Master of Science (M.S.)

The master’s degree is offered only under special circumstances and upon recommendation by the program COGS and approval by the Graduate Dean.

IMPORTANT Note About the Doctor of Philosophy in Physiology Degree*
This program is no longer accepting students at this time as this field of study is now the Physiology and Pharmacology discipline within the new Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) Program. All information in this section of the Catalog is for the current Physiology students only.

Physiology is the study of the structure, and function, and integration of the human body.  In the pioneering days, research efforts were primarily directed at tissues and organs.  This research continues to this day and has resulted in a comprehensive picture of the function of the human body.  As molecular and genetic methods have come of age, physiologists have implemented these techniques to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underlie physiological function.  It is now clear that in order to develop a complete understanding of the normal and dysfunctional human body, we must ask questions at all levels, from the molecular to the cellular, to the organ, to the whole organism.

Graduate studies leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree in the basic biomedical sciences are offered in the Integrated Multidisciplinary Graduate Program (IMGP).  In this program, all incoming students have a common entry point.  Within the first year, students select one of nine research tracks based on their specific interests.  The Department of Physiology administers the Physiology track.  

Physiology Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required for the M.S. degree. In addition, all master’s candidates must register for PHYL 6098 Thesis for at least one semester in order to graduate. The student must successfully defend a thesis and be recommended by their program COGS for approval of their degree to the Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Physiology Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
IBMS 5000Fundamentals Of Biomedical Sciences 8
IBMS 5008Lab Rotations 2
 Total Credit Hours: 10.0
First Year
SpringCredit Hours
IBMS 5008Lab Rotations 2
PHYL 5045Mammalian Physiology 1 4
 Total Credit Hours: 6.0
Second Year
FallCredit Hours
PATH 5021 or CSBL 5095Biostatistics 3
PHYL 6091Selected Topics Of Physiology 2
PHYL 6090Seminar 1
PHYL 6097Research 1-12
 Total Credit Hours: 7.0-18.0
Second Year
SpringCredit Hours
INTD 6002Ethics In Research 0.5
PHYL 6091Selected Topics Of Physiology 2
PHYL 6090Seminar 1
PHYL 6097Research 1-12
Qualifying Exam (QE) proposal due prior to May 1st.  
 Total Credit Hours: 4.5-15.5
Third Year
FallCredit Hours
PHYL 6097Research 1-12
PHYL 6090Seminar 1
 Total Credit Hours: 2.0-13.0
Third Year
SpringCredit Hours
PHYL 6097Research 1-12
PHYL 6090Seminar 1
 Total Credit Hours: 2.0-13.0
Fourth Year
FallCredit Hours
PHYL 6097Research 1-12
PHYL 6090Seminar 1
 Total Credit Hours: 2.0-13.0
Fourth Year
SpringCredit Hours
PHYL 6097Research 1-12
PHYL 6090Seminar 1
 Total Credit Hours: 2.0-13.0
Fifth Year
FallCredit Hours
PHYL 6097Research 1-12
PHYL 6090Seminar 1
 Total Credit Hours: 2.0-13.0
Fifth Year
SpringCredit Hours
PHYL 6097Research 1-12
PHYL 6090Seminar 1
 Total Credit Hours: 2.0-13.0
1

Students may take the full course but are only required to take three out of the four modules (PHYL 5041 Excitable Membranes, PHYL 5042 Cardiovascular Physiology, PHYL 5043 Respiratory & Renal Physiology, and PHYL 5044 Metabolism/Hormones/GI System).

Other courses – Selected Topics in Physiology or coursework as desired by mentor.

All students are required to submit a thesis research proposal the Spring semester following passing the Qualifying Exam. The thesis research proposal is presented during the spring PHYL 6090 Seminar.

Students are required to attend Monday Physiology Department Seminars/Special Seminars followed by student roundtable luncheon.

