Program Curriculum

Photo of CONJ 660 course students.

PBMS is meant to be a flexible program where the educational training plan is custom-built for each student based on their research project and trajectory. Course requirements reflect our desire that students receive a strong scientific foundation in core biomedical disciplines and learn to think critically about their own project and the work of others. Recognizing that graduates in the biomedical sciences follow many trajectories, we provide training in analytical, professional and communication skills that will prepare students for diverse scientific careers.

Year 1: Curriculum Overview

PMCB students in the classroom.

PBMS course requirements reflect our desire that students receive a strong scientific foundation in core biomedical disciplines and learn to think critically about their own project and the work of others.

All students will take Ethics, Scientific Logic and Methods and Models. Based on their academic background and with the advice of Academic Mentors, students will pick 2 out of 3 core courses (Biochemistry, Genetics, and Cell Biology) and 1 of 3 electives (Chemical Biology innovators, Principles of Physiology, Molecular Biophysics and Structural Bioinformatics and Fundamentals of Immunology). Students may choose to take all 3 core courses instead of choosing 1 of the elective courses.

Fall Quarter

 Required

  • MGRD 650 - The Practice and Ethics of Science
  • BMSC 665 - Scientific Logic
  • BMSC 664 - Research Models and Methods

Core

  • BMSC 661 - Structure & Funct. of Bio. Molecules
  • BMSC 662 - Genetic Mechanisms and Bioregulation
  • BMSC 663 - Cellular Biology

Electives

  • BMSC 666 - Chemical Biology Innovators
  • BMSC 667 - Principles of Physiology
  • BMSC 668 - Molecular Biophysics and Structural Bioinformatics
  • BMSC 669 - Fundamentals of Immunology 

All students will take the listed required courses. Based on their academic background and with the advice of Academic Mentors, students will select 2 of the 3 listed core courses, and 1 of the 3 listed elective courses. Students may choose to take all 3 core courses in place of choosing an elective. 

Winter Quarter

Students rotate through three labs during winter term, with 4 weeks spent in each lab. To make sure that students are focused on their research, Winter term has a “course-light” schedule, where students are only required to attend scientific seminars and journal clubs.

Spring Quarter

Students begin research in their thesis labs in addition to Research Hub academic requirements, as well as other required or elective courses as determined between the student and their Academic Mentor.

Year 2: Curriculum Overview

PMCB students in the classroom.

In addition to research and Research Hub academic requirements, students continue to develop their scientific knowledge through elective and required courses which focus on quantitative skills, communication and professional development. 

By the end of the second year, students undergo the qualifying examination. This examination consists of two parts, a written examination (an NRSA-style proposal), and an oral defense. The student is expected to answer questions regarding the scientific background, rationale, and methodologies of the proposal.

Upon successful completion of both portions of the qualifying exam, the student is advanced to candidacy.

  • BMSC 660 (CONJ 660)- Short scientific talks
  • BMSC 628 (CONJ 628)- Rigor and Reproducibility
  • BMSC 611- Introductory Scientific Writing
  • BMSC 6XX- Scientific Writing
  • PHPH 640- Professional Development
  • HIP 530- Leadership Skills in Team Science
  • HIP531- Project Management
  • BMI 670- Scientific writing and communication for informatics students
  • BEHN 655- Narrative Writing for Research scientist
  • MGRD 628- Teaching
  • BMSC 6XX- Searching and Information Management