PhD in Biomedical Sciences


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Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) in Biomedical Sciences is an integrated, interdepartmental program in the basic biomedical sciences that seeks to provide students with a broad-based two-year core curriculum followed by advanced courses and dissertation research leading to a Ph.D. degree. The Program reflects the interest of the Institution to promote the formation of professionals in the biomedical sciences.
The degree is awarded after successful completion of an interdisciplinary core curriculum in biomedical sciences, which includes Histology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physiology, Pharmacology, and electives in special topics. Students must also complete an original research project that significantly contributes to the scientific knowledge in a particular field. Registration, orientation period and commencement of classes take place in second half of July.


The goal of the Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Program is to foster a broad-based training in the biomedical sciences while concentrating the research experience and additional courses in a specific area. The Program is intended to develop extensive interdepartmental research interactions including seminars, discussion groups, and journal clubs. Students may elect to do research in a particular research laboratory within the areas of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmacology, and Physiology. PhDBScY1PhDBScSummerPhDBScY2PhDBScY3PhDBScY4*Subject to student’s needs
†Same courses as those taken by medical students in their first two years of basic sciences RESEARCH APPRENTICESHIP ROTATIONS

The student will carry out a minimum of two laboratory rotations during the 2nd year (two credits each). Students spend eight weeks (6 hours/week) with a minimum of 48 hours in the research laboratory of a specific faculty member taking part in all laboratory activities.


Consists of 30 hours of teaching under faculty supervision (two credits). Teaching experience at any other institution of higher education will be consolidated as long as evidence is provided.


Administered upon completion of all core courses. Should be taken within the first three years of full-time studies as soon as the student completes the basic course requirements. Students who pass the exam will be granted admission to the candidacy of the Ph.D. degree and will be allowed to continue in the Program.


By the end of the second year, students should have chosen a research mentor and a Graduate Committee. This Committee will consist of the student’s dissertation advisor, three faculty members whose interests are related to the student’s research, and a member from another institution with experience in the field. Upon consultation with the research mentor, the student will present a research proposal using NIH format. The proposal will be defended orally before the student’s Graduate Committee who will give the final approval.


Upon completion of an original and independent research project, the student will prepare a dissertation according to the established guidelines. The student will give an oral presentation, followed by a closed-session defense of the dissertation before the student’s Graduate Committee who will approve the thesis and recommend to the Dean grating of the Ph.D. degree.

Admission Requirements

The applicant must comply with the following:

  • Have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum of 35 credits in sciences including the following courses:
    • General Biology 2 semesters (8 credits)
    • General Chemistry 2 semesters (8 credits)
    • Organic Chemistry 2 semesters (8 credits)
    • Calculus 1 semester (3 credits)
    • Physics 2 semesters (8 credits)
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (on a four-point scale)
  • Have scored • 278 on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general subject test with 2.5 in Analytical, no more than five years old.
  • Interview with members of the Admissions Committee
  • Complete a writing sample
  • Submit the following documents:
  • Official undergraduate transcript of all universities attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation written by professors or by individuals familiar with the applicant’s professional work and skills.
  • CV/resume
  • Official GRE scores, no more than 5 years old (
  • Certificate of No Penal Record
  • Application Processing Fee of US$75.00 (non-refundable)

Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit the following:

  • Written confirmation of acceptance and a non-refundable deposit of USD$100.00 to secure the seat in the entering class.
  • Physical Exam (using a form provided by the Admissions Office)
  • Health Certificate from the Department of Health of PR
  • Evidence of up to date immunization record (must include Varicella, Td Adult, MMR and three doses of Hepatitis B).
  • Policy on Technical Standards
  • Other documents will be notified as pertinent.


The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) is a student development program for minority-serving institutions granted by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (R25GM082406). Its main purpose is to increase the number of students from groups underrepresented in the biomedical/behavioral sciences that complete Ph.D. degrees, advance to competitive postdoctoral positions, and enter productive research careers. Students accepted into the Ph.D. program will be considered for appointment in the RISE program. RISE admission decisions will be made after students have been officially accepted into the Ph.D. program.

Selection Criteria

When evaluating the applicants, the Admissions Committee selects the best candidates applying. The Committee looks for accepting students of integrity and maturity that show concern for others, leadership potential, character, academic achievements, motivation, emotional stability, evidence of research experience, interview reports, GRE score, letters of recommendation and an aptitude for working with people. Accepted applicants must successfully complete all courses and programs in progress as indicated at the time of application, including course requirements for admission at a standard comparable in quality with past academic performance.


The program is designed to take 5 years to complete. Of those that completed the program in 2014-2015, *% finished in 5 years.

*Fewer than 10 students completed this program in 2014-15. The number who finished within the normal time has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.

Cost & Fees

Tuition and fees: $53,036
Books and supplies: $8,094
On-campus room & board: not offered

*The amounts shown above include costs for the entire program, assuming normal time to completion. Note that this information is subject to change.

Last updated February 2018

About the School

Ponce Health Sciences University is dedicated to providing the highest quality graduate medical education programs available. This goal, in addition to the university’s research and health services pr ... Read More

Ponce Health Sciences University is dedicated to providing the highest quality graduate medical education programs available. This goal, in addition to the university’s research and health services programs, continues a 40 year tradition of enhancing our profession and contributing to our community. Read less
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