Curriculum of the Pathway to Graduate Study Program

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.

The Basic & Biomedical Sciences Pathway

Students selecting the Basic & Biomedical Sciences pathway undertake a core curriculum that emphasizes independent learning, critical thinking and evaluation of the primary research literature.

At the beginning of the program in July, students take an intense 3-week course, BBS748: Introduction to cellular metabolism and disease. The purpose of this course is to prepare entering GSBS students to the independent learning, critical thinking and written communication skills that facilitate success in the graduate curriculum. This course consists of a combination of interactive lectures by GSBS faculty and discussion of primary research literature relevant to the lecture topics.

In the fall semester, students take BBS614: Foundations in Biomedicine. This is a problem-based course that provides learning opportunities through exploration of multidisciplinary areas of contemporary biomedical research, and creates a forum for practice in the skills required for research. The course consists of 4 topical modules in which students gain (and integrate) foundational knowledge in areas such as biophysics, biochemistry and molecular genetics, as well as workshops in important areas such as statistical analysis and bioinformatics.

In the spring semester, students take an advanced topics course in an area of specialization of their choosing. These courses typically consist of a combination of lectures and paper discussion sessions.

The Clinical & Population Health Research Pathway

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.

Courses will be selected with the mentor.  All PGSP students must consider that some of the courses available have pre-requisites and students entering the courses must have met the prerequisites.

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