Photo of Mayo Clinic Virology and Gene Therapy students and faculty in a meeting

Students receive a comprehensive education in the biomedical sciences through the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences core courses. In addition, specialized tutorials and journal clubs provide advanced training in the broad areas of molecular virology, host-cell interactions, tumor immunology, gene therapy of metabolic diseases, cancer gene therapy and vector development.

The typical Virology and Gene Therapy Ph.D. track sequence is:

Year 1

Students are introduced to the laboratories participating in the program. You have the opportunity to visit these laboratories and select three in which you spend eight weeks participating in a research project.

In conjunction with the laboratory rotations, you begin fulfilling the core curriculum requirements as well as the virology and gene therapy requirements. Most students complete the core courses by the end of their first year.

Year 2

Second-year students continue to take advanced tutorials in virology and gene therapy as well as related areas. Most of your time is spent in the laboratory developing preliminary data toward the thesis project. You also take a written and an oral qualifying examination to test your knowledge and critical reasoning skills.

Year 3

The third and subsequent years primarily consist of thesis research with some additional courses.

Together with your thesis adviser, you select faculty members to participate in your Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Thesis Advisory Committee. Thesis committee meetings assess the trajectory and evaluate the progress of your thesis research project on a regular basis. Upon completion, you write a thesis and present your findings in seminar form. This is followed by a thesis defense.

Full course listing

Photo of Mayo Clinic Virology and Gene Therapy student working with a specimen
Oct. 05, 2015