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The OSBP core curriculum includes required courses in molecular biology, protein and nucleic acid structure and function. Students must also take at least nine additional credit hours of graduate biochemical electives. A list of approved electives is provided. Students participate in a mentoring and ethics seminar, student seminar, and the Molecular Life Sciences seminar series.

Students typically do three 7-week lab rotation and join a lab in mid-spring. It is possible to do the first rotation in the summer before fall of enrollment, and if necessary it is possible to do additional rotations. A minimum of three rotations is required.

All students must advance to candidacy by the end of their second year, and then meet with their advising committees annually until graduation.  The historical time to graduation is about 5.7 years. All students must graduate within 5 years of advancing to candidacy.