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Program of Study

The Department of Physiology & Biophysics provides numerous opportunities for graduate students interested in pursuing their doctoral degrees.

Our department is one of several core academic departments participating in the interdisciplinary Cellular and Molecular Biosciences Program and Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program at UC Irvine.  

Our graduate program is a research program, with specialties covering all levels of physiology and biophysics, including:

  • Chemokines
  • Circadian and visual circuits
  • Epigenetics
  • Fungal infections
  • Ion channels
  • Ion pumps
  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Muscle physiology
  • Protein modifications and interactions
  • Stem Cells

Students are actively engaged in research throughout their training: In the first year, laboratory rotations ensure exposure to a variety of techniques and research problems. At the end of the second year, students are considered for advancement to PhD candidacy on the basis of academic standing, laboratory performance and a qualifying examination. After advancement to candidacy, students devote their time to completion of an original research thesis.

Students typically complete their graduate education in four to five years. Candidates for the MD/PhD degree normally begin by completing the first two years of the medical school curriculum. Advanced graduate training, dissertation research and clinical training occupy the next four to five years. Students are eligible for both the MD and PhD degrees at the end of seven years provided the degree requirements for both the School of Medicine and the graduate school have been fulfilled.