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Overview

The Office of Graduate Studies, within the UCI School of Medicine (SOM), is responsible for administering research-related, academic degree programs for the faculty of the medical school, specifically, those degree programs leading to the PhD and/or MS degrees as well as dual-degree programs involving the medical school; e.g., MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program.

At present, the School of Medicine offers several highly selective, world-renowned graduate degree programs in the following disciplines:

In addition, the Medical Scientist Training Program offers a dual MD and PhD degree program uniquely tailored to the individual student’s specific area of research interest.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Anatomy & Neurobiology »

The PhD program in Anatomy and Neurobiology trains graduate students to become proficient and successful investigators who are able to:

PLO1: Core Knowledge

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences
  • Understand the current concepts in neuroscience
  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge of neuroscience sufficient to carry out substantive independent research

PLO2: Research Methods and Analysis

  • Formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field and
  • Design, conduct, and interpret their own research projects
  • Understand the range of tools appropriate for research in their neuroscience sub-field
  • Understand and follow research ethics

PLO3: Pedagogy

  • Communicate effectively to large and small groups in pedagogical settings such as discussion formats (and also in lecture formats)
  • Identify and effectively deploy suitable technologies for use in all aspects of instruction

PLO4: Scholarly Communication

  • Review and cogently discuss relevant literature and their significance.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a dissertation
  • communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues
  • Make clear and cogent oral presentations, including effective use of technology

PLO5: Professionalism

  • Select appropriate conference venues for their neuroscience research (as well as application areas)
  • Write compelling abstracts describing their research for consideration at research conferences in neuroscience research, or appropriate application areas
  • Prepare talks (both short and long) suitable for presentation at a research conference
  • Make effective contributions to research teams and learning seminars
  • Make effective contributions to department, university, community, and professional service
  • Mentor junior researchers (e.g., undergraduates, beginning graduate students)

PLO6: Independent Research

  • Develop their own research projects that meet high standards of theoretical and methodological rigor with lasting impact
  • Produce scholarship that is comparable in scope and format to articles that appear in leading peer-reviewed journals in neuroscience
  • Supervise junior researchers (e.g., high school students, undergraduates, beginning graduate students) effectively
Biological Chemistry »

The PhD program in Biological Chemistry trains graduate students to become proficient and successful investigators who are able to:

PLO1: Core Knowledge

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences
  • Understand the current concepts in molecular biology
  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge of biomedical science sufficient to carry out substantive independent research.

PLO2: Research Methods and Analysis

  • Formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field and
  • Design, conduct, and interpret their own research projects
  • Understand the range of tools appropriate for research in their biomedical sub-field
  • Understand and follow research ethics

PLO3: Pedagogy

  • Communicate effectively to large and small groups in pedagogical settings such as discussion formats (and also in lecture formats)
  • Identify and effectively deploy suitable technologies for use in all aspects of instruction

PLO4: Scholarly Communication

  • Review and cogently discuss relevant literature and their significance
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a dissertation
  • Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues
  • Make clear and cogent oral presentations, including effective use of technology

PLO5: Professionalism

  • Select appropriate conference venues for their mathematics research (as well as application areas)
  • Write compelling abstracts describing their research for consideration at research conferences in biomedical research, or appropriate application areas
  • Prepare talks (both short and long) suitable for presentation at a research conference
  • Make effective contributions to research teams and learning seminars
  • Make effective contributions to department, university, community, and professional service
  • Mentor junior researchers (e.g., undergraduates, beginning graduate students) 

PLO6: Independent Research

  • Develop their own research projects that meet high standards of theoretical and methodological rigor with lasting impact
  • Produce scholarship that is comparable in scope and format to articles that appear in leading peer-reviewed journals in biomedical science
  • Supervise junior researchers (e.g., high school students, undergraduates, beginning graduate students) effectively
Biomedical & Translational Science (MS-BATS) »

The MS-BATS program in the UCI School of Medicine is designed to train clinical researchers who are proficient in the following skills: 

PLO1: Core Knowledge 

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of core concepts that underlie the conduct, interpretation and effective dissemination of clinical research 
  • Understand current concepts, issues and applications of clinical policy and health services research 
  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge of clinical research, focused on comparative effectiveness research and evidence-based medicine sufficient to conduct mentored research in those areas 

PLO2: Research Methods and Analysis 

  • Understand and be able to formulate research questions appropriate for clinical research, particularly comparative effectiveness and evidence-based medicine research 
  • Design, conduct, interpret and present a mentored research project 
  • Understand and apply measurement methods to clinical research projects 
  • Understand the principles of and be able to implement practices related research ethics 
  • Understand, interpret and be able to critique statistical techniques across a broad range of applications in clinical research 

PLO3: Pedagogy 

  • Participate in and communicate effectively during classroom discussions of literature; be able to lead classroom discussions critiquing and applying topics related to course content 
  • Be able to use instructional materials, technologies, etc. in leading groups discussions related to empirical literature, personal research projects/progress, etc. 

