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 The Ph.D. program typically requires 4 or 5 years after obtaining a B.S. degree.

PhD in Biomedical Sciences

​The Department of Biomedical Sciences is dedicated to excellence in research, teaching and other scholarly activities, and it fosters interactions and collaborations among faculty and students in a wide range of disciplines and departments. The research-based graduate program in Biomedical Sciences currently includes both Ph.D. and M.S. programs.

Both Ph.D. and M.S. programs are flexible in content and consist of several core courses and a wide variety of specialized courses, selected by each student, in consultation with his/her Advisor and Advisory Committee, to best enable attainment of his/her educational goals.

Graduate students participate in seminars, tutorials, small group discussions, and classroom teaching. The flexible and interdisciplinary nature of course work and research programs, specifically blended for each individual, has been enthusiastically supported by students.

Doctoral Program Overview

The Ph.D. program typically requires 4 or 5 years after obtaining a B.S. degree. The first 1-2 years emphasize course work, along with active participation in one or more research programs. After selection of an advisor, emphasis is gradually shifted from course work to research, which becomes a full-time commitment during the latter portion of the doctoral program. To advance to candidacy, Ph.D. candidates must pass a preliminary examination based on a research project proposed by the student.


The doctoral dissertation presents the results of sustained research or investigation on an important intellectual problem. The dissertation must represent independent intellectual achievement and must make a meaningful contribution to the larger body of knowledge in a student's particular field. Doctoral research is presented and interpreted in a dissertation, which is defended in a public forum.


In addition to research, each doctoral student is expected to assist with teaching in a baccalaureate-level course in biomedical sciences and present lectures in one or more courses.

Areas of Study

While research in our department encompasses many areas, it can be reduced to three primary areas: cardiac physiology, animal reproduction, and neurobiology. More detailed descriptions of current research can be found on individual faculty research pages. Biomedical Sciences faculty members are internationally recognized researchers in the following areas:

  • Animal reproduction
  • Assisted reproductive technologies
  • Cardiovascular/pulmonary physiology
  • Cell and molecular neurobiology
  • CNS regeneration and plasticity
  • Computer-assisted multimedia approaches to teaching
  • Developmental neurobiology
  • Developmental reproductive biology
  • Equine reproduction
  • Ion channel receptor structure/function
  • Molecular endocrinology
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neurotransmitter receptor structure/function
  • Regulatory mechanisms of male & female reproduction
  • Reproductive physiology
  • Reproductive toxicology
  • Sensory physiology
  • Signal transduction
  • Structure and function correlation of the nervous system
  • Structure of membrane complexes
  • Theriogenology
  • Veterinary neurobiology

Additionally, BMS faculty members are participants in several interdisciplinary programs. For a brief explanation of each program and to better understand how these interdisciplinary programs relate to Biomedical Sciences and how they relate to each other, please visit the Affiliated Interdisciplinary Programs site.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. program requires 72 credit hours. Course requirements for both are largely determined by the student, the advisor, and the student's graduate committee. However, there are core courses required for each program. 

Course Course Title Credits
BMS 500 and/or
BMS 501
Mammalian Physiology I and/or
Mammalian Physiology II
BC 563 and/or
BC 565
Molecular Genetics and/or
Molecular Regulation of Cell Function
BMS 792 and/or
BMS 796
Programmatic Seminar and/or
Journal Club
GRAD 544
BMS 784
Ethical Conduct of Research
Supervised College Teaching


Costs and Financial Assistance

For the most recent estimate of graduate tuition and fees, please visit the Registrar's website. Most students in our research-based graduate programs are supported by assistantships, training grants from the National Institutes of Health, funds from special endowments established to support graduate education in selected areas, or extramural/intramural research funds, all of which provide a monthly stipend to our students. Direct application to competitive individual fellowships also is encouraged. The majority of our students also receive some portion of tuition coverage from their advisors. Financial arrangements are made on an individual basis and the above provisions are guidelines, not guarantees. Please visit the Student Financial Services website for additional financial aid options.

All full-fee paying resident-instruction graduate students are required to enroll in the CSU student health insurance plan or to opt-out by demonstrating comparable health insurance coverage. Additionally, all international students, regardless of enrollment status, are required to carry comprehensive health insurance through CSU. More information about the health insurance policy can be found on the Graduate School's website.