Core Curriculum

Biomedical research disciplines today share a common fundamental knowledge base and technical language that supports the advanced areas of specialization. Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences core courses provide an efficiently organized curriculum without redundancies. Students must take credits from the 32 core credits available.

The core curriculum is continually reviewed and refined as disciplines and opportunities evolve. It also introduces you to potential thesis mentors.

Because all seven Ph.D. tracks have adopted the core curriculum, you can easily change from your initial track to another without losing time.

Degree completion

To earn a graduate degree in biomedical sciences from Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, you must complete a total of 42 didactic credits. Most students complete the majority of these courses in the first 18 to 24 months of the program while they are doing laboratory rotations, choosing their thesis advisers and beginning thesis research.

On average, our students complete their Ph.D. in just 5.25 years.

Laboratory rotations

Laboratory rotations are an important part of your first year of graduate study. Through lab rotations, you will try out different types of research, experience different labs and mentors, and choose your area of specialization. All students complete three eight-week lab rotations. Your first rotation may be done during the summer before classes start.

Lab rotations are a great way to explore potential thesis research labs at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jacksonville, Florida. Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences pays for travel and living expenses, and most courses are available through a real-time video communications link.

Before the end of the first year, you will choose a thesis laboratory and specific track.

Summer quarter
Course Credits
Genome Biology* 3
Responsible Conduct of Research** 1
Fall quarter
Course Credits
Chemical Principles of Biological Systems* 3
Immunology 3
Winter quarter
Course Credits
Integrated Systems Physiology 3
Molecular Cell Biology 3
Molecular Genetics 3
Spring quarter
Course Credits
  • *Required courses for all students except those in Biomedical Engineering and Physiology
  • **Required course for all students
Critical Thinking and Scientific Writing 2
Molecular Biophysics 3
Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease 3
Molecular Pharmacology and Receptor Biology 2
Virology and Gene Therapy 3
Oct. 27, 2015