Graduation Requirements

All students must have a minimum of three years of full-time enrollment in residence at the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine. Any exception to the full-time requirement must be approved by the Dean of the School. If unusual circumstances require a student to request a temporary leave of absence for personal reasons or for requirements by a joint program with a Medical Fellowship training program, such leave will be granted by the Dean of the School. Requirements for graduation include completion of a body of focused research, submission and defense of a thesis dissertation, and completion of course work.


Each student will prepare a research proposal in the form of a fellowship grant application within 6-8 months of their first year of study. This proposal will be submitted to the student’s Thesis Committee for evaluation, followed by oral presentation, questioning and approval, which will constitute the Qualifying Examination. Students will perform their research under the direction of a research advisor and will report their progress to their Committee Members.

Thesis dissertation

Upon completion of their research, students must submit their thesis dissertation to their committee, present their thesis research in a public lecture, and successfully defend their thesis research in a formal oral examination before their Thesis Committee members, including an outside examiner. Prior to graduating, students must submit the final bound copy of their complete dissertation. All corrected copies of the Thesis and any additional paperwork must be submitted within 3 months after passing the Thesis Defense. Permission to remain in the program beyond three months requires written approval from the Associate Dean. In the absence of such approval, the student may be placed on unpaid Academic Leave. No diploma will be granted until three copies of the final Thesis, printed on good quality paper in final form and bound, are submitted by the student. Bound or unbound copies may be provided to the thesis committee members by the student.


Students are expected to satisfactorily participate fully in courses and seminars (as described in the curriculum). All academic requirements must be fulfilled and communicated to the Associate Dean. Each student will submit an abstract for presentation for the Research Retreats of the Institute. Due to the unique nature of the graduate classes, all academic course work must be completed at the Graduate School. Transfer credits are not accepted.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Medicine (HEGIS code 0499.00) is granted to the successful PhD candidate following completion of the academic requirements, presentation of the thesis research in a public lecture, satisfactory thesis defense by formal oral examination before the Thesis Committee including submission and acceptance of a (final bound copy) of the complete dissertation. It is the policy of the Graduate School of Molecular Medicine to withhold diplomas until all requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy have been satisfactorily fulfilled and accepted by all members of the candidate’s respective Thesis Committee and the Dean.