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), Statistical Inference (BIOM 285), Topics in Biomedical Research (BIOM 203), 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 (Fall)



CMM 262

Intro to Computational Biology (Winter)


Quantitative Methods in Genetics (Winter)

BIOM201 Seminars in Biomedical Research (Fall)
BIOM202 Laboratory Rotation (one 12-week or two 6-week)
BIOM203A Topics in Biomedical Research (Fall)
BIOM203B Topics in Biomedical Research (Winter)
BIOM219 Ethics in Scientific Research (Spring)
BIOM285 Statistical Inference (Spring)
BIOM272/274 Seminars in Genetics & MCDB (Spring)
BIOM275  Seminars in Pharmacology (Winter)

Required Core Courses Winter Quarter – Year 1

(Choose 1)
BIOM253 Pathogens and Host Defense
BIOM255 Molecular Basis of Drug Action and Disease Therapy
BIOM256 Fundamentals of Cancer Biology

Required Core Courses Spring Quarter – Year 1

(Choose 1)
BIOM252 Genetics and Genomics
BIOM254 Molecular and Cell Biology
BIOM255 Molecular Basis of Drug Action and Disease Therapy

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.