2009 - 2010 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Pathology, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15; December 15 international

Spring: November 1; August 1 international

Applications are processed as they are received throughout the year.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from professors of science.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Applicants should have one year of Biological Science (i.e., Biochemistry, General Biology, Molecular Biology); one year of General Chemistry; one year of Organic Chemistry; one year of Physics; and Mathematics through Calculus.  Prior research experience is desired but not required.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A master's degree is not required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree in the Biological or Chemical Sciences is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements:  the applicant's interest in Temple's Pathology program, research goals, future career goals, and academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required.  Acceptance by Temple University requires submission of verbal, quantitative, and analytical GRE scores.  GRE scores below the 50th percentile are outside the norm and no individual score in the verbal, quantitative, or analytical sections should be below that level.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 650 paper-based, 280 computer-based, or 114 internet-based.

Advanced Standing:

Students who enter the Ph.D. program in Pathology may be considered for advanced standing, based on the successful completion of graduate-level courses in the Biological Sciences or Chemistry with grades of "B" or better.  The Graduate Admissions Committee makes the recommendation on a case-by-case basis as the application is reviewed.  The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 24.

Test Waivers:

Upon review of the student's background by the Graduate Admissions Committee, applicants with high levels of performance in one or more areas can gain favorable consideration for an application that is otherwise outside the acceptance matrix.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Bachelor's Degree: 30

Required Courses:

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine participates in the "Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences" at the Temple University School of Medicine.  The program requires Ph.D. and M.S. students to take a defined set of courses over the first two years:

    • 2 courses from the "Foundations of Biosciences Series" of the Interdisciplinary Program, comprising either a basic or advanced Biochemistry course, and a course on Molecular and Cell Biology.
    • 2 courses comprising Scientific Communication and Scientific Integrity.
    • 2 courses from the "Integrated Biosciences Series" from the following list:


      Cancer Biology

      Cell Structure and Function

      Host-Pathogen Interactions

      Molecular Approaches to Research

      Principles of Development

      Principles of Genetics

      Principles of Organ Pathology

      Principles of Pharmacology

      Principles of Physiology

      Proteins and Enzymes

In addition to the core courses, all students must successfully complete other courses, each of which must be at least 2 credits.  These courses are chosen from among advanced topics courses offered by the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences; and courses offered by the graduate programs in Anatomy and Cell Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physiology at the School of Medicine and the Department of Biology.  The student's course of study must include one advanced topics course in Biochemistry, one advanced Chemistry course, and one Life Sciences course.  The remaining two courses can be chosen from any of the three remaining categories with the approval of the student's advisory committee.

Students must earn the appropriate number of research credits to complete the degree and 6 credits of dissertation research post-candidacy.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Additional Requirements:

Committee Report:

The student is required to prepare a committee report outlining their research progress and schedule advisory committee meetings each semester to review the report and evaluate progress toward the degree.

Formal Research Presentations:

In addition to participation in the Pathology Seminar, two formal research presentations are required of candidates for the Ph.D. degree.

Outside Research Proposal:

The student is required to prepare and defend a research proposal from an area of investigation distinct from the student's research topic.

Culminating Events:

Dissertation Proposal:

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research.  The proposal should describe the context and background surrounding a particular research problem and a methodological plan for investigating the problem.  The proposal is a requirement for admission to candidacy and should be submitted and approved no more than one year after completing coursework (generally in the third year of the program).


The Ph.D. degree in Pathology is a research degree.  Research training begins with Introduction to Research Methodology (Biochemistry 8211-8214) in the first year of the graduate program and continues with the selection of a dissertation research advisor and development of an original research project.  Dissertation research involves meaningful critical thinking and the execution of ideas in the laboratory through the use of the scientific method.  Dissertation research conducted by the student should be an original contribution to scientific knowledge.  The quality of the student's Ph.D. dissertation research should be equivalent to that found in reputable Biomedical Science journals.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research and is comprised of at least four Graduate Faculty members.  Two members, including the Chair, must be from the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of her/his academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense.  This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the Institution.  The Outside Examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student is to defend the dissertation.  The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's ability to express verbally her/his research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications.  The committee members then vote to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

If a student desires a change in research advisor, or a research advisor desires to be relieved of responsibility to a student, the matter is brought before a review committee.  The review committee consists of the student's advisory committee and the Chair of the Department of Pathology and is chaired by the Director of the Graduate Program.  Any decision may be appealed to the Academic Standards Committee.

The student submits the dissertation in complete form not less than one calendar month prior to the date of the Final Examination.  The dissertation must have been read and approved by the doctoral advisor prior to distribution.  The student should confirm a time and date for the dissertation defense with the Doctoral Advisory Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 15 days before the defense is to be scheduled.  The Graduate Secretary arranges the time, date, and room within two working days, and forwards the appropriate forms to the student.  After the Graduate Secretary has arranged the time, date, and room for the defense, the student must send to the Graduate School a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form at least 10 days before the defense.  The Department posts flyers announcing the defense.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
School of Medicine

3400 N. Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19140


Department Contacts:

Graduate Admissions:

Hemant K. Parekh, Ph.D.


Servio H. Ramirez, Ph.D.


Program Coordinator:

Sandra Harper


Department Chair:

Yuri Persidsky, M.D., Ph.D.



About the Program

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Science offers full-time day programs of study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree.  Students are given opportunities for instruction in diverse laboratory techniques through a series of lecture and laboratory courses, as well as experimental research, under the guidance of a faculty member.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Health Sciences

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered after 4:30 p.m.

Department Information:

Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
School of Medicine

3400 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140


Interdisciplinary Study:

Members of the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, the Specialized Center for Thrombosis Research, and the Center for Substance Abuse Research who hold academic appointments in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Science also participate in the graduate training program.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

Areas of specialization include effects of drugs of abuse (alcohol, opiods, etc.) on CNS immune systems; innate and adaptive immune responses to chronic viral infections, including HIV-1, hepatitis C virus, Human T-Cell lymphotropic virus, and Herpes Simplex virus; neuronal and glial cell biology; neurovascular biology and neuroinflammation; and trafficking of immune cells, in particular, dendri.

Job Placement:

The program prepares students for careers in academia, government, and/or industry.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may enroll in some courses with permission from the course instructor and approval from the Office of  Graduate Studies, School of Medicine.

Financing Opportunities

Funding includes a stipend and full tuition remission of up to 9 credits per semester.  Students are supported for the first year with departmental funds.  Upon selection of a dissertation laboratory, the student is supported by her/his mentor using research grant funds.  University and Presidential fellowships are also available.  A satisfactory level of academic performance must be maintained for continued support.

Updated 12.8.09