Program of Study - Cancer Prevention Ph.D. Track

Doctor of Philosophy

After completing prescribed courses, doctoral students are expected to pursue research relevant to their theses. A minimum 72 credit hours is required, which may include applicable master’s degree credits. Research leading to a doctoral degree requires at least two years of full-time research in addition to fulfilling the course requirements.


During the first two years, candidates are expected to take examinations as required in their individual courses. At the end of the second year, students are required to pass a separate qualifying examination, which consists of written and oral sections. A written dissertation and oral defense of the thesis is required for graduation.

Mandatory Core Courses

Doctoral Degree (PhD) students in the Cancer Pathology and Prevention Graduate Program receive broad and deep formal education in the biomedical sciences during the first two years of matriculation by completing the mandatory core courses. Students must achieve a grade of “B” or better in the mandatory courses. After the first year of matriculation, students may elect to focus on either the experimental pathology/cancer prevention or molecular epidemiology track of study. The following are required courses for students in both tracks of study.

Course Number Course Title
RPN 530/532 Oncology for Scientists
BCH 503 Biochemical Principles
RPN 525 Cancer Epidemiology
PTR 538 Techniques in Pathology
STA 527 Introduction to Statistics
PTR 536 Cancer Pathology
MIC 512 Fundamentals of Immunology
PTR 500 Cancer Control & Prevention
PTR 505/506 Recent Advances in Pathology Seminar
PTR 509/510 Laboratory Rotations
PTR 601 Graduate Research

Elective Courses

Course Number Course Title
PMR 515 Principles of Cancer Chemotherapy
BIO 500 Bioinformatics/Genome Analysis
BIR 572 Regulatory Mechanisms of Cell Biology
BCH 508 Gene Expression
BIR 613 Viral Oncology
MIR 511 Molecular Immunology
MIR 508 Advanced Immunology
PTR 502 Analysis of Health Related Data
PTR 528 Tobacco Control