PhD in Pathology

Admission Requirements

Prospective students interested in pursuing their PhD training with Pathology faculty should apply to the GEMS program

Students must meet the following program requirements in addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field No restrictions. Applicants must have a satisfactory record of courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, and at least one year of physics and mathematics. In addition, courses in histology, anatomy, zoology and/or physiology are preferred (but not required).
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours of undergraduate study. Preference is given to those applicants who have a GPA substantially greater than 3.00.
  • Tests Required GRE General. This test should be taken prior to submission of the formal application. Preference is given to applicants with a combined verbal and quantitative above 316 and an analytical writing score above 4.0.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three letters required.
  • Personal Statement Required.
  • Other Requirements Preference is given to applicants with a documented record of research accomplishment.

Degree Requirements

Students (via GEMS and Pathology) engage, during their first year of study, in a core curriculum that focuses on the fundamentals of biochemistry and cell and molecular biology, and integrates these with topics in molecular medicine and cancer biology. Beginning in the second semester, students elect to take courses with the goal of concentrating more selectively within the area of pathology research.

PhD students initially pick three or four potential mentors in whose laboratories they spend 10-week rotations during the first year. At the end of their first year, students select a mentor with whom they will undertake their thesis research and the Department of Pathology which will grant the degree. MS students must have selected a mentor at the start of their first year.

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 from the baccalaureate.
  • Course Work
Course Title
Required Courses
All students must take or show proficiency in GEMS core courses.
Molecular Biology
Cell Biology
Research Methods I
Research Methods II
GEMS Research Rotation
Scientific Integrity and Responsible Research
Students must take the following:
General Pathology
Pathobiology of Cancer
Molecular Epidemiology and Biomarkers of Disease
Pathology Seminar and Journal Club (each semester beyond the first year)
Students must select one of the following:
Integrative Biology
Molecular Genetics
Receptor Pharmacology and Cell Signaling
Selective-Elective Courses
At least two additional 500-level selective/elective courses, subject to the approval of the director of graduate studies

  • Preliminary Examination Required.
  • Dissertation Required.
  • Other Requirements GC 470 is required for students engaged in research with animals.