NYMC > Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences (GSBMS) > GSBMS Academics > Degrees & Programs > Doctor of Philosophy > Biochemistry & Molecular Biology > Program overview

Program Overview

Specific Program Requirements (Hegis Code 0414)

Students may enter the Ph.D. program in one of three ways: (1) via our Integrated Ph.D. Program (IPP), which does not require a declaration of a major until the second year of study, (2) with advanced standing following the completion of one of the Graduate School’s Master’s programs, or (3) highly motivated and talented students from NYMC’s School of Medicine may be admitted to the dual-degree M.D./Ph.D. program.

Departmental Seminar and Journal Club (BCHM 8020) should be taken each semester. Research Techniques (BCHM 9200) is taken each semester after completing all research rotations until candidacy is achieved. Doctoral Dissertation Research (BCHM 9900) should be taken each semester after achieving candidacy. All Ph.D. students are required and expected to attend departmental seminars. These seminars include those presented by students and invited speakers.

Entry through the Integrated Ph.D. Program or with Advanced Standing

The course requirements for students entering through the Integrated Ph.D. program or with Advanced Standing are the same. Advanced Standing students will add to the courses taken as an NYMC Master's student to complete their Ph.D. degree requirements.

Students entering with advanced standing take up to three research rotations (BCHM 9110) during the first year, but the number of required rotations may be reduced based on previous research experience while in the Master’s program. 

Entry as an M.D./Ph.D.

The M.D./Ph.D. program overview can be found in the M.D./Ph.D. section of our website.

Qualifying Examination

The student is expected to take the Qualifying Exam during the second year. This written examination is under the supervision of an examining committee consisting of three faculty members (excluding thesis advisor). The committee members are approved by the Departmental Chairman and graduate program director. Each committee member will provide a specific topic with 3 to 4 relevant research publications to the student. The Qualifying Exam will take place approximately two months later. The student will answer 3 to 4 questions from each committee member in written form. The performance of the student on the QE is evaluated by the committee and the final grade is approved by the Departmental Faculty. Under certain circumstances, if performance on the examination is unsatisfactory, a student may be given the opportunity to re-take the examination within six months. No more than two opportunities to pass the examination will be provided.


The student is considered a doctoral candidate when he or she has passed the Qualifying Examination, has earned at least 32 didactic (letter-graded) credits including all the required courses, and has been recommended for candidacy by the program faculty. M.D./Ph.D. students are eligible for candidacy under the same conditions except that the credit requirement consists only of the required graduate courses.

Dissertation Committee

Students must choose a thesis and form a dissertation committee within a year after candidacy. This committee must have at least five members, including at least three graduate faculty members from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program and one graduate faculty member from another doctoral program. One member of the committee may be a scientist with appropriate expertise from outside the College. A chairperson will be chosen for the committee. The thesis advisor can be the chairperson.  The student should present a dissertation research proposal to this committee within 3 months upon formation of the committee. Subsequent committee meetings can be requested by the thesis advisor, committee chairperson, or the student. A written progress report should be presented to the committee at least once each year. Upon approval of the committee, the student may write the dissertation and defend it before the committee and the department.