Designed to prepare students to be successful independent investigators, Van Andel Institute Graduate School’s Ph.D. program comprises a hands-on, scientifically rigorous and well-rounded problem-based approach.
Students modules in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics and epigenetics, bioinformatics and pathophysiology before selecting the laboratory in which they will complete their dissertation research. This approach allows students to acquire the requisite knowledge to address complex research questions along with the skills to locate and evaluate the concepts, models and evidence that already exist in scientific literature.
For specific course descriptions, please view our Academic Catalog here.
Ph.D. degree course requirements
The Graduate School’s curriculum is designed to train students to think like scientists through a problem-based approach. Most courses are completed in the first two years of study, followed by a heavily research-focused approach during years three through five. For a sample year-by-year schedule, please visit the Curriculum guide.
For more information on the Institute’s labs, please visit our Faculty Directory.
Van Andel Institute also convenes a separate weekly seminar on research underway in its labs. These internal presentations are supplemented by the VAI Seminar Series and the Jay Van Andel Seminar Series, which bring outstanding scientists from around the world to the Institute to give scientific talks. Students are encouraged to attend these seminars and to meet with the visiting scientists to discuss their research and their scientific career path.
The Graduate School is proud to offer a joint M.D./Ph.D. program in collaboration with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. Learn more here.