Course Information & Degree Requirements

BMS Students take the Core Courses (BIOM 200A and B) and Seminars in Biomedical Research (BIOM 201) in the Fall of their first year. Students select minimum of three Core Courses and two Core Seminar Courses over the Winter and Spring quarters. All students take Ethics in Research (BIOM 219) and Statistical Inference (BIOM 285) and complete Laboratory Rotations (BIOM 202) in each quarter of the first year.

Students may take elective courses at any time, but must complete 15 units (8 for a letter grade) prior to graduation.


  • Laboratory Rotation Program - Year 1

  • Selection of Thesis Advisor – No later than the end of Spring of Year 1

  • Research Proposition Exam – Fall of Year 2

  • Teaching – One academic quarter during Year 2 or 3
    (counts as 4 units toward S/U elective)

  • Advancement to Ph.D. Candidacy Exam BMS program recommendation – Spring/Year 2 to Fall/Year 3
    (UC San Diego time limit – Spring of Year 4)

  • Thesis Defense 
    BMS program recommendation – Spring/Year 5 to Fall/Year 6
    (UC San Diego financial support time limit – Spring of Year 7, UC San Diego total registered time limit – Spring of Year 8)

See the BMS Guidelines (PDF) for more information, and for the Ph.D. requirements of M.D./Ph.D. and Pharm.D./Ph.D. students.

Course Information

Required Core Courses – Year 1

BIOM200A/B Molecules to Organisms: Concepts and Approaches
BIOM201 Seminars in Biomedical Research
BIOM202 Laboratory Rotation (one 12-week or two 6-week)
BIOM219 Ethics in Scientific Research
BIOM285 Statistical Inference

Core Courses – Year 1

(choice of 3)
BIOM226 Hormone Action
BIOM252 Genetics and Genomics
BIOM253 Pathogens and Host Defense
BIOM254 Molecular and Cell Biology
BIOM255A/B Molecular Basis of Drug Action and Disease Therapy
BIOM256 Molecular Biology of Cancer

Core Seminar Courses – Year 1

(choice of 2)
BIOM272/274 Seminars in Genetics, Genomics and Mol. Cell Biology
BIOM275 Seminars in Pharmacology
BIOM276 Seminars in Physiology

Elective Courses – 15 graduate units required

(8 units must be taken for letter grade)

Chosen in consultation with Thesis advisor. Click here to search for elective courses.