Degrees

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. degree is a research degree with specialized education in a particular discipline of physiology.

Students may specialize in  the following areas of physiology:

  • cellular/molecular physiology
  • systemic physiology
  • cardiorespiratory physiology
  • comparative physiology
  • endocrinology
  • exercise physiology
  • neurophysiology
  • reproductive physiology

Normally a student will complete course and teaching requirements during the first two years of the program, pass an oral Qualifying Examination given by five faculty members, then conduct and complete the dissertation research under the direction of a major professor, who serves as a research mentor. A thesis committee approves the dissertation, and the student delivers an exit seminar on this work to the graduate group to complete the degree. Full time students must enroll in a minimum of 12 units per quarter.

Course Requirements

  • Core Course in Physiology (MCP 210 A,B,C, fall, winter, spring, respectively)
  • Structural/Molecular Biology: One course
  • Statistics: Two courses
  • Laboratory: One course (can co-satisfy Area of Specialization course or Structural/Molecular Biology course)
  • Area of Specialization, Three graduate level courses, equivalent to 9 quarter units
    Science Integrity (GGG 296), (fall)
  • Physiology: Introduction to Research (MCP 291D, fall)
  • Topical Seminars (various 290), Four courses, usually taken one per quarter until the Qualifying Examination is passed

Teaching Requirement

All Ph.D. students must serve as teaching assistants (TAs) in two appropriate physiology laboratory courses prior to taking the Qualifying Examination.

Qualifying Exam

A qualifying exam is required to determine your competence in physiology as a whole and your chosen area of specialization. 

Download the MCIP Qualifying Exam Presentation PDF to learn more

MCIP Graduate Group Research Colloquia

Students are required to present at the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Group Research Colloquia at least once before graduation.

Designated Emphases

Ph.D. students have the option of participating in the Designated Emphasis programs in Reproductive Biology (contact: Dr. Stuart Meyers), Biotechnology (contact: Dr. Judith Kjelstrom), or Biophotonics & Bioimaging (contact: Dr. Laura Marcu).

Research and Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation, an original research project in physiology, must be completed under the guidance of a major professor who is a member of the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Group. A dissertation committee of the major professor and two or three other faculty provides guidance and approves the completed dissertation. The principal objective of the doctoral program is completion of a scholarly dissertation, the content of which is presented at an exit seminar.


M.S. Program

The programs for the Master of Science degree are designed to provide in depth training in either Cellular or Systemic Physiology. Full time students must enroll in a minimum of 12 units per quarter.

Course Requirements

A total of 30 units in physiology or related subjects is required.

  • Core Course in Physiology (MCP 210 A,B,C, fall, winter, spring, respectively)
  • Science Integrity (GGG 296), fall quarter, 2 units
  • Physiology: Introduction to Research (MCP 291D), fall quarter, 2 units
  • No more than six units can be credited from 290-level courses [i.e., 290/291D/298 (group study), 299 (research), or GGG 296]
  • Balance of units are to be selected from upper division or graduate courses in physiology or closely related subjects.

Research and Thesis

A research program and thesis must be completed under the guidance of a major professor (a research mentor) who is a member of the graduate group. At least two other faculty members assist the major professor as members of the thesis committee. The M.S. thesis should be a scholarly piece of experimental research that is rigorous in design, methodology and analysis, but is not expected to be as extensive as a Ph.D. dissertation.