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How Does BBS Work?

BBS is intended to enable you to explore your interests before committing to a Ph.D. program or thesis adviser. To accomplish this aim, you will apply to and spend your first year within one of eight scientific homes called Tracks:

Track-based first year training

Year 1

From within your Track you will take two to four courses per semester and conduct two to four lab rotations over the course of the year. Each Track has its own course requirements and course recommendations, though you may take elective courses from anywhere in BBS. Although each Track also has its own list of participating faculty, with the guidance of the Track Director you may rotate in any BBS labs. In the spring of your first year you will select a thesis adviser.

Year 2

At the start of the year you will leave your BBS Track and formally join one of the Ph.D.-granting programs below that best aligns with your thesis lab and research project:

  • Cell Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Physiology
  • Computational Biology and Biomedical Informatics
  • Genetics
  • Immunobiology
  • Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry
  • Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
  • Pathology and Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Translational Biomedicine

You will complete the course requirements of your Ph.D. program, take a qualifying exam, and begin thesis research. You may also serve as a teaching assistant in a lecture or lab course.

Year 3 and Beyond

You will focus primarily on thesis research, including presenting your work at scientific conferences and publishing your results. You may also serve as a teaching assistant. Upon graduating you will receive a Ph.D. from the program you joined in Year 2. The median time-to-degree is 5.7 years. Yale awards diplomas only two times per year (May and December), and you may complete your training up to 8 months prior to receipt of your diploma.