2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Mar 07, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Biomedical Sciences PhD

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College: Medicine Degree: PhD
Department: Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences Option: Dissertation
Program Websites: https://med.ucf.edu/biomed/graduate-programs/
Graduate Program Handbook

Program Description

The Biomedical Sciences PhD program is an interdisciplinary program that combines biological and physical science. This program is intended to educate students in independent research and team collaboration within the field.


The Biomedical Sciences PhD program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including a minimum total of 27 hours of formal course work exclusive of independent study that are required.

The program requires 23 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of electives, and a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation research. The remaining 22 credit hours may consist of additional electives, doctoral research and/or dissertation research. Students with an earned master’s degree may request that up to 30 credit hours of previous course work be waived.

New students will take a two-semester introductory course, participate in laboratory rotations to identify a research area of interest, and take a sequence of required seminars.

Total Credit Hours Required: 72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Programmatic deficiencies expected of applicants from diverse settings will be addressed early in the program by completion of appropriate course work. Students entering with a master’s degree may request that up to 30 semester credit hours of previous course work be waived as degree requirements with approval from the dissertation committee. Students may register for doctoral research until they have been admitted to candidacy, after which they must register for dissertation research.

New students will take a two-semester course that provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary area of biomedical sciences. In addition, a laboratory rotation will allow students to have a brief but intensive experience working with faculty in at least two different research laboratories to find a research area of interest for their dissertation. Finally, a sequence of required seminars will familiarize students with field-related literature and introduce them to the conceptual and technical frameworks in which they will work. All students receiving assistantships must enroll full time.

Required Courses—23 Credit Hours

Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours

At least 12 hours of electives must be taken from the following list. Any electives not on this list must be approved by the Graduate Committee before being counted toward degree credit requirements. Directed research, doctoral research, and dissertation research may be used to satisfy requirements beyond the first 12 hours, with approval from the program director.

Others: If approved by the Graduate Committee.

Unrestricted Electives—22 Credit Hours Minimum

Students should take 22 credit hours of electives, directed research, doctoral research or dissertation research, in consultation with their adviser.

Dissertation—15 Credit Hours Minimum

  • IDS 7980 - Dissertation Research 15 Credit Hours

Candidacy Examination

Candidacy will consist of writing and orally defending a proposal outlining a novel research idea to the dissertation committee. The written proposal will be prepared independently, following NIH-style grant format, and must be approved by the dissertation committee (see Biomedical Sciences PhD Program Handbook for full description of Candidacy Exam requirements and procedures). After passing the candidacy examination and meeting other requirements as specified, the student can register for dissertation hours.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:

  • Successfully complete a minimum of 48 credit hours.
  • Successful completion of all coursework, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of candidacy examination.
  • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.
  • Successful completion of Academic Integrity requirements
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submittal of an approved program of study.

Dissertation Defense

The dissertation should be of significant scope and depth such that the work has made significant advances in the area of biomedical science. The Ph.D. dissertation research must generate sufficient quantity and quality data to support a minimum of two original manuscripts (first-authored by the student) in a mainstream journal in the field. One first-author original research article published or accepted for publication is required for pre-defense. In addition to meeting the pre-defense requirement for publication, a second manuscript must have been submitted and subjected to peer review before the defense.

Upon completion and approval of the doctoral dissertation by all designated faculty and university offices, the student will make a formal presentation of the research findings in a seminar format to the dissertation committee and other university faculty and students. The candidate will answer questions and defend conclusions about the subject matter.

Independent Learning

The dissertation serves as the independent learning experience.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

Applicants entering the program with regular status are expected to have completed course work required for a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, molecular biology or microbiology.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of research interest and purpose, including a summary of relevant work or research experience.
  • Résumé or CV.
  • A personal or telephone interview. 

Admission is based on an overall assessment of the qualifications submitted and the interview. All admissions to graduate status are competitive and based on availability of faculty for sponsoring research.

Application Deadlines

Biomedical Sciences PhD *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 1 Jan 1    
International Applicants Jan 1 Jan 1    

The Fall 2021 Application Deadline Has Been Extented to Feburary 1, 2021.

*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Saleh Naser PhD
Telephone: 407-823-0955
UCF College of Medicine   

Jihe Zhao PhD
Associate Professor
Telephone: 407-266-7099
BBS 316

Graduate Admissions

Jennifer Yuhas
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230  
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL  32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241

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