The College of Medicine offers a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The objective of the program is to provide graduates with training and knowledge in basic human biology with an in-depth knowledge of a basic medical science discipline.
Graduates will receive the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Basic Medical Sciences with academic specialization in one of the following disciplines: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Physiology. A combined program leading to the awarding of both the Ph.D. and M.D. degree is available to highly qualified applicants.
Matriculation is contingent upon review and recommendation by the Admissions Committee of the Graduate Program in Basic Medical Sciences. After acceptance by the Dean of the Graduate School, the student must maintain satisfactory performance in course work in progress between acceptance and matriculation.
Application forms and information about the Graduate Program in Basic Medical Sciences should be requested from the Director of the Graduate Program in Basic Medical Sciences, 251 CSAB, College of Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002; Telephone: (251) 460-6153; Fax:(251)460-6071;
To be considered for review by the Admissions Committee, an applicant must submit the following:
All documents for admission review (transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation) must be official, i.e., mailed from the home institution or testing agency directly to the Graduate Program in Basic Medical Sciences at the address above, and become the property of the University of South Alabama.
By the end of the first year, the student should have selected a major professor. The major professor has the primary responsibility for designing a future course of study in consultation with the chair of the department and the students advisory committee. The student is required to complete 40 credits of formal course work. The selection of these courses is based on the requirements of the department and the recommendations of the advisory committee. The student will also develop communication skills by presentation of formal lectures and seminars and the completion and approval of a written research proposal.
After the selection of potential committee members, each designated member shall signify a willingness to serve by signing a Dissertation Committee petition which is forwarded to the Directors office for approval and inclusion in the students graduate training record.
The purpose and duties of the Dissertation Committee are:
The student, in consultation with the major professor, shall prepare and submit for approval to the Dissertation Committee a research project description prior to enrolling for Research Dissertation credit. The research description must be submitted no later than the end of one and a half years of study.
The Dissertation Committee shall meet with the student and consider the feasibility, originality, logic, and research approach of the proposed project. After approval of the students research project description by the Dissertation Committee, a copy shall be submitted by the student for approval to the Chair of the appropriate department, the Director of the Graduate Program, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
The Dissertation Committee shall meet with the student at six-month intervals to review progress. At each meeting, the student shall make an oral presentation of the progress being made on the project in an orderly and professional manner and discuss any significant problems which have arisen with a view toward gaining constructive criticism from the committee. At the conclusion of each of these reviews, the Dissertation Committee shall meet in executive session to discuss the acceptability of the students progress. The major professor shall report the students progress to the Director of the Graduate Program on the required form, indicating which Committee members were present.
A student whose progress is found to be unsatisfactory by a majority of the committee members at two such successive meetings shall be placed on probation. If the students progress is then found to continue to be unsatisfactory, the Director of the Graduate Program (in consultation with the Dissertation Committee, the Student Evaluation and Promotions Committee, and the departmental Chair in the students area of specialization) may take necessary action up to and including a recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School for academic dismissal of the student.
Changes in the composition of an established Dissertation Committee may be initiated by either the chair of the Dissertation Committee or by the student with the consent of the Chair of the Dissertation Committee. Changes in committee composition must be recommended by the Chair of the students department and the Director of the Graduate Program, and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.
These examinations usually will be given near the end of the second year of study. If the exam is not taken by that time, then the student must obtain approval from their dissertation advisor, department Chair, and Director of Graduate Program to delay the exam. If approval is granted for a delay, then the student will be required to take the exam no later than the end of the third year of study. The oral portion of the Qualifying Examination will be given within 90 days of satisfactory completion of the written examination. A grade (Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory) by a majority vote of the Examining Committee must be reported to the Director of the Graduate Program.
If a student fails either the written or oral Qualifying Examination, the student may petition the Chair of the department to retake the examination a second time within 60 days. Following departmental review of the students petition, the Chair of the department shall forward the decision to either grant or deny the petition for reexamination to the Director of the Graduate Program. A student will not be allowed to repeat an examination more than one time.
To remain in good academic standing in the Graduate Program in Basic Medical Sciences, a student must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0. If the cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. The student must return to good academic standing within two semesters from the time of being placed on probation. When it becomes evident that it is impossible to remove the probationary status, the student will be dismissed from Graduate School. In addition to the aforementioned standards, students accumulating more than 9 semester hours of "C" or 6 semester hours of "D" and/or "F" will automatically be recommended for dismissal by the student Performance and Evaluations Committee (SPEC).
At the request of the Director of the Graduate Program, SPEC will review student progress and could recommend dismissal on the basis of unsatisfactory performance on preliminary/qualifying examinations, unsatisfactory research progress, scientific misconduct or failure to meet other requirements of the PH.D. program in a timely manner. When appropriate, SPEC will meet with the student prior to formulating a recommendation of the Director of the Graduate Program.
Any student wishing to appeal a SPEC recommendation for dismissal must present their case at a meeting of the SPEC which may also be attended by a student advocate (e.g. Department Chair, Program Director or other designated member of the College of Medicine Graduate Faculty). The student advocate can speak on the students behalf during this meeting. Following the appeal hearing, SPEC will render a decision in a closed session. A super-majority vote of committee members present is required. Any recommendation regarding the appeal will be forwarded to the Senior Associate Dean of the College of Medicine. Following administrative review, the Senior Associate Dean will communicate the recommendations to the Dean of the Graduate School. In the event that a student is dissatisfied with the appeals decision rendered by SPEC, he or she can initiate an “administrative appeals procedure” as stipulated in the University Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin. In the case of administrative appeal, the Senior Associate Dean will serve as the final arbitrator for the College of Medicine.
All requirements for the Ph.D. degree should normally be completed within four to five years from the date of matriculation, and must be completed within seven years. A student who has not satisfactorily completed a dissertation in a seven-year period must apply for a defined extension to complete the degree. This request must be approved by the major professor, the Chair of the department, the Director of the Graduate Program, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
If the student does not complete the degree requirements in the defined extension period, the Director of the Graduate Program, with the advice of the Graduate Executive Committee, may recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School appropriate action up to and including dismissal.
OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
DEPARTMENT OF CELL BIOLOGY
DEPARTMENT OF COMPARATIVE
DEPARTMENT OF MICROBIOLOGY
DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACOLOGY
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSIOLOGY
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ARE FOUND AS FOLLOWS:
Basic Medical Sciences Common Courses
of South Alabama - Mobile, AL 36688-0002 / (334)