University Bulletin 2022-23

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Basic Medical Sciences (PhD)

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Degree Requirements

Required Course Work

Students will matriculate into the first year interdisciplinary core curriculum for the Ph.D. Program in Basic Medical Sciences without needing to choose an advanced program prior to entry. In year one, students complete IDL 576, IDL 577, IDL 580, IDL 581, GIS 501, and three research rotations. The purpose of rotations is to acquaint the students with various research problems under investigation and aid in the selection of a major professor in their area of specialization.

By the end of the first year, each student selects a major professor and research track. Advanced curricula are determined by the student’s chosen track, in conjunction with advising from their major professor and dissertation committee. Advanced curricula must include a minimum of 8 credit hours from 500 level and above courses with the following course prefixes: IDL, BCH, CBN, MIC, PHA, and PHS.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the requirements set by the Graduate School, the following requirements must be completed for the Ph.D. degree in the Basic Medical Sciences: completion of the core and advanced curricula, a minimum overall 3.0 grade-point average on all work attempted for credit, qualifying examination, a completed dissertation approved by the student's major professor and a majority of the Dissertation Committee, and closed and open defenses of the research presented in the dissertation.

All requirements for the Ph.D. degree should normally be completed within four to five years from the date of matriculation, and must be completed within seven years. A student who has not satisfactorily completed a dissertation in a seven-year period must apply for a defined extension to complete the degree. 

Detailed information on program requirements and expectations can be found in the Basic Medical Sciences Student Handbook ( Additional information can also be obtained by contacting the Associate Director of the Office of Research Education and Training, the Office of Research Education and Training Co-directors, or the individual Track Coordinators. (Contact information can be found on Department Information).

Basic Medical Sciences (251) 460-6153
Director of Graduate Studies/Co-Director, Office of Research Education and Training Mark Taylor, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Office of Research Education and Training Thomas Rich, Ph.D.
Associate Director of the Office of Research Education and Training Angie O'Neal
Departments Chair Phone
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Richard Honkanen (251)460-6859
Comparative Medicine Jonathan Scammell (251) 460-6239
Microbiology and Immunology Kevin Macaluso (251) 460-6107
Pharmacology Mark Gillespie (251) 460-6497
Physiology and Cell Biology Troy Stevens (251) 460-7004
Tracks Coordinator Phone
Biomedical Engineering Silas Leavesley (251) 460-6168
Cancer Biology Aishwarya Prakash (251) 410-6915
Cell & Molecular Biology Ronald Balczon (251) 460-6776
Infectious Disease & Host Defese Jonathon Audia (251) 460-6929
Lung Biology Sarah Sayner (251) 460-6959
Vascular Biology David Weber (251) 460-6840

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Basic Medical Sciences

Requirements For Admission

The requirements for admission to the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Basic Medical Sciences are:

  1. The applicant shall possess, by the time of matriculation, a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university.
  2. Two semesters or three quarters of undergraduate work are recommended in each of the following: physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, English composition, and mathematics (including calculus and statistics).
  3. A grade-point average of at least 3.0 for all undergraduate and graduate work, on a 4.0 scale.
  4. Satisfactory standing at the last educational institution attended.
  5. Additionally, international applicants must present evidence of competence and fluency in spoken and written English with a TOEFL score of at least 95-100, an IELTS score of at least 7, an iTEP score of at least 4.5, or a PTE score of at least 68.

Matriculation is contingent upon review and recommendation by the Admissions Committee of the Graduate Program in Basic Medical Sciences.

Procedures For Admission

Applications for the Basic Medical Sciences Interdisciplinary Graduate Program are accepted for matriculation in the Fall Semesters only. The Basic Medical Sciences Graduate Program does not accept students on a "non-degree" or "provisional" basis. Applications and materials should be accessed and submitted through the university's website:

Information for the graduate program can be obtained on-line or by contacting the Associate Director of the Office of Research Education and Training, 5795 USA Drive North, CSAB 212, College of Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002; Telephone: (251) 460-6153; E-mail:

To be considered for review by the Admissions Committee, an applicant must submit the following:

  1. A completed application form through UNICAS.
  2. An official transcript from each college or university attended.
  3. For international students:  An official score report from an English proficiency examination (TOEFL/IELTS/ITEP/PTE).
  4. Supplemental materials required for the program in Basic Medical Sciences must be submitted through UNICAS.  Supplemental materials include:
    1. Three letters of recommendation from instructors, advisors, or other persons qualified to evaluate the student's academic performance and potential in graduate school.
    2. A personal statement

All documents submitted for admissions review become the property of the University of South Alabama.