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Ph.D. Requirements

The Cancer Biology Program conforms to the general GSBS requirements requiring 54 credit hours minimum to include three Tutorial Laboratory Experiences (GS001514); for students who matriculate in Fall 2014 or thereafter: a one semester core course, Foundations of Biomedical Research (GS211017). For students who matriculate prior to Fall 2014: Four required Area courses; For students who matriculate in Fall 2014 or thereafter: Science Writing (GS211151) or a Program-specific science writing course; The Ethical Dimensions of the Biomedical Sciences (GS211051) plus two online ethics modules; and a minimum of one year of registration for research which includes Research in Biomedical Sciences (GS001520) and Dissertation for Doctor of Philosophy (GS001920).

GSBS Required Basic Courses

CBP Required Courses

  • GS04 1063 Cancer Biology
  • GS04 1093 The Biology of Cancer Metastasis
  • Cancer Biology Scientific Writing and Speaking [New]

Seminar & Elective Courses

Six (6) credit hours required. Students can take 1 course multiple times with the cumulative time counting towards the 6 hour requirement.

  • GS04 1213 Mechanisms in Cancer Therapeutics
  • GS04 1751 Seminar in Cell Signaling and Regulation
  • GS04 1761 Current Topics in Oncogene Research
  • GS04 1771 Current Topics in Tumor Progression
  • GS04 1811 G&D Scientific Writing
  • GS04 1812 Seminars in Molecular Mechanisms of Human Cancer
  • GS04 1821 G&D Oral Scientific Presentations
  • GS21 1611 Topics in Molecular Medicine (M.D./Ph.D. students only)
  • GS06 1014 Immunology I
  • GS12 1164 Human Pathobiology
  • GS14 1143 Cellular Neurophysiology
  • GS04 1083 Basic Concepts of Tumor Biology (Science Park, Smithville, TX)
  • GS04 1103 Principles of Therapeutics
  • History of Cancer Science (Recommended) [New]
  • Methods in Cancer Metastasis Research (Recommended)

Research Requirements

Students typically complete three laboratory tutorial research experiences (GS00 1514) their first year of study. The choice of tutorial laboratories is determined by each student. Following these, a student chooses a laboratory in which to undertake thesis research. During this time, an Advisory Committee composed of the student's advisor and four additional faculty members will assist the student in directing his or her research.

Candidacy Examination

All GSBS students must petition to take the oral candidacy examination within two years of admission to the Ph.D. degree program. This examination is designed to ascertain both the student's preparation for investigation of a specific research problem, and the extent of knowledge in pertinent and related areas of biomedical science. It is administered by the student's Candidacy Examination Committee, and the results of this examination are communicated to both the Executive Committee of the Cancer Biology Program and the GSBS.

Teaching Experience

There is no formal teaching requirement for students in the Cancer Biology Program. Recently, the GSBS has initiated a Teaching Assistant Program where students are selected to assist in certain core courses. The teaching experience will vary from course to course, but it can include formal classroom teaching. Additional opportunities for teaching may be obtained through arrangement with individual course instructors.

Note: Area courses that are no longer taught:

  • Cancer Cell Signaling
  • Introduction to Histology
  • Seminar in Tumor Suppressor Genes
  • Biomedical Statistics
  • Metabolic Biochemistry

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center