About the Program

Designed to prepare students for a research-oriented career in academia, government or the private sector, our doctorate program provides a background of courses designed to match the interests and needs of each student. Ph.D. students are expected to enroll as full-time graduate students.



Ph.D. students in our program take courses designed for graduate students with an emphasis on research design and experimentation. Students typically earn about 30 semester hour credits before taking the written examination. For students holding the M.D., D.D.S. or other professional degrees, successful completion of biochemistry and cell biology is equivalent to the BIOC 503-504 series.


Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive exam is comprised of two parts: a written examination consisting of a research proposal in the format of an NIH predoctoral fellowship, and an oral examination consisting of a defense of the proposal, completed within six months of receiving a passing score on the proposal.


Supporting our students is at the core of the School of Medicine's mission. We provide a wide variety of resources to help enhance our graduate students' experience and ensure their safety, as well as resources to support our faculty.

Apply Now

The application to our program is available through the VCU School of Medicine’s Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Portal.

If you have any questions about the program or application requirements, please contact:

Tomasz Kordula, Ph.D.
Program Director