Coursework

Coursework in the CMP program

The central mission of graduate school is to obtain a degree in the philosophy of science. To achieve this goal, CMP requires specific courses that will expose students to basic pathology, cell biology, and disease pathogenesis. With these courses, we hope students will gain some perspective on the broad nature of translational research. We also think that these courses will bring critical information to CMP students that they can apply to their individual labs. We still recognize that courses are only a component of graduate school, and so we keep these to a minimum.

How to Register for Courses

Required Courses

To obtain a PhD in the CMP program, students must complete the following:

  • There is a minimum of 16 coursework credits required for the pathology major
  • Each semester, a CMP student must be enrolled full time.
    • Non-dissertator:  8-12 credits for fall and spring semesters; 2 credits for the summer semester
    • Dissertator:  3 credits every semester (fall, spring, and summer)
  • CMP students are expected to maintain a B average or better in their coursework

The 16 credits of coursework for the major must include the following:

  • Pathology 802, Histopathology for Translational Scientists, 3 cr
  • Pathology 750, Cellular & Molecular Biology/Pathology, 3 cr
  • Pathology 803, Pathogenesis of Major Human Disease, 3 cr
  • Pathology 809, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, 2 cr
  • Statistics course, 4 cr
  • Ethics course, 1-2 cr
  • 1 elective, 2-3 cr (Pathology 709, Pathology 751, or equivalent course approved by student’s mentoring committee)

Each semester, CMP students are required to sign up for research credit and two seminars listed below. These do NOT count towards the 16 credits required for the major. In addition to the Preliminary exam B and the PhD thesis defense, students are required to give at least 3 seminars during the course of their graduate school career. These are typically given in Pathology 901.

  • Pathology 901, Student Seminar Series, 1 cr
  • Pathology 900, Seminar Series, 0 cr
  • Pathology 990, Research, 1-7 cr

Elective Courses

Within the 16 required credits, students will take one elective course. This course is chosen by the student and the PhD thesis committee. The goal of the elective course is for students to acquire additional broad knowledge in either pathology or their major area of research. For the elective course, students may take one of the following:

  • Pathology 751, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Aging, 3 cr (Fall semester), Cellular and molecular pathophysiology of human disease typically afflicting the aged, such as Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, Type II diabetes and arthritis, experimental systems to study aging
  • Pathology 709, Immunopathology, 2 cr (Spring semester), In-depth introduction to current topics in immunology. Topics are explored through reading and discussion of research papers. Topic varies each year.
  • Equivalent course approved by the PhD thesis committee 

Ethics Courses

Students in the CMP program are required to take an ethics course and receive instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), as stated below by the NIH:

"The NIH requires that all undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows receiving support through any NIH training, career development award, research education grant, or dissertation research grant must receive instruction in RCR. At least eight hours of face-to-face instruction is required; online education alone is insufficient. Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and no less than once every four years.” 

The following list of courses fulfill this requirement:

  • Oncology 675, Appropriate Conduct of Science; 1 cr (Spring semester), A review and discussion of ethical issues in science.
  • Surgical Science 812, Research Ethics and Career Development; 2 cr (Fall semester).
  • Medical History & Bioethics (MHB) 610, Regenerative Medicine, Ethics & Society; 1 cr

In addition, please go to the OHR Responsible Conduct of Research website and review the additional ethics/profession development training seminars (https://www.ohrd.wisc.edu/OHRDCatalogPortal/Default.aspx?tabid=29&Series...). You are required to attend a minimum of two of these seminars every academic year. After attending please send Joanne an email at jmthornt@wisc.edu with the date & title of the seminar you attended.

Statistics Courses

Students in the CMP program are required to take a statistics course. This will help expose students to the key concepts needed to understand how to statistically analyze experimental data and how to design experiments with appropriate power. 

The following list of courses fulfill this requirement:

  • Statistics 571, Statistical Methods for Bioscience, 4 cr
  • Statistics 572, Statistical Methods for Bioscience II, 4 cr

Grades

PhD students must maintain a B average or better in all graduate courses. Grades of BC or lower suggest an inadequate comprehension of course material. The Graduate School requires that a student maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 in all graduate-level work.

Examples of Semester Course Schedules

Year 1 Fall Semester Example: Need 8-12 credits total
Course Description Credits
Pathology 900 Departmental Seminar Series 0
Pathology 901 Student Run Seminars 1
Pathology 990 Research (Lab Rotations) 3-5
Pathology 802 Independent Study (Histology/Path/Autopsy Conference) 3
Elective (example): Surg Science 812 Research Ethics and Career Development 2-3
Year 1 Spring Semester Example: Need 8-12 credits total
Course Description Credits
Pathology 900 Departmental Seminar Series 0
Pathology 901 Student Run Seminars 1
Pathology 990 Research (Lab Rotations) 3-5
Pathology 750 Cellular & Molecular Pathology 3
Elective (example): Pathology 709 Special Topics in Immunopathology: Immune System in Health and Disease 2-3
Year 1 Summer Semester Example
Course Description Credits
Pathology 990 Research 2

 

Year 2 Fall Semester Example: Need 8-12 credits total
Course Description Credits
Pathology 900 Departmental Seminar Series 0
Pathology 901 Student Run Seminars 1
Pathology 990 Research 3-5
Pathology 803 Pathogenesis of Major Human Diseases 3
Elective (example): Pathology 751 Cell and Molecular Biology of Aging 3
Year 2 Spring Semester Example: Need 8-12 credits total
Course Description Credits
Pathology 900 Departmental Seminar Series 0
Pathology 901 Student Run Seminars 1
Pathology 990 Research 3-5
Pathology 809 Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (Professional Development) 2
Elective   2-3
Year 2 Summer Semester Example
Course Description Credits
Pathology 990 Research 2