Physiology Objectives/Program Outcomes

  1. The student will be able to critically review and interpret research literature.
  2. The student will be able to demonstrate proficient understanding of core physiological principles.
  3. The student will be able to communicate effectively in verbal presentations.
  4. The student will be able to demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research.
  5. The student will be able to effectively communicate in writing.

CSBL 5095. Experimental Design And Data Analysis. 3 Credit Hours.

The purpose of the course is to provide an introduction to experimental design and statistical analysis. The emphasis of the course will be on the selection and application of proper tests of statistical significance. Practical experience will be provided in the use of both parametric and nonparametric methods of statistical evaluation. Among the topics to be covered are: data reduction, types of distributions, hypothesis testing, scales of measurement, chi square analysis, the special case of the comparison of two groups; analysis of variance; a posteriori multiple comparisons tests, tests of the assumptions of parametric analyses, advanced forms of the analysis of variance, linear regression, and correlation analysis. This course involves the use of statistical software; therefore, access to a laptop or a computer with web access for classes and examinations is required.

IBMS 5000. Fundamentals Of Biomedical Sciences. 8 Credit Hours.

This core course covers the fundamentals of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, organismal and systems biology, and microbiology and immunology. The course is designed for first-year graduate students matriculating into the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program (IBMS).

IBMS 5008. Lab Rotations. 1-3 Credit Hours.

This course provides an opportunity for students to participate in research activities in the laboratories of faculty members in different disciplines to learn laboratory skills and to gain an introduction to the research fields of faculty members.

INTD 6002. Ethics In Research. 0.5 Credit Hours.

This course covers topics relevant to ethics in scientific research. The course is taught on a case-study basis, dealing with real and hypothetical situations relevant to the conduct of scientific research. Topics discussed will include, but will not be limited to: data management, peer review, recognizing scientific misconduct, authorship, and The University of Texas regulations relevant to human and animal research. This course is required of all doctoral graduate students.

PATH 5021. Biostatistics. 3 Credit Hours.

An introduction to Biostatistics, emphasis is upon application of statistical methods to biological problems. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, and estimation.

PHYL 5045. Mammalian Physiology. 4 Credit Hours.

The course begins with fundamental processes that govern membrane transport, membrane potential, and excitation-contraction coupling. The course then proceeds to coverage of organ system function including cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal and endocrine/metabolic physiology. Lecture material is enhanced by supplemental discussion of research literature encompassing molecular biology, integrative function, and pathophysiological implications. Students may take the full course but are only required to take three out of the four modules (PHYL 5041, 5042, 5043, and 5044).

PHYL 6090. Seminar. 1 Credit Hour.

The course is comprised of research presentations by Physiology graduate students. This course is required of all students each semester.

PHYL 6091. Selected Topics Of Physiology. 2 Credit Hours.

Students must take a least two courses selected from among the offerings in:(1) Cardiovascular; (2) Cell Biology in Neural Science; (3) Endocrine and Metabolism; (4) Molecular Physiology; and (5) Ion Channels in Disease. Courses that may be substituted for one of these selections: (1) INTD 5040 - Fundamentals of Neuroscience I: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Neuroscience; (2) INTD 5043 - Fundamentals of Neuroscience II: Systems Neuroscience; (3) CSBL 6048 - Biology of Aging; and (4) CSBL 6058 - Neurobiology of Aging. Not all selected topics are offered each semester. Please discuss this with the Academic Coordinator for more details. Substituted courses in conflict with Physiology course schedule will require approval from COGS.

PHYL 6097. Research. 1-12 Credit Hours.

If a track chooses to give a seminar course, the specific course requirements will be determined by the track. The sub-designations for each track are: (1)Biology of Aging; (2) Cancer Biology; (3) Cell & Molecular Biology; (4) Genetics, Genomics & Development; (5) Membrane Biology & Cell Signaling; (6) Metabolism & Metabolic Disorders; (7) Microbiology & Immunology; (8)Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry; (9) Molecular, Cellular, & Integrative Physiology; (10) Neuroscience; and (11) Pharmacology.