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Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (IGPBS) is an integrative and flexible academic approach to the beginning of scholarly activity leading to the PhD. Students who enter the IGPBS undertake a curriculum in biomedical sciences, facilitated by faculty of diverse research interests. The program provides foundational knowledge as well as advanced insight into current biomedical research. As part of the overall curriculum, emphasis is placed on all aspects of career development and training, from acquisition of knowledge and critical review of current research publications, to development of skills in scientific writing and presentation.

During the first year of study, students within IGPBS participate in laboratory rotations. These rotations provide the students with opportunities to delve into research topics that encompass a wide spectrum of areas of current biomedical investigation. Students may elect to rotate through as many as four different research laboratories, with each rotation extending nearly one academic quarter. During this time, the IGPBS student can determine which research project and laboratory setting is a best fit, personally and professionally.

Upon commitment by both the student and mentor to research and training that will lead the student to successful completion of the requirements for the PhD, the student then moves into the degree granting department within the University.

Joint Degree Programs

The Joint Degree Programs at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science exemplify the university’s commitment to the interdisciplinary and interprofessional training of clinician-scientists for careers in academic healthcare and biomedical research. The Joint Degree Programs are intended for those students who are interested in careers as clinician-scientists in diverse roles such as clinical and preclinical healthcare profession educators, clinical investigators, or leaders in industry.

In conjunction with the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the Joint Programs are sponsored by the following RFUMS colleges:

  • DPM/PhD - Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine
  • MD/PhD - Chicago Medical School
  • PharmD/PhD - College of Pharmacy

Students in the Joint Degree Programs first complete educational and licensing (Step 1 of the USMLE or APMLE Part I) requirements for the first two years in their respective clinical program. Students then enter the PhD phase of their education and immediately begin research within the laboratory of their PhD mentor. A Research Committee is organized immediately upon entry into the laboratory. This committee will provide mentorship and guidance through the student’s academic and research activities. The doctoral curriculum for each student within a Joint Degree Program is individually tailored by the Research Committee to meet the student’s educational and professional needs. Core requirements in bioethics, biostatistics, presentation of scientific data, scientific writing and computer applications must also be completed. After completion of all requirements for the PhD, including successful defense of the dissertation, the student enters the third year of their clinical program’s curriculum. Throughout the clinical and PhD phases of the program, the student is provided mentorship by both a clinician-scientist and their research mentor.

Students within the Joint Degree Programs are typically supported by tuition waivers and stipends after admission into the Program. However, the university reserves the right to require tuition waiver and stipend repayment from students who leave the program. The decision to require repayment is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Faculty Doctoral Program

The Faculty Doctoral Program is intended to professionally develop faculty members of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. These faculty members are lifelong learners and desire to expand their area of expertise for professional purposes by engaging in research and scholarly advancement. The program provides an opportunity for faculty members of the university to obtain a PhD in biomedical sciences while maintaining their primary faculty appointment within the University.

Faculty members interested in this program must fully appreciate the commitment of time and effort for successful completion of this rigorous program. The Graduate Admissions Committee reviews all applications to this program and provides a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The admissions process for the Faculty Doctoral Program is congruent with the admissions process for regular PhD program applicants. In addition to the standard requirements for admission to the PhD program, applicants to the Faculty Doctoral Program must hold a primary appointment at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, have demonstrated effective time management and maturity, have identified a mentor/research advisor who is able to support the research effort, and have completed a rotation period in the mentor’s laboratory.

Following admission and immediate entry into the laboratory, a Research Committee is formed to provide additional mentorship and guidance. The curriculum for each student within the Faculty Doctoral Program is individually tailored by the Research Committee to meet the student’s training and professional needs. Core requirements in bioethics, biostatistics, appropriate use of animals in research and procedures for human subjects in research, as well as presentation of scientific data must also be completed.

By virtue of the student’s full time primary appointment and salary support within the University, students within the Faculty Doctoral Program are not provided stipend support.

Degree progress and requirements for completion of the doctoral program follow the criteria for obtaining the PhD degree in all other doctoral programs of the Graduate School.

Master Degree Program

The Master's Degree Program is intended for entry-level research and scholarly advancement in the biomedical sciences. Requirements for admission to the Master's Degree Program within the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are standard for all applicants to the PhD program.

Upon matriculation, students within the Master's Degree Program immediately enter a laboratory, define a research project, and assemble a Research Committee. This committee will provide mentorship and guidance through the student’s academic and research activities.

The curriculum for each student within the Master's Degree Program is individually tailored by the Research Committee to meet the student’s training and professional needs. Core requirements in bioethics, biostatistics, appropriate use of animals in research and procedures for human subjects in research, as well as presentation of scientific data must also be completed.

Stipends are typically not awarded for students within the Master's Degree Program.

Requirements for completion of the Master's Degree Program include successful completion of all prescribed coursework, completion of research as defined by the mentor and Research Committee and successful defense of the thesis, among other requirements.