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The Graduate College requires the satisfactory completion of 72 semester hours in order to obtain a Ph.D.  These hours are obtained through a combination of Core and Elective courses, and seminar and research hours accumulated throughout graduate training.

Teaching requirement

The Cancer Biology sub-program will not have a formal teaching requirement. However, teaching opportunities will be provided for students who are interested in pursuing a career in science education.

Clinical shadowing

Cancer Biology students will enroll in a one semester hour course (Clinical Connections) in the fall semester of the second year. This course will provide students with the opportunity to shadow clinicians and healthcare workers in a variety of cancer clinics (e.g. oncology, genetic counseling, pathology, radiation oncology, surgery). The intent of this exposure is to provide students with novel insights into the day-to-day needs of cancer care providers and cancer patients.  Students will be encouraged to use these insights when developing novel research projects in the laboratory.

Student advising

The Cancer Biology Program director will act as the advisor for all first-year students. When students have identified a mentor, the mentor will assume the duties of student advising. In addition, annual meetings with the student’s thesis committee will be used to discuss the student’s progress, academic performance, and any other issues that might arise.

Final oral exam and thesis defense

Students are permitted to schedule a final oral defense with the thesis committee when the following criteria have been met:

  1. The student has completed 72 semester hours of coursework and is in good academic standing with the Graduate College.
  2. The student has published a first-author publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The student has obtained the thesis committee’s consent to schedule the final oral exam.