Degree Requirements

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Principal courses are listed below. Most courses are required as determined by the subspecialization of the student. Unspecified, but required, credits taken outside the department are selected with the counsel of the advisor, whom the student usually selects before starting the second year of study. By or at the end of the second year, the student must satisfactorily pass written and oral comprehensive examinations. The student writes and defends a grant proposal in an area of research chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor.


All students must take the courses of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Science or an equivalent set of courses approved by the Department Graduate Studies Committee. After completing IGPBS courses, students must take ANAT 900 (Analysis of Scientific Papers) and ANAT 885 (Seminar) every semester up to the semester in which they defend. Four hours of advanced departmental and interdepartmental courses are required based on the student’s specialized interests and needs. Students select these after consultation with their advisors. The student must maintain a B average overall.

Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship Requirement

All students in doctoral programs must meet the research skills and responsible scholarship requirement of the university.

Anatomy Ph.D. students meet these requirements during their IGPBS year of study by taking GSMC 857 Biographics, GSMC 852/GSMC 855 Introduction to Biomedical Research I and II, and GSMC 856 Introduction to Research Ethics.

Comprehensive Exam

All students must pass a comprehensive exam that contains a written and an oral portion. The written portion consists of an NIH-style grant written on the research expected to be performed for the dissertation. The oral portion of the exam is based in part on the written exam, and is taken following approval of the written exam.

Seminar Presentations

Two presentations in the regular departmental seminar series, or an equivalent seminar approved by the graduate education director, are to be given in two separate semesters, not including the one in which the student defends.

Teaching Expertise

Each student must gain teaching experience by assisting in selected courses, chosen with the help of the advisor and graduate director.


The student must complete original research, write a dissertation, and satisfactorily defend it in a final public seminar and oral examination. The dissertation must contain data suitable for publication in appropriate peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Contact Info

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

KU Medical Center, G015 Wahl Hall East
3901 Rainbow Blvd., Mail Stop 3038
Kansas City, KS 66160
Dale R. Abrahamson, Chair
Margaret Petroff, Director of Graduate Studies
Why KU
  • One of 34 public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • 2nd in the nation for prestigious faculty Fulbright awards
  • 26 Rhodes scholars
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • One of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs. U.S. News and World Report