Students in the Walter S. and Lucienne Driskill Graduate Training Program in Life Sciences (DGP) typically take six courses in the first three quarters of year one and eight courses total in years one and two. All students take the three core classes (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology), as well as Statistics. Beyond these four required courses, students take at least four other courses. Students may take more than eight courses if desired.
During the first year, students also rotate in three laboratories under the supervision of leading scientists, allowing them to explore the diverse interdisciplinary research opportunities available and hone their scientific interests. By the end of the first three quarters, students are expected to choose a thesis lab. Simultaneously, they will choose and begin to participate in the activities of one of the Research Clusters that will provide advanced, more focused, training activities over the reminder of their PhD studies.
In the spring quarter of the second year, students will take a qualifying exam. Upon passing the qualifying exam, students are ready to proceed to complete their thesis work. The thesis proposal is completed in fall quarter of year three.
DGP Course Offerings Listed by Quarter
The following table lists core and elective courses from DGP, but there are additional courses available at Northwestern.
|Fall Quarter||Biochemistry (required), Statistics (required), Advanced Immunology, Microbiology, Topics in Developmental Biology, Data Science (Intro to Informatics), Tumor Cell Biology, Receptors and Signaling Mechanisms, Colloquium on Integrity in Biomedical Research|
|Winter Quarter||Molecular Biology and Genetics (required), Cell Biology (required), Advanced Microbial Pathogenesis, Advanced Bioinformatics, Molecular Basis of Carcinogenesis, Topics in Drug Discovery, Structural Basis of Signal Transduction|
|Spring Quarter||Immunology, Virology, Genetics, Introduction to Pharmacology, Science and Society|
|Summer Quarter||Introduction to Translational Research, Introduction to Life Science Research (Proposal Writing)|
DGP Electives and Full Course List
|Course Name||Course No.||Note|
|Biochemistry||401||Required First Year Core|
|Molecular Biology and Genetics||410||Required First Year Core|
|Cell Biology||405||Required First Year Core|
|Statistics and Data Analysis for Life Scientists||484||Required First Year Core|
|Colloquium on Integrity in Biomedical Research||494||Required for Second-Year Students|
|Advanced Microbial Pathogenesis||433||Elective|
|Data Science for Biomedical Researchers (Informatics)||485||Elective|
|Advanced Bioinformatics (Genome Informatics)||486||Elective|
|Topics in Drug Discovery||425||Elective|
|Intro to Translational Research||422||Elective|
|Intro to Pharmacology||420||Elective|
|Receptors and Signaling Mechanisms||435||Elective|
|Topics in Developmental Biology||456||Elective|
|Macromolecular Structure and Function||465||Elective|
|Structural Basis of Signal Transduction||466||Elective|
|Tumor Cell Biology||450||Elective|
|Molecular Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis||480||Elective|
|Science and Society||495||Elective|