About

Are you interested in taking your knowledge of the biomedical sciences to a higher level? Do you want to earn a PhD to expand your career possibilities?

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University offers a doctor of philosophy in biomedical sciences. The program is housed in the BSOM Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Students select an area of concentration in anatomy and cell biology; biochemistry and molecular biology; microbiology and immunology; pharmacology and toxicology; or physiology.

For exceptionally well-prepared students, some of the core competencies can be waived. If fewer than 76 s. h. of course work and cognates to the major field are required in a plan, a specific statement to justify this plan should be submitted to, and approved by, the program director and the dean of the Graduate School.

In addition to course requirements, students are encouraged to participate in scholarly activities, such as experience as teaching assistants and involvement in university-wide seminars. Such activities should be considered as components of the overall program of study.

ECU Advantage

Departmental laboratories are equipped with state-of-the art instruments. In addition, the Brody School of Medicine has established several core laboratories to support the research efforts of all faculty members. These include an Electron Microscope Laboratory, a Flow Cytometry Laboratory, a Hybridoma Core Laboratory, Molecular Biology Reagent Program, a Peptide Microsequencing Laboratory, a Phosphoimaging Laboratory, and modern animal laboratories.

As part of their predissertation course requirements, students are assigned various periods of rotation in research laboratories of individual faculty members to gain perspectives and laboratory experience. Assignment of students to individual faculty members for predissertation rotations are made in conjunction with the chairperson, the student’s advisory committee, and concentration director.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Rich Franklin (4W84A Brody Medical Sciences Building; 252-744-3305; franklinr@ecu.edu)

Contact Information by Concentration Area:

The Brody School of Medicine (BSOM) at East Carolina University (ECU) offers a doctor of philosophy in biomedical sciences. The program is housed in the BSOM Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Students select an area of concentration in anatomy and cell biology; biochemistry and molecular biology; microbiology and immunology; pharmacology and toxicology; or physiology.

For exceptionally well-prepared students, some of the core competencies can be waived. If fewer than 76 s. h. of course work and cognates to the major field are required in a plan, a specific statement to justify this plan should be submitted to, and approved by, the program director and the dean of the Graduate School.

The biomedical sciences, PhD requires a minimum of 76 s.h. as follows:

 

1. General core - 9 s.h.
  • BIOS 7021 - Biostatistics for Health Professionals I or
  • PHAR 7777 - Practical Problems in Biometry

  • HUMS 7004 - Ethics and Research: Humanities and Basic Medical Sciences
  • Seminars - 4 s.h. total
2. Concentrations - 36-38 s.h.

(Select one from the following.)

    a. Anatomy - 36-38 s.h.
    • ANAT 6291 - Current Topics in Anatomy and Cell Biology
    • ANAT 7200 - Gross Anatomy and Embryology

    • ANAT 7202 - Molecular Cell Biology or
    • MCBI 7410 - Molecular Cell Biology

    • ANAT 7210 - Histology and Cell Biology
    • ANAT 7215 - Medical Neuroscience
    • ANAT 7365 - Research Proposal Strategies
    • Electives totaling at least 11-13 s.h.*
    b. Biochemistry - 36-38 s.h.
    • BIOC 7301 - Biochemistry I
    • BIOC 7310 - Molecular Biochemistry
    • BIOC 7365 - Research Proposal Strategies
    • BIOC 8320 - Biochemistry II: Regulation of Metabolism

    • BIOC 8333 - Research
    • or
    • BIOC 8336 - Research

    • Electives totaling at least 17-22 s.h.*
    c. Microbiology and immunology - 36-38 s.h.
    • ANAT 7202 - Molecular Cell Biology or
    • MCBI 7410 - Molecular Cell Biology

    • BIOC 7301 - Biochemistry I

    • MCBI 7400 - Medical Microbiology and Immunology I
    • MCBI 7401 - Medical Microbiology and Immunology II

    • MCBI 7420 - Physiology and Ultrastructure of Microorganisms I or
    • MCBI 7450 - Immunology or
    • MCBI 7460 - Advanced Virology

