Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

To fulfill Ph.D. requirements, Pathobiology students must complete required courses, pass the preliminary qualifying examination, and write and successfully defend an original laboratory research-based thesis. Students in the Pathobiology Graduate Program are required to take 2 core courses and 3 focus area courses.  Additional coursework may be required in some cases, and elective courses may be taken.  Also, all entering Ph.D. students in  the Division of Biology and Medicine are required to take and pass  'Responsible Conduct in Research' training, during the Fall semester of their first year.

Students who enter the Ph.D. with graduate level course work completed after obtaining the bachelor's degree may be able to transfer tuition credits to Brown. All course work should be completed by the second year. A variety of workshops, journal clubs, colloquia, and seminars within the Program, the Division, and the University provide complementary intellectual enrichment and career development opportunities. 

Research Rotations


Students are expected to work in three laboratories for a period of 8-10 weeks each during the fall and spring semester or winter intersession to complete their required research rotations.  The rotations are intended to provide familiarity with several research areas so the student can make an informed choice of a laboratory for their thesis research.  The choice of the thesis advisor should be made no later than the end of the spring of a student’s first year in the program.  Students are expected to dedicate their full effort outside of class and other Program activities to their research projects.

Rotation Schedule for Academic Year 2017-2018: 

Rotation 1:   October 2 - December 1
Rotation 2:   December 4 - February 9
Rotation 3:   February 12 - April 13

The expectations of a faculty mentor are that they provide the student with the skills and knowledge base to succeed in their chosen field of research.  They will ensure that students follow ethical procedures in their research and will be available to discuss project progress.  They will also give feedback to students so they can evaluate their overall progress and help to guide career goals.