The Biomedical Sciences doctoral training program at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine is an interdisciplinary program enriched with graduate faculty with diverse investigative biomedical research interest and highly qualified students who are pursuing top education and cutting edge discoveries.

The Graduate Faculty includes more than 100 reputable scientists with established achievements in diverse aspects of biomedical sciences including metabolic disorders, cardiovascular sciences, infectious disease, neuroscience, cancer, nanoscience, biomedical engineering, drug discovery, and much more

Our students are recruited from outstanding programs from all over the United States and over 18 other countries. They are supported by competitive scholarships and prestigious fellowships. Our students receive top tier education, rigorous training in basic and clinical research, outstanding mentoring, and long-lived professional development. They become competent in research and policies while conducting experiments involving the use of human subjects and animals. They learn, retain, and apply fundamental knowledge in biomedical sciences. They graduate from the program as scientists with excellent education and training and focused career goals. Many go on as postdoctoral fellows, academics, scientists, and researchers.

The curriculum of the Biomedical PhD program is continuously adapting to rapid changes in technology, science, ongoing research, public health, and evolving genetic discoveries. All students must successfully complete core courses with a focus on fundamental knowledge in molecular and cell biology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, neuroscience, bioinformatics, stem cell, metabolic, cancer, drug discovery and delivery, and more.

All students are required  to complete the online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), Responsible Conduct of Research training and four face-to-face ethics/RCR workshops coordinated by the UCF College of Graduate Studies and the Office of Research and Commercialization. First year students prior to their laboratory rotation are required to complete laboratory safety, radiation safety, biosafety, and blood borne pathogen courses. Students are also required to attend Pathways to Success seminar series including Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research.

The program administrators, faculty and staff are dedicated to educate, train, and mentor tomorrows scientists and future colleagues and collaborators. Our Graduate Student Association plays the big brother/sister role to complements the role of our faculty to help our students succeed.

Program Curriculum

The Biomedical Sciences PhD program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including a minimum total of 27 hours of formal course work exclusive of independent study that is required.

The program requires 23 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of elective courses, and a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation research. The remaining 22 credit hours may consist of additional electives, doctoral research and/or dissertation research. Students with an earned master’s degree may request that up to 30 credit hours of previous course work be waived.

New students will take a two-semester introductory course, participate in laboratory rotations to identify a research area of interest, and take a sequence of required seminars.

Total Credit Hours Required

72 credit hours minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree.

Qualifying Examinations

  • Cumulative examinations
  • Candidacy Examination
  • Dissertation Defense

Program Research

As one of the largest universities in the United States, UCF’s world-renowned faculty, international curricula, and research opportunities provide the perfect setting for an exceptional academic experience. Our Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program’s burgeoning biomedical research promises to generate intellectual property that will spark a biomedical industry in the Central Florida region. Burnett school scientists focus their research on cancer, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and infectious diseases. Funded research projects include:

  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Tumor invasion and metastasis
  • Gene chip technology
  • Stem cell therapies
  • Molecular biological and biophysical techniques
  • Infectious diseases

Program Strengths

Our program offers students an opportunity to study in-depth the molecular processes found in both normal and pathological disease states, disease intervention, and gene therapy. The creative environment within the program provides students close contact with a faculty composed of internationally recognized biomedical scientists.


Active partnerships formed with other units at UCF – such as the College of Optics and Photonics, the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute at Lake Nona and the NanoScience Technology Center – will facilitate interdisciplinary research and education programs in the innovative applications of photonics, bioinformatics, and nanoscience to biomedical problems.

Career Opportunities:

  • Tenured Professor
  • Grant Administration
  • Science Policy
  • Patent Law
  • Pharmaceutical Research
  • Biotechnology Research
  • Management Consulting
  • Medical Communications
  • Science Journalism and Writing
  • Science Publishing

Points of Pride

The Burnett Biomedical Sciences building at the UCF Health Sciences Lake Nona Campus opened in Fall 2009. This 198,000 square foot building is five stories of state-of-the-art equipment and has space for our research teams headed by 19 faculty members. It also houses a major transgenic animal facility and three Biosafety level 3 laboratories.


Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

Applicants entering the program with regular status are expected to have completed course work required for a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, molecular biology or microbiology.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of research interest and purpose, including a summary of relevant work or research experience
  • Resume
  • A personal or telephone interview

Admission is based on an overall assessment of the qualifications submitted and the interview. All admissions to graduate status are competitive and based on availability of faculty for sponsoring research.

PhD Financials

Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. Financial awards are based on academic merit to highly qualified students.

  • Tuition fully covered
  • Stipend: $27,000-$34,000/year
  • Health Insurance covered

View the Chatlos Doctoral Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences Opportunity

For more information, please visit the graduate catalog here

View the program handbook here.