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Laboratory Rotations

Jessie Polanco

As a student in our program, you — like Jessie Polanco — will have the opportunity to rotate through multiple labs to conduct research with enthusiastic, supportive mentors. 

Many schools require you to apply directly to a department. You have to commit even if you haven’t narrowed down your interests. You’re limited to a single department before you’ve discovered where your true enthusiasm for research lies.

Our laboratory rotations allow you the flexibility to identify the best department and laboratory for your PhD research. You’ll explore several different fields of research before you decide on a lab—and experience that “eureka” moment of career discovery.

In the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences, you can choose from a wide variety participating laboratories for your rotations. During the eight- to 10-week rotations, you will:

  • Perform research projects
  • Learn new laboratory techniques
  • Meet other graduate students
  • Collaborate with potential mentors

During the first year in the program, you will take up to six laboratory rotations in the fall and spring semesters. At the end of the first year, you will choose a rotation laboratory where you will conduct your PhD dissertation research. 

Learn more

Opportunities to Consider

Kevin Maharaj

"I didn’t know about structural biology before I came here, but during the lab rotations it became my clear-cut first choice."

Kevin Maharaj
PhD Candidate, Structural Biology

Time to Choose

Terry Connell, PhD

"It’s scary for a student to think about going into a lab and having to pick a mentor right off the bat because they’re going to be with that person for four or five years. The idea of being able to ‘shop around’ is enticing."

Terry Connell, PhD
Admissions Director, PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences

Freedom to Explore

Kevin Kransler, PhD '08

"Unlike other graduate programs, the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences allows you to ‘test the waters’ in multiple departments to find the right fit."

Kevin Kransler, PhD '08
Senior toxicologist, ExxonMobil