The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Doctoral Program

Criteria that students need to meet for the Physiology graduate program at Penn State

Overview

The Physiology training program combines exposure to the fundamentals of the discipline, provided by courses in the first two years, with focused research and scholarship in a student’s area of particular interest. To be awarded a PhD in Physiology, a student must successfully complete:

  • Required courses. The first year curriculum includes courses in physiology, supplemented with courses in cellular, molecular and systems biology, and a course on professional development. The second year curriculum includes graduate seminars in physiology and courses in bioethics and biostatistics.
  • Candidacy examination. Given at the end of the first year: a written paper tests a student’s ability to analyze the primary literature in physiology; an oral exam tests a student’s knowledge of physiology gained over the first year.
  • Competency in English. The Graduate School requires that students demonstrate proficiency in written and oral English.
  • Comprehensive examination. Usually taken before the start of the third year: consists of the student's thesis proposal and an oral defense.
  • Research Project. An original investigation under the supervision of a Physiology program faculty advisor leading to a written dissertation.
  • Thesis defense. A public presentation of a student's thesis research and oral examination by a student’s doctoral committee.

The time from admission to thesis defense is generally 5 years. Students must maintain a B average (3.0) or better in academic courses to be retained in the program and to continue to receive financial support.

 

Degree requirement booklets

Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2017-2018
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2017
Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2016-2017
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2016
Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2015-2016
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2015
Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2014-2015
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2014
Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2013-2014
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2013
Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2012-2013
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2012
Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2011-2012
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2011
Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2010-2011
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2010
Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2009-2010
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2009
Physiology Student and Faculty Handbook 2007-2008
A downloadable booklet containing detailed information about course options, laboratory rotations, choosing an advisor, teaching, establishing a doctoral committee, examinations, and thesis requirements for students beginning their studies in Fall 2007