​Nutritional and Metabolic Biology

Students prepare for qualifying examinations and dissertation research by judicious selection of required and elective coursework at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and in other divisions of the University. Course selection for individual students is at the discretion of the Training Committee and the Dissertation Research Advisory Committee (DRAC).

  • First-year students take advanced courses and seminars in nutrition and molecular biology, elective courses, begin laboratory work, and explore research opportunities for their dissertation topics.
  • Second-year students participate in research and seminars, have an initial meeting with their DRAC, complete the Qualifying Examination (by June 30 of the second year), and may take additional courses if desired.
  • Third-year and on going students meet once or twice a year with their DRAC in anticipation of preparation and submission of the dissertation. Ideally, at the end of the fifth or sixth year the research is completed and the dissertation is defended and deposited with the University.
  • Electives may be taken at any time, usually after the first year in the program. The selection of courses should be based on the student’s research interests and career goals, or to fill deficits in their background. Elective courses are offered in the following departments: Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Biostatistics, Genetics and Development, Microbiology, Pathology and Cell Biology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, and Psychology.