Old Dominion University
A to Z Index  |  Directories

College of Sciences

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences - Clinical Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, joint with Eastern Virginia Medical School and the Department of BiologicalSciences, offers a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences and administers tracks in Biological Chemistry, Clinical Chemistry and General Biomedical Sciences. Faculty also participate in other tracks within the program. Ph.D. graduates of this program have taken advanced coursework in chemistry, biochemistry and the basic biomedical sciences and completed a dissertation project in a biomedically-related area of his or her interest.

For regular admission, it is expected that Ph.D. students entering the Biological and Clinical Chemistry tracks will have taken coursework equivalent to a B.S. in Chemistry as well as one year of biology. Students who have not satisfactorily completed undergraduate courses in analytical chemistry, general biology or equivalent, physical chemistry and instrumental analysis (Clinical Chemistry track only) will be admitted provisionally until the deficient coursework is successfully completed. In addition, applicants are required to submit a goals statement and have sent official transcripts of all academic work, three letters of reference from former professors, and GRE scores (the Advanced Test in chemistry is recommended, but not required).

Courses: A minimum of 48 hours beyond the master's degree is required which includes 24 hours of dissertation and research. During his or her first year, the student will select a Coursework Guidance Committee to assess his or her background and ensure that the curriculum taken satisfies the student's objectives and career goals. The committee counsels the student and monitors his or her progress. To qualify as a Ph.D. candidate, the student must pass both a written and oral candidacy exam which are designed to assess knowledge in the basic biomedical sciences as well as the student's selected area (or track).

Before being admitted to candidacy the student is also required to select an advisor and Dissertation Guidance Committee. The student will then be admitted to candidacy after writing and presenting a Dissertation Research Proposal approved by his committee. Candidacy status is required for a full year before graduation. Candidates are required to write a publishable dissertation. They must present a public lecture on the results of their dissertation research, and also successfully defend those results in an oral presentation to their Dissertation Guidance Committee.

Career paths for the formally-trained clinical chemist include: directors of the clinical chemistry laboratory in com-munity hospitals or academic medical centers, faculty at academic centers, directors of commercial or reference laboratories, and research and administrative positions in the medical diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries. In addition to M.S. Clinical Chemistry requirements, formal coursework includes: Clinical Toxicology, In-Service Practicum II, Advanced Physiology, Immunology, Clinical Pathology Conferences, and electives in advanced analytical and biochemistry courses.