PLO4: Scholarly Communication 

  • Present and discussion clinical literature and implications for interpretation of research findings for clinical care 
  • Participate in publication of research results in peer-reviewed journals 
  • Complete the thesis project and publish a master’s thesis 
  • Concisely communicate research results effectively through oral presentations, including seminars, scientific meetings, conferences and other venues 
  • Use available media and technologies to communicate research results to scientific audiences 
  • Summarize research results effectively for abstract submissions, poster sessions and other scientific venues 

PLO5: Professionalism 

  • Make effective contributions to scientific teams; be able to work in interdisciplinary research groups 
  • Mentor junior researchers 
  • Understand and be able to contribute to the ‘learning healthcare system’ – conceptualize clinical policy focused projects, systematic literature reviews, etc. 
  • Understand and avoid conflicts of interest and make full disclosure before undertaking any research project  
  • Adhere to all relevant ethical standards and practices for responsible conduct of clinical research  
  • Understand appropriate standard and regulations regarding protection of human subjects, and ensure the safety and welfare of any human subjects participating in research projects 
  • Execute research in accordance with standards of scientific objectivity, accountability and excellence 
  • Continue to advance knowledge and understanding of translational, clinical policy and health services research through education and training 

PLO6: Independent Research 

  • Develop, conduct, analyze and interpret a research project with guidance from multi-disciplinary mentoring team 
  • Produce scholarship consistent with comparable to scope, content and quality necessary to meet standards for publication in peer-reviewed journals in clinical and health services research 
Experimental Pathology »

The PhD program in Experimental Pathology trains graduate students to become proficient and successful investigators who are able to: 

PLO1: Core Knowledge 

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences  
  • Understand the current concepts in experimental pathology 
  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge of biomedical science sufficient to carry out substantive independent research

PLO2: Research Methods and Analysis  

  • Formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field
  • Design, conduct, and interpret their research project(s)
  • Understand the range of tools appropriate for research in their biomedical sub-field
  • Understand and follow research ethics 

PLO3: Scholarly Communication  

  • Review and cogently discuss relevant literature and their significance 
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a dissertation 
  • Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues
  • Make clear and cogent oral presentations, including effective use of technology

PLO4: Professionalism 

  • Select appropriate conference venues for their research
  • Write compelling abstracts describing their research for consideration at research conferences in biomedical research or appropriate application areas
  • Prepare talks (both short and long) suitable for presentation at a research conference
  • Make effective contributions to research teams and learning seminars
  • Make effective contributions to department, university, and community
  • Mentor more junior researchers (e.g. undergraduates, beginning graduate students)

PLO5: Independent Research  

  • Develop their own research projects that meet high standards of theoretical and methodological rigor with lasting impact
  • Produce scholarship that is comparable in scope and format to articles that appear in leading peer-reviewed journals in biomedical science
Genetic Counseling »

PLO1: Core Knowledge

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the central concepts of medical genetics 
  • Understand current concepts in genetic counseling 
  • Demonstrate ability to apply knowledge to new clinical situations 

PLO2: Research Methods and Analysis 

  • Demonstrate ability to critically review current research and appropriately incorporate this into clinical practice 
  • Able to introduce research options and issues to clients and families
  • Able to formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field, and understand how to design, conduct and interpret a research project to test an hypothesis
  • Understand and follow research ethics 

PLO3: Counseling Skills 

  • Develop skills to establish rapport, identify major concerns, and assess verbal and non-verbal cues 
  • Use a wide range of interviewing techniques to elicit individual and family experiences, emotions, perceptions, behaviors and attitudes 
  • Engage clients in an exploration of their responses to risks and options, and respond to emerging issues for a client or family
  • Assess client understanding and response to information and adjust content of session appropriately
  • Promote client decision-making in an unbiased, non-coercive manner, and provide short-term, client-centered counseling and psychological support

