Driskill Graduate Training Program in Life Sciences Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School's Policy Guide.

Master's

The DGP is a Ph.D. training program; however, there are situations when pursuit of the Ph.D. cannot be completed and therefore an option for a terminal masters degree is provided. This degree option is not used for recruiting or admission purposes. A student seeking this degree, in addition to having successfully completed all required courses and having passed the Qualifying Exam, must have:

  1. completed the thesis proposal process successfully;
  2. held at least one annual thesis committee meeting after the thesis proposal;
  3. completed sufficient research towards their PhD to write a master's thesis. 

Ph.D. students in good academic standing who wish to obtain a terminal master's degree will petition the DGP Program Committee and the Director of the DGP explaining why they cannot complete the Ph.D. program. The Program Committee would consider both the nature of the circumstances as well as the quality of the research in determining whether the student should be allowed to write a thesis and obtain the masters degree. Permission to pursue the degree will only be granted to those students whose body of research could reasonably result in a thesis. Students who are granted permission will submit a master's degree thesis to a committee comprised of members of their original Ph.D. thesis committee and an ex officio member from the Program Committee. An oral defense will also be required. The committee will determine whether the written document and oral defense are sufficient to warrant the degree. There is no publication requirement.

PhD

Courses Units
Required Courses 
Core Courses (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Statistics) 4
Elective courses 4
Lab Rotations 1
Noncredit Required Courses (2 courses required) 
DGP 494 Colloquium on Integrity in Biomedical Research  
DGP 496 Introduction to Life Science Research
Total required units: 9

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Examinations: qualifying examinations during second year of study.
  • Research/Projects: laboratory research based on dissertation research proposal
  • Thesis prospectus: written thesis proposal and presentation to thesis committee in Fall of second year.
  • PhD Dissertation: written dissertation; annual presentation of research-in-progress to Thesis Committee
  • Final Evaluations: dissertation defense consisting of written dissertation, public presentation of research accomplishments and oral defense of dissertation to Thesis Committee
  • Publication: of a portion of thesis work in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Teaching: one quarter as a teaching assistant
  • Other: three laboratory rotations in first year, intended to assist student in selecting dissertation research advisors; regular participation in seminars and journal clubs; teaching assignment one quarter in third year