Curriculum and Graduation Timeline
During their first year, the students perform laboratory rotations and start their graduate courses. The laboratory rotations provide an opportunity to evaluate suitable laboratory environments for their graduate research. It is anticipated that most students have decided on a research laboratory by the start of the second semester. The students also teach an undergraduate genetics lab as part of the graduate curriculum to gain teaching skills. The main focus is on starting a research project with the assistance of the thesis advisor and three additional faculty members who form the thesis committee. This period is also the time when students will prepare for their preliminary examination, to be taken by fall of the third year. The third, fourth and fifth year are dedicated to continuing and completing the thesis project, presenting data at conferences and publish the work, followed by the thesis defense. Generally, 4 to 5 years of study is required to complete 96 semester hours with a GPR of 3.0 or higher. The Ph.D. degree is awarded principally on demonstrated ability to conduct significant and original scientific research.
Our students are expected to present their research at national and international conferences and publish in established, high-impact peer-reviewed journals, and their teaching experience provides an additional valuable asset for future job opportunities. Our PhD graduates have been successful in obtaining faculty positions in top research Universities, teaching colleges, as well as companies in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and agriculture.