Students are exposed to a variety of research experiences in the broad field of Cancer Biology that range from basic laboratory research, to translational research, and cancer population research. In addition to coursework, written comprehensive and oral comprehensive exams, the bulk of PhD study involves independent laboratory research leading to results of publishable caliber. Once students have had the opportunity to rotate through three labs, they are prepared to select a research mentor. Students will work with the mentor to define a dissertation project that will be the focus of research efforts throughout the remainder of the program. Since scientific research is open-ended, the amount of time required for completion of a defensible dissertation leading to the PhD cannot be predicted, although typically the PhD degree is conferred within 4 1/2 to 5 years. A written dissertation (compliant with all university guidelines), a final oral defense of the dissertation research to the Dissertation Research Committee, and a first author publication based on the student's research, are all requirements of the program.