PLO4: Clinical and Scholarly Communication 

  • Review and discuss relevant literature and its significance 
  • Publish research results in a master’s thesis and in peer-reviewed publications 
  • Communicate clinical cases and research results effectively through oral presentations at clinical conferences, scientific seminars, and other venues 
  • Make clear and cogent oral presentations, including effective use of technology 
  • Develop skill to teach at the lay level, for undergraduate students and other formal learners, peer education, as well as one-on-one mentoring and supervision skills

PLO5: Professionalism 

  • Able to act in accordance with the ethical, legal and philosophical principles and values of the profession 
  • Able to establish and maintain interdisciplinary professional relationships to function as part of a health-care delivery team
  • Recognize own limitations in knowledge and capabilities regarding medical, psychosocial, and ethno-cultural issues, and seeks consultation when needed 
  • Demonstrate initiative for continued professional growth

PLO6: Independent Research 

  • Develop own master’s-level research project that addresses an important intellectual problem, meets high standards of rigor and constitutes an original contribution to the field 
  • Clearly communicate own research findings in written and spoken formats
Microbiology & Molecular Genetics »

The PhD program in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics trains graduate students to become proficient and successful investigators who are able to:

PLO1: Core Knowledge

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences
  • Understand the current concepts in molecular biology
  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge of biomedical science sufficient to carry out substantive independent research

PLO2: Research Methods and Analysis

  • Formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field and
  • Design, conduct, and interpret their own research projects
  • Understand the range of tools appropriate for research in their biomedical sub-field
  • Understand and follow research ethics

PLO3: Pedagogy

  • Communicate effectively to large and small groups in pedagogical settings such as discussion formats (and also in lecture formats)
  • Identify and effectively deploy suitable technologies for use in all aspects of instruction

PLO4: Scholarly Communication

  • Review and cogently discuss relevant literature and their significance
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a dissertation
  • Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues
  • Make clear and cogent oral presentations, including effective use of technology

PLO5: Professionalism

  • Select appropriate conference venues for their research (as well as application areas)
  • Write compelling abstracts describing their research for consideration at research conferences in biomedical research, or appropriate application areas
  • Prepare talks (both short and long) suitable for presentation at a research conference
  • Make effective contributions to research teams and learning seminars
  • Make effective contributions to department, university, community, and professional service
  • Mentor junior researchers (e.g., undergraduates, beginning graduate students)

PLO6: Independent Research

  • Develop their own research projects that meet high standards of theoretical and methodological rigor with lasting impact
  • Produce scholarship that is comparable in scope and format to articles that appear in leading peer-reviewed journals in biomedical science
  • Supervise junior researchers (e.g., high school students, undergraduates, beginning graduate students) effectively
Physiology & Biophysics »

The PhD program in Physiology and Biophysics trains graduate students to become proficient and successful investigators who are able to:

PLO1: Core Knowledge

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in Physiology and Biophysics
  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge of Thesis research area of biomedical science sufficient to carry out productive independent research

PLO2: Research Methods and Analysis

  • Formulate hypotheses or genetic screens based on current concepts in the field and
  • Design, conduct, and interpret research projects
  • Understand and follow research ethics

PLO3: Pedagogy

  • Communicate effectively to large and small groups in pedagogical settings to the level of understanding of the audience
  • Identify and effectively deploy suitable technologies for use in all aspects of instruction 

PLO4: Scholarly Communication

  • Emphasis on strong oral communication skills
    • Presentation skills to a scientific audience
    • Ability to communicate complex scientific concepts to a non-scientific audience
  • Read and cogently discuss relevant literature and their significance
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed publications
  • Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues

PLO5: Professionalism

  • Select appropriate conference venues
  • Write clear abstracts describing own research for conferences
  • Prepare talks for presentation at a research conference
  • Make effective contributions to research teams and learning seminars
  • Make effective contributions to department, university, community, and professional service and mentor more junior researchers
  • Ability to project a professional scientific image in public

PLO6: Independent Research

  • Develop their own research projects that meet high standards of theoretical and methodological rigor with lasting impact
  • Produce scholarship that is at the leading edge of science
  • Supervise more junior researchers as a team leader
  • Ability to identify patentable scientific findings
  • Practical knowledge of patent law and ability to interact with the Office of Technology Alliances
  • Ability to identify practical uses of research projects
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