Print Page
Email this Page to a Friend
Highlights new content for catalog year.:on | off
Reset text size to normal Increase text size to large Increase text size to largest

Biomedical Sciences PhD

 Hide Hide preferences menu.

College : Medicine Degree :XPHD
Department : Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences Option : Dissertation
Program Websites :


The Biomedical Sciences PhD program is an interdisciplinary program that combines biological and physical science. This program is intended to educate students in independent research and team collaboration within the field.


The Biomedical Sciences PhD program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including a minimum total of 27 hours of formal course work exclusive of independent study that are required.

The program requires 23 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of electives, and a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation research. The remaining 22 credit hours may consist of additional electives, doctoral research and/or dissertation research. Students with an earned master’s degree may request that up to 30 credit hours of previous course work be waived.

New students will take a two-semester introductory course, participate in laboratory rotations to identify a research area of interest, and take a sequence of required seminars.

Total Credit Hours Required:
72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

Programmatic deficiencies expected of applicants from diverse settings will be addressed early in the program by completion of appropriate course work. Students entering with a master’s degree may request that up to 30 semester credit hours of previous course work be waived as degree requirements with approval from the dissertation committee. Students may register for doctoral research until they have been admitted to candidacy, after which they must register for dissertation research.

New students will take a two-semester course that provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary area of biomedical sciences. In addition, a laboratory rotation will allow students to have a brief but intensive experience working with faculty in at least two different research laboratories to find a research area of interest for their dissertation. Finally, a sequence of required seminars will familiarize students with field-related literature and introduce them to the conceptual and technical frameworks in which they will work. All students receiving assistantships must enroll full time.

Required Courses—23 Credit Hours

  • BSC 6432 Structure-Function-Relationships of Biomedical Sciences I (5 credit hours)
  • BSC 6433 Structure-Function-Relationships of Biomedical Sciences II (5 credit hours)
  • IDS 7692L Experiments in Biomedical Sciences (lab rotation) (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 7692L Experiments in Biomedical Sciences (lab rotation) (1 credit hour)
  • IDS 7690 Frontiers in Biomedical Sciences (four semesters, 1 credit hour each semester)
  • BSC 6431 Practice of Biomedical Science (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 6694 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biomedical Sciences (2 credit hours)

Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours

At least 12 hours of electives must be taken from the following list. Any electives not on this list must be approved by the Graduate Committee before being counted toward degree credit requirements. Directed research, doctoral research and dissertation research may be used to satisfy requirements beyond the first 12 hours, with approval from the program director.

  • BSC 5418 Tissue Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 5436 Biomedical Informatics: Structure Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 6407C Laboratory Methods in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • CAP 5510 Bioinformatics (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5305 Applied Biological Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5450 Polymer Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5451C Techniques in Polymer Science (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6251 Applied Organic Synthesis (2 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535 Forensic Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535L Forensic Analysis of Biological Materials (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6536 Forensic Analysis of DNA Data (2 credit hours)
  • GEB 5516 Technology Commercialization (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 5127 Foundations of Bio-Imaging Science (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5205 Infectious Processes (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5208 Cellular Microbiology: Host-Pathogen Interactions (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5209 Microbial Stress Response (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5225 Molecular Biology of Disease (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5505 Molecular Virology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5654 Applied Microbiology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5722C Methods in Biotechnology (4 credit hours)
  • MCB 5932 Current Topics in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5415 Cellular Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6226 Molecular Diagnostics (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6417C Microbial Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5025 Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5235 Molecular Immunology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5236 Cancer Biology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5238 Immunobiology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5265 Stem Cell Biology ( 3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5275 Signal Transduction Mechanics (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5527 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5596 Biomedical Informatics: Sequence Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5665C Human Genetics (4 credit hours)
  • PCB 5815 Molecular Aspects of Obesity, Diabetes, and Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5838 Cellular and Molecular Basis of Brain Functions (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6528 Plant Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6585C Advanced Genetics (4 credit hours)
  • PCB 6595 Regulation of Gene Expression (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6677 Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics (3 credit hours)
  • ZOO 5748C Clinical Neuroanatomy (3 credit hours)

Unrestricted Electives—22 Credit Hours Minimum

Students should take 22 credit hours of electives, directed research, doctoral research or dissertation research, in consultation with their adviser.

Dissertation—15 Credit Hours Minimum

  • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (15 credit hours)

Cumulative/Qualifying Examinations

Cumulative examinations taken during the second year will determine if students should continue with their doctoral studies. Exams will be overseen by a cumulative exam committee. Each exam will consist of questions set by different faculty members. Questions will deal with data interpretation from the current literature and the design of experiments to test a hypothesis. A student must satisfactorily answer cumulative examination questions, displaying a knowledge base consistent with continuation in the PhD program.

Candidacy Examination

Candidacy will consist of writing and orally defending a proposal outlining a novel research idea to the dissertation committee. The written proposal will be prepared independently, following NIH-style grant format, and must be approved by the dissertation committee (see Biomedical Sciences PhD Program Handbook for full description of Candidacy Exam requirements and procedures). After passing the candidacy examination and meeting other requirements as specified, the student can register for dissertation hours.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:

  • Successfully complete a minimum of 48 credit hours.
  • Successful completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of all examinations (cumulative/qualifying and candidacy).
  • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submittal of an approved program of study.

    Dissertation Defense

    The dissertation should be of significant scope and depth such that the work has made significant advances in the area of biomedical science. The PhD dissertation research must generate sufficient quantity and quality data to support a minimum of two original manuscripts (first-authored by the student) in a mainstream journal in the field. At a minimum, one first-author paper must be published, and a second manuscript should have been submitted and subjected to peer review.

    Upon completion and approval of the doctoral dissertation by all designated faculty and university offices, the student will make a formal presentation of the research findings in seminar format to the dissertation committee and other university faculty and students. The candidate will answer questions and defend conclusions about the subject matter.

    For more information, see the General Guidelines for Alternative Organization in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual of the College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation office.

    Independent Learning

    The dissertation serves as the independent learning experience.

    Application Requirements

    For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

    Applicants entering the program with regular status are expected to have completed course work required for a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, molecular biology or microbiology.

    In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

    • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
    • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
    • Three letters of recommendation.
    • Statement of research interest and purpose, including a summary of relevant work or research experience.
    • Résumé.
    • A personal or telephone interview. 

    Admission is based on an overall assessment of the qualifications submitted and the interview. All admissions to graduate status are competitive and based on availability of faculty for sponsoring research.

    Application Deadlines

    Biomedical Sciences PhD *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
    Domestic Applicants Dec 15Dec 15



    International Applicants Dec 15Dec 15



    International Transfer Applicants Dec 15Dec 15



    *Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


    Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


    Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.