MD/PhD students affiliate with the Department of Genetics Graduate Program via a different route than other incoming graduate students in the Department, resulting in some modification of the academic requirements for the PhD portion of the MD/PhD degree. Typically, one or more research rotations are done during the first two years of medical school (in many cases, the first rotation is done during the summer between years one and two). No set number of research rotations is required.
MD/PhD students officially affiliate with the Department of Genetics after selecting a thesis advisor and consulting with the DGS. MD/PhD students interested in Genetics are required to consult with the DGS prior to formal affiliation to determine an appropriate set of courses tailored to the studentís background and interests.
The courses, rotations, and teaching requirements for MD/PhD students entering the Genetics Graduate Program (see below) are modified from the normal requirements for PhD students. Besides the modifications in these three requirements, MD/PhD students in the Department of Genetics are subject to all of the same requirements as the other graduate students in the department.
Four graduate level courses taken for a grade are required (two Yale graduate level courses taken for a grade during Medical School may be counted towards this requirement at the discretion of the DGS). Coursework is aimed at providing a firm basis in genetics and in cellular molecular mechanisms, with graduate-level proficiency in genetics, cell biology and biochemistry. In addition to these four courses, all Genetics students are required to take two semesters of Graduate Student Seminar and Scientific Ethics.
Basic Concepts of Genetic Analysis (GENE 625a) Graduate Student Seminar (2 semesters; GENE 675, graded Sat/Unsat) Scientific Ethics (as part of GENE 901b, graded Sat/Unsat)
Molecular Genetics of Eukaryotes (MB&B 743b) Human Molecular Genetics (GENE 810a) Biochemical and Biophysical Approaches in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCDB 630b) Cellular Basis of Human Biology/and Histology Lab (CBIO 502) Molecular and Cellular Basis of Human Disease (CBIO 601)
Other courses may be taken in a wide variety of fields relevant to the biological and biomedical sciences.
One or more rotations are necessary to identify a thesis advisor. No set number of research rotations is required.
One semester of teaching is required. Previous teaching while enrolled at Yale Medical School may count toward this requirement at the discretion of the DGS.
MD/PhD students take their qualifying exam in the semester following the completion of their coursework. The structure of the qualifying exam is identical to that for other Genetics PhD students. Students read with three faculty members for five weeks, one of whom supervises the reading on the thesis research topic, but who is not the thesis advisor. The following two weeks are devoted to writing two research proposals, one on their thesis research. An oral exam follows in the eighth week. For details, see the Qualifying Exam section of this handbook.
MD/PhD students submit their prospectus once their qualifying exam has been completed, but no later than the 30th of June following their exam.
MD/PhD students will be admitted to candidacy once they have completed their coursework, obtained 2 Honors grades, passed their qualifying exam, and submitted their dissertation prospectus.
All students are required to have one thesis committee per year, beginning the semester after passing their qualifying exam. However, students are strongly encouraged to consider having additional meetings if they feel their project could benefit from the assistance of members of the thesis committee.