Course of Study
During the year prior to entry into the program, scholars will select a mentor from among the Graduate Program in Life Sciences faculty and choose a program from among the eight GPILS programs. An accelerated curriculum will allow scholars to complete all required coursework during the first year. Scholars will follow the same curriculum required by each GPILS program of its MD/PhD students, taking into account the exceptional abilities of program participants and the prior relevant coursework completed by all candidates while in professional school. Following completion of the required coursework scholars will be required to pass a preliminary examination covering the field that they have chosen in accord with GPILS policy. Thereafter scholars will devote their energies to pursue original research.
No laboratory rotations will be required of participants. Instead, they will have selected a research mentor prior to the beginning of the program. By the time of the qualifying examination, all candidates will have selected a thesis committee composed of their thesis advisor and three other individuals who hold doctoral degrees, faculty positions and are otherwise qualified as indicated by the program or department of study. One member of the thesis committee will be a member of the MD-PhD admissions and advisory committee. This committee will have ultimate authority over the content of the candidate's thesis. Most scholars will complete their research leading to the preparation and defense of their thesis by the end of the fourth year.