    • MCBI 7490 - Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
    • Electives totaling at least 12-18 s.h.*
    d. Pharmacology - 36-38 s. h.
    • BIOC 7301 - Biochemistry I
    • PHLY 7702 - Graduate Organ Systems Physiology
    • PHAR 7601 - Medical Pharmacology for Health Sciences I
    • PHAR 7602 - Medical Pharmacology for Health Sciences II
    • PHAR 7609 - Introduction to Pharmacology
    • PHAR 7615 - Research Procedures II
    • PHAR 7680 - Toxicology
    • Electives totaling at least 12-15 s.h.*
    e. Physiology - 36-38 s.h.
    • PHLY 7702 - Graduate Organ Systems Physiology
    • PHLY 7703 - Graduate Neuroscience
    • PHLY 7704 - Physiological Proteogenomics
    • PHLY 7705 - Translational Physiology
    • Electives totaling at least 24-26 s.h.*
    Note:

    * Electives must be chosen in consultation with the Graduate Advisory Committee and concentration director.

    3. Research Core – 29-31 s. h.
      a. Laboratory research (2-4 s. h.)

      (ANAT 7240 or BIOC 7330 or MCBI 7498 or PHAR 7614 or PHLY 7740)

        b. Research dissertation (27 s. h.)

        (ANAT 9000 or BIOC 9000 or MCBI 9000 or PHAR 9000 or PHLY 9000)

        Admission

        Admission to study at the doctoral level requires acceptance by the ECU Graduate School and the BSOM Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The application for admission to the Graduate School and official transcripts from each college or university attended must be sent to the Graduate School.

        A student whose undergraduate transcript indicates a deficiency in program prerequisites may be required to undergo examination to verify competency before admission to graduate study.  If a student is admitted deficient in analytical and communicative skills necessary for his or her anticipated program, specific remediation will be prescribed in the student's individual program plan. All such deficiencies must be removed before the doctoral candidacy examination is administered.

          Doctoral Candidacy Examination

          This examination is normally taken after the major course requirements have been completed. Upon passing this examination, the student is admitted to candidacy for the degree, doctor of philosophy. Each candidate is examined for his or her understanding and mastery of a broad field of knowledge, abilities for critical analysis and synthesis, as well as a familiarity with scholarly methods of research. The examination of scientific material shall consist of written and oral components. At the option of the concentration, a major part of the examination format may be the defense of an original proposal developed by the student.

            Doctoral Dissertation

            The dissertation must reflect independent, self-motivated research which contributes significant new knowledge to the candidate's major field. The dissertation should demonstrate the candidate's skills in experimental design and technique. It must be clearly written and demonstrate understanding of the historical foundations of the work as well as a thorough analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, and significance of the results.

              Student Advisory Committee

              The concentration director will be responsible for designing tentative program plans for all entering students and for evaluating their performance until the individual advisory committee is established.

                Time Limits for Completion of Degree Requirements

                A doctoral degree program should be completed before the end of the twelfth semester, excluding summers, following initial enrollment. With endorsement of the student's advisory committee and the departmental chairperson in which the student dissertation director resides, a student may request an extension.  Dissertation credits used toward a degree in one concentration cannot be subsequently applied to earn a degree in a second concentration.

                  Transfer Credits

                  Graduate work completed prior to admission to doctoral candidacy will be evaluated by the concentration director when the individual program of study is developed.  Transfer of credit from another university is subject to further approval by the concentration director, program director, and the dean of the Graduate School.

                    Other

                    In addition to course requirements, students are encouraged to participate in scholarly activities, such as experience as teaching assistants and involvement in university-wide seminars. Such activities should be considered as components of the overall program of study.

                    As part of their predissertation course requirements, students are assigned various periods of rotation in research laboratories of individual faculty members to gain perspectives and laboratory experience.  Assignment of students to individual faculty members for predissertation rotations are made in conjunction with the chairperson, the student's advisory committee, and concentration director.

                      For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

                      Careers With This Degree

                      Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

                      • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
                      • Life Scientists
                      • Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary
                      • Scientific and Technical Services
                      • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

                      Career Opportunities

                      ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

                      NC Tower

                      This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

                      • Self-employed;
                      • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
                      • Work outside of North Carolina.

                      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

                      This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

                      Degree-specific internships

                      For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

                      Back To Top