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The educational objective of the doctoral program in Pathobiology is to prepare students for research on the pressing pathobiological problems of the region, with an emphasis on:

  1. the pathogenesis of infectious diseases;
  2. the toxic and carcinogenic effects of environmental pollutants; and
  3. neurological and metabolic disorders.

Requirements for Admission

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States or proof of equivalent education in a foreign institution.
  2. Undergraduate degree in Biology or a related field and successful completion of:
    1. Two semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab.
    2. One semester of Calculus.
    3. Coursework in Physiology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and Genetics.
  3. Competitive scores in the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing components of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  4. Personal statement of research and professional interests.
  5. Three letters of recommendation indicating endorsement of the applicant for doctoral study.
  6. Competitive TOEFL score for international applicants whose first language is not English or who have not completed a university degree in the U.S. or at an English-speaking institution. Successful candidates typically have scores above 550.

Requirements for the PhD Degree in Pathobiology

With departmental approval, students entering the program with a master’s degree can count up to 24 semester hours of graduate coursework as advanced standing toward the PhD degree. Students with deficiencies in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Physiology, Genetics, Ecology, or Evolutionary Theory will be required to take additional course work to remove the deficiencies.

Admission to Candidacy

The student must pass a qualifying oral examination to advance to candidacy for the doctorate. This exam will be designed to assess the candidate's knowledge and understanding of the material covered in the core courses as well as the candidate's ability to rationally discuss the design, implementation, and analysis of a research problem of the student's and the committee's choosing. The Preliminary Examination Committee will determine whether the student displays sufficient breadth of knowledge and understanding of basic principles to undertake original research.


A dissertation demonstrating both the ability to do original independent research and competence in scholarly exposition will be required of all students. The dissertation must present original research and should provide the basis for one or more publishable contributions to the research literature. The dissertation will be supervised by the Dissertation Advisor, in consultation with a Dissertation Committee consisting of at least three additional members, at least one of whom must be a graduate faculty member from outside the Department of Biological Sciences. The candidate will present a dissertation proposal for approval by the Dissertation Committee.

Final Oral Examination

Upon completion of the dissertation, the student must defend, in public, his or her work. The Dissertation Committee will be responsible for administering the final public oral defense and will have the responsibility of determining whether the written dissertation and its oral presentation and defense are acceptable.

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 63

PhD in Biological Sciences (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
BIOL 5130Seminar (Complete three semesters)3
BIOL 5131Ethical, Soc/Pol Dimensions1
BIOL 5328Biostatistics3
BIOL 5340Structure/Funct Macromolecules3
BIOL 6301Environmental Pathobiology3
BIOL 6310Adv Research Techniques3
Additional Requirements:
Select two courses from the following:6
Advances Immunological Concept
Ecosystem Toxicology
Gene Regulation
Physiological Regulatory Mech
Dissertation Reseach:
Select thirty-three hours from the following:30
Independent Research
Independent Research
Independent Research
Independent Research
Biology Electives:
Select two hours from the following:2
Independent Research
Independent Research
Select Adv Topics Biol Science
Resrch Biological Science
Biology of the Pleistocene
Rsrch Funding & Prof Developmt
Ecology of Desert Organisms
Advances/Evolutionary Theory
Advances Immunological Concept
Advances in Ecological Theory
Physiology of Bacterial Cell
Synthesis/Degrad Macromolecule
Mechanisms-Cellular Toxicity
Molecular Pathogenesis
Intro Bio I:Basic Seq. Comp.
Intro Bio II: Gene Find/Compar
Internship in Biological Sci.
Post-genomic Analysis
Genomic Analysis and Assembly
Independent Research
Resrch in Biological Sciences
Independent Research
Independent Research
Gene Regulation
Physiological Regulatory Mech
Cell Physiology
Membrane Biology
Molecular Parasitology
Independent Research
Independent Research
Independent Research
Independent Research
BIOL 6398
BIOL 6399
and Dissertation
Total Hours60