Student Life and Expectations
Magnetic Resonance Biophysics
In the MR Biophysics track, students will take the following courses in the first two years of entering the program:
Instrumentation: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Functional MRI Contrast Mechanisms and Applications
Functional MRI Journal Club
During a student's first two years, each semester consists of one course in biophysics, one in neuroscience, and one in a related area to compliment his or her strengths and interests. This allows students to gain experience in both technical and applied areas before choosing a research topic and an advisor, which generally occurs in the third year of study. Since students are supported as described below, their time is not occupied by teaching requirements, and they are encouraged to get involved with a research area under the direction of a faculty member. Students typically coauthor several refereed journal publications prior to graduation. Directed studies and research courses are available to students, as are classes at two area universities: Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. An oral dissertation proposal defense, which takes the place of a written comprehensive qualifying exam, is expected to be completed by the end of the third year or at the beginning of the student's fourth year in the program. A final dissertation defense is expected to occur by the fifth year of study.
In the Molecular Biophysics track, students will take the following courses in the first two years of entering the program:
Advanced Protein Chemistry
Biophysical Techniques in Biochemistry
Techniques in Molecular Genetics
Electron Paramagnetic Spectroscopy (Theory and Practical Applications)
Free Radicals in Biology
Incoming molecular biophysics students typically rotate through three labs in their first year. This allows students to gain experience in several areas of research before choosing an advisor. In addition to the introductory core classes listed above, students have the opportunity to take more advanced classes specific to their chosen area of research. A dissertation proposal defense and qualifying exam are expected to be completed by the end of the third year of the program. A final dissertation defense is expected to occur by the fifth year of study.
The Biophysics Graduate Program has approximately 15 to 20 graduate students at any given time. This smaller program allows for an informal atmosphere where students are able to work closely with faculty members in addition to other graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
All graduate students admitted to the program work toward a Ph.D. degree. All full-time students receive a stipend ($25,750 in 2008-2009), full tuition coverage, and exceptional, full health-care coverage. The annual stipend is anticipated to increase 5% each year. In addition, there are no teaching requirements. Provided that the student remains in good academic standing and makes continual progress, the stipend will be paid for at least five years.