Path to PhD

Students are expected to progress through the graduate degree program following a prescribed timeline and in a prescribed order from initial course work and rotations to ultimately filing a thesis.

Please refer to the Graduate Division policy on student progress for university guidelines on acceptable progress.

If in need of accommodations please refer to the Graduate Division Accommodations Policy as well as to the Office of Student Disability Services.

Academic advising

First years

Academic advisors are available to assist first year students in exploring rotation and curriculum options. First years are required to meet with the pre-assigned academic advisor prior to the start of classes and again prior to Winter and Spring.

The Biophysics Program has a rotation discovery period, and a rotation decision week. In alignment with programs with overlapping faculty, the discovery period is a chance for first years and faculty to talk about rotation possibilities, with rotation confirmations during decision week.

Discovery period up through Sept. 22, 2022; decision week Sept. 23 – 28, 2022
Discovery period up through Jan 6, 2023; decision week Jan 9 - 13, 2023
Discovery period up through March 24, 2023; decision week March 27 – 31, 2023

Second years

Advisors are available to assist second year students in their preparation for the oral exam including brainstorming ideas for committee members. Second years are required to meet with the pre-assigned advisor once in the year.

Third years and up

Advising at any time is encouraged but is optional. Your advisor can help with the selection of thesis committee members, and can assist with any issues that come up throughout your time in the program. You may wish to make use of your advisor for advice related to any concerns you are having in your lab.

The path to your PhD degree

Year 1
  • Courses
  • Lab rotations
  • Choose research advisor
Year 2
  • Research
  • Form orals committee
  • Complete oral qualifying exam (by end of 2nd year)
Year 3
Year 4
  • Research
  • Publish results
  • Bi-annual evaluation of progress by thesis committee
  • 4th-year research talk
Years 5–6
  • Research
  • Publish results
  • Bi-annual evaluation of progress by thesis committee
  • 5th-year research talk
  • Complete thesis
  • Exit seminar
  • PhD awarded

Related link

Path to PhD Guidelines