Qualifying Exam

Students in the Library

The qualifying exam, a research proposal on a topic unrelated to the student’s thesis research, is expected to be submitted and successfully defended before the beginning of year 3. Students select a topic for the exam in consultation with the thesis adviser. 

In consultation with the qualifying examination committee, each student develops a set of experimental questions around the topic and prepares a written proposal centered on experimental solutions to these questions.  The proposal is defended orally before the examination committee. 


bacterial plate

MERGE-ID is for PhD students who want to integrate clinical infectious disease problems into basic research on pathogenic mechansisms and host responses.

Hirsh Library


The Hirsh Library provides access to a wide-range of journals and welcoming study spaces.

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research