Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program

In addition to its own graduate programs, the Neuroscience, Cell Biology, and Physiology Department participates in the training of Ph.D. students who are members of the interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program. The faculty have specific interest in neuroscience research and collaborate interdepartmentally with other faculty. Current topics of interest within the department involve neurotransmitter receptor expression, synaptic structure and function, and cellular localization of chemically defined synapses. The techniques used include intracellular recording and staining, immunohistochemistry, and confocal and electron microscopy.

The BMS program provides its first-year students a solid foundation in the core courses of biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, and intercellular communication, as well as the opportunity to participate in laboratory rotations. The second-year curriculum allows the student to select an area of specialization and take advanced course work in that area. Students then select a thesis advisor in their area of interest. Students who elect to study neuroscience within the Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology are required to master the techniques that will allow them to work for the next three years on thesis research.

The program does not have a fixed time for the awarding of the Ph.D. degree. This depends on the rate of progress of the individual student, but averages five years. Graduate credit applied toward the doctoral degree is valid for only nine years from the date the student enters the program. A minimum of 76 credit hours toward the doctoral degree must be completed at Wright State University.

Participating Faculty

The program is a cooperative effort between the College of Science and Mathematics and the Boonshoft School of Medicine, and includes scientists from various hospitals and associated biomedical institutions, and the Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Admission Requirements

The applicant should have:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • One year of mathematics, including introductory calculus
  • One year of physics
  • One year of biology
  • Two years of chemistry, including an organic chemistry sequence

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required, except for applicants to the M.D./Ph.D. program.  A prospective student must submit one official transcript from each institution attended. Under special circumstances, deficiencies in prerequisites may be waived or corrective measures arranged by action of the Admissions Committee.

Degree Requirements

Students are asked to master a series of core courses, advanced content courses, and laboratory rotations. These serve as an interdisciplinary base for the development of dissertation research. The institution awards the degree when the student satisfactorily completes the required work.

The program first develops a reservoir of basic knowledge through an interdisciplinary core, consisting of biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, cell physiology, biophysics, and biostatistics. The advanced curriculum is organized into interdisciplinary tracks or areas of concentration.

The program requires students to take 18 credit hours of advanced courses and six seminars, pass a preliminary examination based on the advanced curriculum (usually at the end of the second year), and produce an acceptable dissertation based on original research.

Students may petition to be exempted from all or part of the core curriculum, usually by scoring a passing grade on an appropriate proficiency examination. Petitions may also be submitted for waiver of credit for previous graduate courses taken in another accredited program. Program tracks may be developed in the areas of bioengineering and biodynamics, physiology and biophysics, molecular and cellular biochemistry/biology, neuroscience, pharmacology and environmental toxicology.

Financial Aid

Most students admitted to the BMS Ph.D. Program are supported by financial aid either with a fellowship or an assistantship. Students receiving support are given a stipend and a full tuition remission for up to five years. Predoctoral assistantships are available to students on a competitive basis. Students awarded assistantship support are eligible for stipends and remission of tuition fees. Interest in financial support should be indicated at the time of application. No departmental financial aid is available for M.S. students.

For more information

Visit the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. website or contact:
Dr. Mill W. Miller, Director
Biomedical Sciences Ph.D Program
114 Biological Sciences I
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton OH 45435-0001
fax 937-775-3485