Curriculum & Timeline First Year

The first year of graduate study is spent completing coursework, exploring research opportunities, and doing laboratory rotations.  Graduate students in the Biological Sciences Division are required to take nine credits of coursework for the Ph.D. program.

FORMAL COURSEWORK 

GGSB has two tracks, 1) Empirical Track and 2) Computational Track. While the two tracks are united by the common goals of using genetic, genomic, and systems biology approaches to address important biological questions, the training focuses are different. Training in the Empirical Track is emphasizes experimental techniques, especially those quantitative in nature, while the “Computational Track trains students in building computational skills.  

CHOICE #1: GGSB EMPIRICAL TRACK (4 REQUIRED COURSES AND 4 ELECTIVES PLUS 2 ROTATIONS)

CHOICE #2: GGSB COMPUTATIONAL TRACK - (3 REQUIRED COURSES AND 3 CORE ELECTIVES PLUS 2 ADDITIONAL ELECTIVES PLUS 2 ROTATIONS)

ROTATIONS   Students are required to undertake short research projects in at least two different laboratories before beginning their dissertation research. These rotations occur during the Winter or Spring and Summer quarters of the first academic year. Winter or Spring quarter rotations are 10 weeks long (part-time). Summer quarter rotations are five weeks long for two rotations or ten weeks long for one rotation (full-time).  

ALLSTARS  All first year students in the Molecular Biosciences Cluster are required to participate in Introduction to Research (also known as "AllStars"), held in the Autumn quarter. This course is designed to provide incoming students with information on research opportunities available in the labs of various faculty members.     

ETHICS COURSE All first year students in the Biological Sciences Division aer are required to take  Responsible, rigorous, and reproducible conduct of research: R3CR ini the Winter quarter.  The course is designed to stimulate thinking and facilitate discussion about the purpose and necessity of ethical conduct with respect to scientific and academic practices; to create personal awareness of the ethical dilemmas and choices that may be encountered in the course of a career in the sciences; to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of reproducible, rigorous, and transparent research; and to provide practical information regarding policies and procedures related to conduct in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago.  

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION:  In September, before beginning the second year, students take a Preliminary Examination as a first step towards candidacy for their Ph.D. T