Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Department of Physiology

Graduate Study
Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology - Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, or Veterinary Medicine, students must meet the requirements specified below.


Entry into the Doctor of Philosophy degree program requires that the student has a major advisor and has earned 30 graduate credits, or holds a Master of Science or professional degree, or has passed the departmental Comprehensive Examination.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology

Students entering a doctoral program with advanced standing must meet with the guidance committee within the first two semesters of doctoral study. The committee is composed of at least four faculty members, in addition to the major advisor, and must include one representative from another department. The course work, research program, and overall requirements needed to qualify for candidacy for the degree are planned in consultation with the guidance committee. However, the student's Guidance Committee Report is approved by the committee only after the student has demonstrated the potential to do research. Such potential may be demonstrated by any of the following:

a.    previous attainment of a master's degree with a thesis
b.    previous publication of research results
c.    other documented evidence of research capability.

The student must pass the Comprehensive Examination within the first two years of graduate study. The Comprehensive Examination which tests the student's breadth of knowledge in physiology, is administered by the Graduate and Professional Course and Curriculum Committee. The student prepares a thesis research proposal and presents the proposal to the faculty at a seminar. The proposal must be acceptable to the guidance committee. While the program is in progress, the student meets periodically with the guidance committee for evaluation.

A dissertation based on original research outlined in the proposal must be submitted to, approved by, and defended in an oral examination before the guidance committee. The dissertation is expected to show evidence of originality in its conception and execution and must be written in a clear and logical manner. Typically, three or more years of study beyond the bachelor's degree are needed to meet these requirements.