Requirements for the Ph.D. in Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
BIMS 5012 Cell Structure and Function
BIMS 5030 Macromolecular Structure and Function
BIMS 8010 Gene Structure, Expression and Regulation
BIMS 8320 Graduate Physiology
BIMS 7100 Research Ethics.
Three electives graduate courses 5000 level, or higher. Each course must have a workload of at least 3 credits. Selection of elective courses should be discussed with the Graduate Advisor and Thesis Mentor
Examples of courses that satisfy the electives requirement:
BIMS 8200 Fundamental Immunology
BIMS 8131/8132 Topics in the Molecular Basis of Human Disease
BIMS 8052 Vascular Biology
BIOC 5080 Computer Analysis of DNA and Protein Sequences
BIOP 5060 Molecular Physiology: From Molecular Machines to Biological Information Processing
BIOP 8020 Advanced Protein Crystallography
BIOP 8030 Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Macromolecules
CHEM 7220 Reaction Kinetics and Dynamics
MICR 8040 Molecular Basis of Carcinogenesis
PHAR 9010 Human Pharmacology
PHAR 9020 Molecular Characterization of Drug Targets
PHY 8130 Structure and Function of Biological Membranes
Physiology Seminar PHY 8011, 8012 (taken each semester while a full time student but not when enrolled as Research Only)
PHY 9995 (Topical Research): Three laboratory rotations, or the discretion of the Graduate Advisor
Minimum of 54 credits must be earned for courses other than non-topical research (9998 or 9999).
Minimum of 72 total credits
Candidacy Exam: The student is to prepare a literature review on a topic of her/his choosing with approval by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The paper should be on a current topic relevant to Physiology. The paper will be presented in an oral exam to a committee selected by the DGS, which generally includes the thesis mentor. The paper in final form should be delivered to the committee at least one week ahead of the scheduled oral examination. The exam should be taken at the end of the second year of matriculation in the graduate program.
The committee may decide to pass, fail, or conditionally pass. In the case of a pass, the student is notified that she/he should continue on to prepare the thesis proposal, which should be orally defended within one year (see below). If the student receives a fail, the student will have one more opportunity to pass the exam according to stipulations and a schedule determined by the examination committee. With guidance from the committee, the DGS and thesis mentor, the second attempt should be done as soon as reasonable depending on the circumstances that led to the fail. If the student fails to pass the exam on the second attempt, the committee and program will recommend to the Graduate School for Arts and Sciences that the student be dismissed from the graduate program. If the student receives a conditional pass, the committee will stipulate what the student must do to successfully complete the exam. This can range from rewriting a part or whole of the paper, adding a section to the paper, and/or providing written answers to questions posed by the committee to be completed within a reasonable amount of time.
Thesis proposal: The student is to prepare a written proposal for their thesis project in the form of an NIH R01 grant proposal. The student should use the instructions for the NIH Standard Form 424 Grant application (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm) to help prepare the proposal. The document will be presented orally to the student's selected thesis committee, which includes the thesis advisor(s), and at least three other tenure track faculty members (minimum of four members). At least one faculty member must be from outside the home department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics and acts as the representative of the Graduate Faculty. Faculty members with secondary or guest appointments in the department are not eligible to act as the Graduate Faculty representative. The faculty members eligible to be one of the four members are those recognized by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Generally this does not include faculty with clinical appointments except those with appointments in a basic science department, or those who have approved membership in GSAS. The student is encouraged to add additional thesis committee members, in particular to provide expertise for the thesis project. These added members may be from another institution or those that are not eligible to contribute to the minimum four member committee. The thesis proposal should be successfully defended within one year of passing the Candidacy Exam.
Requirements for the Dissertation and Final Examination are as described at the Graduate School for Arts and Sciences website, http://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/gradschool/requirements/phd.html#pageSection1. The oral defense will be done in two parts: (1) the public defense, which is in the form of a formal publicly advertised seminar, followed by (2) the private defense which is given to the thesis committee. Generally, this is the same committee that heard the thesis proposal, but the membership can be changed by the student and advisor with approval of the DGS. The same rules apply to make-up of faculty members.
The content of the dissertation and expectations of the student are left to the discretion of the thesis committee. The thesis committees are expected to uphold the highest possible academic standards of the University of Virginia within ethical boundaries outlined in the School of Medicine Faculty Handbook.