Sep 27, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physiology, PhD

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Graduate study in physiology is designed to prepare candidates for careers as independent scientists in academics, industry, and government positions. Admission to the graduate program is competitive and is based upon academic background, professional recommendations, performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), experience, and when possible, personal interviews. Applicants should complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant area such as biological sciences, chemical sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, psychology, or engineering. It is recommended that applicants complete courses in organic chemistry, physical chemistry, calculus, physics, and the biological sciences, as well as have some research experience. 

Students will have the opportunity to join faculty research programs that cover topics including neural, endocrine, cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, sensory, and muscle physiology. Research activities employ systems, cellular, and molecular approaches. The program of study is tailored to the individual background and career goals of the student and stresses an interdepartmental approach both in the selection of courses and in the pursuit of research. Students are expected to participate in graduate seminars, journal clubs, research seminars; to interact with visiting scholars; and to present the results of their research at local and national meetings. 

Teaching opportunities leading to a graduate certificate in teaching is also available. Financial aid is available to the students accepted to the program. 


Admission Requirements 

Most students enter the Physiology PhD program after completing the one year Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. Further information about that program (including its admission requirements) are available at

Some students, including those pursuing an MD/PhD or DO/PhD, may be considered for direct admittance to the Physiology program. These students typically have an ongoing professional relationship with an identified faculty mentor. 

Specific questions can be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies at 


Degree Requirements 

Students must earn 36 hours of graduate credit to take their Qualifying Exam. Individuals transferring from the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program must gain a B or better in both PGY 502 SYSTEMS, CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR PHYSIOLOGY  (5 credits) and PGY 602 READINGS IN SYSTEMS, CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR PHYSIOLOGY  (3 credits). Most students take their Qualifying Exam after ~15 months in the Physiology department. 

After passing their Qualifying Exam, students must maintain continuous enrollment in PGY 767 DISSERTATION RESIDENCY CREDIT  until they have written and defended their research thesis. The mean time to graduation is ~5years. 

More information is available at

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