MD Anderson Cancer Center - UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Guidelines for Employees Who Wish To Pursue a Ph.D. Degree

Any employee of an institution in the Texas Medical Center may, with consent of the instructor and approval of the supervisor, register for one GSBS course during each semester. He/She may register for up to two courses with permission of the Dean. If the employee is eventually admitted to GSBS, these courses, taken as an employee, will appear on the student's GSBS transcript and may be used to meet GSBS degree requirements, with the approval of the student's committee and the Academic Standards Committee.

One of the courses the employee is permitted to take is a laboratory research tutorial. To do so, the employee must register for the GSBS course entitled Special Project: Research (GS000530). This Special Project: Research must simulate, in its requirements, the GSBS course entitled Tutorial Research Experience (GS000514). That is, it should represent a real learning experience in the laboratory of a GSBS faculty member and not the activity of a laboratory technician. A minimum of 200 hours of effort are required for the two credit hour tutorial/Special Project, generally a minimum of 20 hours per week. Employees do not need to complete their didactic coursework before registering for Special Projects.

If the employee is admitted to the Ph.D. program of the GSBS, one of these tutorial-like Special Projects may be used to fulfill one tutorial requirement of the Ph.D. degree. Each of the three tutorial rotations required for the Ph.D., must be performed under the guidance of a different GSBS faculty member, and at least one tutorial must be conducted while the student is registered full-time in the Ph.D. program. However, one of the three required tutorials may be waived by the Academic Standards Committee if the student enters GSBS with an M.S. degree that involved laboratory-based research and a thesis, or with other appropriate research experience, for example, resulting in publications.

Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, the employee must become a full-time graduate student. That is, regular employment must cease and must be replaced by full-time graduate study. The student's financial support will be in the form of a Graduate Research Assistantship at the standard GSBS level ($32,000 per annum effective Fall 2018).