PhD Programs in Biomedical Science: Degree Overview

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in biomedical science emphasize independent research and laboratory experience. Learn about program requirements, coursework and employment outlook.

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Essential Information

A Ph.D. in Biomedical Science program involves conducting research to develop a deeper understanding of human disease and finding solutions to improve human health. Concentration specialties for research rotations and doctoral dissertation research may include cell analysis and modeling, structural and quantitative biology, neuroscience, immunology, genetics and toxicology. Laboratory rotations and dissertation research are required for graduation.

Applicants to Ph.D. programs in biomedical science are expected to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology, molecular biology or another closely related science field, as well as prerequisite coursework in calculus, chemistry, biology, genetics and physics. GRE scores are typically required. Depending on the program, other prerequisites may include letters of recommendation, a letter of intent and a minimum undergraduate grade point average.

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biomedical Science

Ph.D. programs in biomedical science generally take 4-5 years to complete, and include core and elective coursework. Common courses include:

  • Molecular biochemistry
  • Cell biology
  • Ethical research practices
  • Biomedical science issues
  • Biomolecular science
  • Gross anatomy

Employment and Salary Information

Graduates are prepared for research and teaching positions in academia, government agencies and private industry. Employers often include hospitals, universities, pharmaceutical companies and scientific research organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for medical scientists are projected to grow by 8% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the BLS listed that the annual median wage for medical scientists was $82,240.

A Ph.D. in Biomedical Science further develops students' research skills and knowledge in biology and biochemistry. Graduates can expect job growth that is as fast as the average as medical scientists, but they are also qualified to work in academia.

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