Dean:Charles M. Baugh, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean:
Samuel J. Strada, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies:
Nathan N. Aronson, Jr., Ph.D.
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, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular and Cellular
Pharmacology, Physiology, or Structural and Cellular Biology. A combined program leading
to the awarding of both the Ph.D. and M.D. degree is available to highly qualified
The requirements for admission to the Graduate Program for the Doctor of Philosophy degree
in Basic Medical Sciences are:
- The applicant shall possess by the time of
matriculation a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or
- Two semesters or three quarters of undergraduate
work are recommended in each of the following: physics, general chemistry, organic
chemistry, biology, English composition, and mathematics (including calculus and
- A grade-point average of at least 3.0 for all
undergraduate and graduate work, on a 4.0 scale.
- Satisfactory standing at the last educational
- Satisfactory scores on all standardized
achievement examinations. The Graduate Record Examination is required, but the Medical
College Admissions Tests may be accepted. In addition, foreign applicants must present
evidence of competence and fluency in spoken and written English with a TOEFL score of at
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.
Applications are accepted throughout the year. Priority is given to
applications received before March 1. Students are usually admitted for the Summer or Fall
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: (334) 460-6153;
To be considered for review by the Admissions Committee,
an applicant must submit the following:
- A completed admissions application form for the Graduate
Program in the Basic Medical Sciences.
- One complete certified transcript submitted from each
college or university attended, with all scholastic records of completed work.
- An official report of all scores of standardized
achievement examinations (GRE, MCAT, TOEFL), that have been taken.
- Three letters of recommendation from instructors, advisors,
or other persons qualified to evaluate the students academic performance and
potential in graduate school.
- There is no application fee, but upon acceptance students
must file a graduate school admissions application with the $25.00 processing fee.
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.
Required Course Work
Each student will select a department of specialization upon entrance into the program.
Recommended curricula vary according to the area of specialization. Each student is
expected to complete three laboratory rotations during the first year of graduate study.
The purpose of rotation research is to acquaint the students with varied research problems
under investigation and aid in the selection of a major professor in their department of
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.
Typically, by the end of one and a half years of study, the student will consult with
their major professor, departmental Chair, and the Director of the Graduate Program to
select at least four additional graduate faculty members to serve on the Dissertation
Committee. Two of the four shall be selected from the major department and at least two
from other Basic Medical Science departments at the University of South Alabama. In
special situations, one member may be selected from another institution with the
recommendation of the departmental chair and the Director of the Graduate Program and
approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dissertation Committee shall be
recommended by the departmental Chair and the Director of the Graduate Program, and
appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. The student shall convene the first
committee meeting no later than six months following the selection of the Dissertation
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:
- To establish a suitable academic and research training
program for each student according to the students interests, strengths and
weaknesses, and requirements of the discipline.
- To counsel the student throughout the academic and research
experience on professional development.
- To administer and judge a proper defense of the
dissertation at the end of a students training program.
- To assist the student in gaining superior scientific
training and to accept responsibility for helping the graduate obtain opportunities for
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
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.
The student must complete a Qualifying Examination consisting of written and oral portions
prior to the Admission to Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The Qualifying Examination is
given to assess the students knowledge in the area of specialization and to assess
the students ability to relate this knowledge to a specific research problem.
Successful completion is a prerequisite for continuing in the program.
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
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.
After satisfactory performance has been recorded on the Qualifying Examination, the
student enters the final phase of the program. This final phase is the period during which
the candidate develops as an independent researcher. A Formal Research Proposal must be
submitted within six months of the students successful completion of the Qualifying
Examination. The Formal Research Proposal shall include a review of pertinent literature,
description of research already completed by the student, the remaining research
objectives, and an experimental plan. This work must be original, independent, and exhibit
scientific merit. The student must write a dissertation acceptable to a majority of the
Dissertation Committee and defend the Dissertation before the graduate faculty.
For a student to maintain good standing in the Graduate Program in Basic
Medical Sciences, a grade-point average of 3.0 is required for all work attempted in the
program. If the weighted GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on probation. The
student must reestablish good standing within a time period specified by the Student
Evaluation and Promotions Committee and approved by the Director of the Graduate Program.
This time period will not exceed one year from the date of being placed on probation. When
it becomes evident that it is impossible to remove the probationary status within one
year, the student will be dismissed from the Graduate School for academic reasons.
The following requirements must be completed for the Ph.D. degree in the
Basic Medical Sciences: a minimum overall 3.0 grade-point average on all work attempted
for credit, a completed dissertation approved by the students major professor and a
majority of the Dissertation Committee and an open defense of the research presented in
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.
Students enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. Program must meet the standards
of the College of Medicine for course work and licensure exams required for the M.D.
degree. When the student is enrolled full-time in the M.D. Program, decisions regarding
academic deficiencies are made by the Student Evaluation and Promotions Committee for the
M.D. Program. To meet the requirements for the Ph.D. degree, the student must maintain a
3.0 grade-point average in graduate courses and fulfill all other requirements of the
OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Chair: Nathan Aronson
Professors: Aronson, Funkhouser, Nair, Turrens, Umbreit
Associate Professors: Baliga, Gaubatz,
Honkanen, Lane, Pittler
Assistant Professor: Barik
DEPARTMENT OF COMPARATIVE
Chair: Christian Abee
Associate Professors: Brady, Williams
Assistant Professor: Gibson
DEPARTMENT OF MICROBIOLOGY AND
Chair: Joseph Coggin, Jr.
Professors: Coggin, Foster, Lausch, Oakes, Winkler, Wood
Associate Professors: Cao, Hester, Rohrer
Assistant Professors: Barsoum, Dean
DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACOLOGY
Chair: Mark Gillespie
Professors: Ayling, Gillespie, Olson,
Scammell, Schaffer, Strada, Thompson
Associate Professors: Chinkers, D. Zimmer
Assistant Professors: Fan, Li, Stevens
Adjunct Professor: Guarino
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSIOLOGY
Chair: Aubrey Taylor
Professors: Benoit, Cohen, Downey, Parker,
Associate Professor: Ballard
Assistant Professor: Wilson
DEPARTMENT OF STRUCTURAL AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY
Chair: Steven Goodman
Professors: Goodman, Kayes, Wilson
Associate Professors: Aldes, Balczon,
Bhatnagar, Fields, Gard, LeDoux, Pace,
Assistant Professors: Critz, Wang
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ARE FOUND AS FOLLOWS:
Basic Medical Sciences Common Courses
Comparative Medicine (CM)
Microbiology & Immunology (MIC)
Structural and Cellular Biology (SCB)