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Program & Admission

Interdepartmental GEMS Participation
Physiology is the science that studies biological function and as such is an integrative science. The Department of Physiology and Biophysics offers two Master's programs and a Doctoral Program, and participates in an integrated interdepartmental program, Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS), which offers students flexibility in coursework and laboratory rotations.

Doctoral Program
The objective of the Ph.D. program in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics is to provide students with a strong education that will allow them to identify critical questions in research and prepare them with the tools to address these questions. The goal is to graduate scholars who are capable of defining key areas of inquiry in their field and articulate a rationale for how these can be pursued. This goal is achieved by developing a course of study for each student that best meets their needs and interests.

Students entering the Ph.D. program in the UIC Department of Physiology & Biophysics will take courses in the GEMS curriculum during the first year. This curriculum will provide students with a broad background and the greatest opportunity and flexibility in choosing a research advisor. In the second year and beyond, students will pursue their own specific scientific interests by taking a variety of advanced courses and by undertaking a research program under the mentorship of a faculty member whom they select after their first year of research rotations.

New Program: Masters of Science in Medical Physiology (1 year, course-based)
The Department of Physiology and Biophysics is proud to announce the start of a new masters program, the Master of Science in Medical Physiology. The new MS program is now accepting applications. The MS in Medical Physiology is an intensive, one-year program with an emphasis on human physiology, clinical applications of physiology, gross anatomy, neuroscience, stem cells, and exposure to the latest literature and research in physiology. Graduates of the program will be prepared to continue studies in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and other medical professions, or pursue careers in teaching, regulatory oversight, basic or clinical research in academic or pharmaceutical settings.

Masters of Science in Physiology and Biophysics (2 year, research-based)
The MS program in Physiology and Biophysics is an intensive, research-based program designed for students who wish to strengthen their academic and research backgrounds. MS students are exposed to a rigorous curriculum taking courses alongside Ph.D. students, and to the excitement of an independent and original research project that will culminate in a thesis. MS students will conduct their research project in the lab of a faculty member whom they select after their first year rotations.

The duration of the MS program is two years. The best of students have the option to transfer to the Ph.D. Program during the MS program. Other students apply to medical or other professional school after graduation; application to professional schools before the second year is highly discouraged.

Admissions and Deadlines
The department's admission policy is selective and only the most highly qualified applicants are accepted. Admission selection is based on academic work, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, research experience (if any), maturity, and potential contribution to the advancement of science. In order to be guaranteed full consideration of application, please submit all items on time.

Financial Assistance
Admitted PhD students receive financial assistance in the form of a fellowship or a research assistantship. Both forms of financial aid provide a full tuition wavier and a living stipend per year. Financial support is provided throughout the course of study, as long as students are in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress towards the Ph.D. degree.

MS Physiology and Biophysics students do not receive a stipend or tuition support. However, tuition waivers may be available for the most exemplary students. If MS Physiology and Biophysics students have appointments such as research assistants in faculty labs, they may receive stipend support and a tuition waiver.

MS Medical Physiology students are not eligible for departmental funding.