must work with the Thesis Mentor to assemble a Thesis Committee by the end of the fall semester of the second year (i.e. ~9 months after entering the laboratory).
  11. Preparation and defense of the Thesis Proposal/Qualifying Examination should be completed by spring semester of the second year and must be completed no later than the end of the third year (failure to meet this timetable may result in dismissal from the program). Completion of the Thesis Proposal/Qualifying Examination is a prerequisite for a student to advance to candidacy for the PhD degree. Prior to advancing to candidacy, students must complete all of the above requirements (1-10) and have a grade point average of 3.00 or better. A student may NOT register for PATH 701 (Dissertation PhD) until he/she has advanced to candidacy. At this time students must submit online a current Planned Program of Study in the Student Information System (SIS).
  12. Students must complete 18 credits of PATH 701 (PhD Dissertation, U/S). After advancement to candidacy, students should register for one (1) hour of 701 until the semester prior to graduation. At that time, students should register for the balance in order to complete a total of 18 credits.
  13. Summer Registration: In the summer students should register as follows: #1: Students should register for up to 3 credits of PATH 701 if this will accelerate the graduation date. #2: the student should register for one credit of PATH 701 (not RSCH 750) in the summer if the thesis will be defended in that semester. The student MUST be registered for PATH 701 for the semester in which he/she defends the PhD thesis.
  14. The student must make arrangements to meet with his/her Thesis Committee at least once every 6 months and make adequate progress toward completion of the PhD.
  15. A PhD Thesis should be prepared and successfully defended by the end of the fifth year. Students who will go beyond this timetable will be reviewed by the Pathology Graduate Program Committee annually beginning at the end of the fifth year and may be dismissed from the program if progress is not adequate. All students must complete the PhD by the end of the 7th year in the program.
  16. Students must satisfy the publication requirement (one accepted publications and one submitted prior to thesis defense.

Curriculum Modifications for MSTP students

MSTP students must satisfy all of the PhD program requirements with the following modifications:

  1. They are excused from CBIO 453 and CBIO 455 and PATH 510 due to overlap with the medical curriculum. They are excused from BSTP 400 due to overlap with the MSTP 400.
  2. MSTP students in the ITP must take PATH 416, but MSTP students in the MCBDTP are not required to take PATH 416 (but may still elect to take this course as a track elective) since the MD curriculum contains sufficient immunology to provide background for students who are not focusing on this area. PATH 416 is a track elective, not a requirement, for all CBTP students.
  3. They can apply up to 18 graded credits from IBIS graduate courses taken in the medical curriculum to the PhD requirements.
  4. They are encouraged to take at least one Pathology core course (PATH 416 and/or PATH 520 + 521) and a track elective in the first two years of the MSTP (prior to entering the PhD phase). IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT ONE OF THESE COURSES BE TAKEN IN THE SPRING OF YEAR 1.
  5. MSTP students may petition the chair of their track committee to substitute another graduate course for one track elective if the MD curriculum provides reasonable overlap with a relevant track elective. Since two core courses and two track electives are required, but MSTP students are excused from Path 510, this means that an MSTP student must take at least three graduate courses beyond the MD curriculum IBIS courses.
  6. When MSTP students enter the PhD phase in late March of their second year in the MSTP, their stage in the Pathology PhD program is similar to that of a first year BSTP student (BSTP students start in ~January instead of late March and so have a 4 month head start in the lab); subsequent timing of events and expectations for progress should be adjusted accordingly.
  7. MSTP students should take IBMS 500 in the summer of their second year in the MSTP.
  8. Prior to the PhD phase, MSTP students are encouraged to attend the Pathology Graduate Student Seminars (Wednesday's at noon), the Pathology Department Seminars (Monday 's at noon) and the Immunology Seminars (Tuesday's at noon).