A key aspect of the PGSP is to expose students to, and prepare them for, the rigors of the graduate school curriculum. Therefore, all PGSP students undertake a core curriculum. The pathway selected by the student determines the specific academic curriculum.
Students selecting the Basic & Biomedical Sciences pathway undertake a core curriculum comprising Research Ethics, Molecular Biophysics, Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology and Scientific Writing. This is a blended, yearlong curriculum comprising lectures, small group discussions and on-line instruction.
PGSP students take graduate lecture-based courses in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, and Cell Biology. In small group discussions associated with the lecture content, PGSP students will discuss the primary research literature, thereby sharpening their ability to critically read, analyze and evaluate research articles.
Using an approach that emphasizes the experimental basis of molecular biology, the curriculum emphasizes the importance of key fundamentals in contemporary biomedical sciences - the forces that govern molecular interactions (Molecular Biophysics), the organization, expression and transfer of genetic information (Molecular Genetics) and the organization of these macromolecules and processes into self-replicating, self-regulating cellular structures (Cell Biology).
The Responsible Conduct of Research class and the Scientific Writing Class expose students to critical issues in research ethics and sharpen the ability of students to write clear and concise research proposals and research articles, respectively.
PGSP students selecting the Clinical & Population Health Research Pathway have a curriculum tailored to their academic experiences and research goals. PGSP students take foundation courses in Epidemiology, Research Methods, and Biostatistics. Typically, courses in the Clinical & Population Health Research Program consist of small group lectures and discussions, student papers and presentations, and hands on exercises. Students develop skills in use of clinical and epidemiological databases. They develop their applied research skills working with a research mentor for the full year where they will contribute to the mentor’s work as well as develop an independent project.