Curriculum & Course Requirements

These courses satisfy the minimum curriculum requirements for the BPH program, and students are encouraged to seek further coursework in areas of specific interest.  Students may petition the curriculum committee to consider more advanced coursework to satisfy core and critical reading requirements.  *Courses offering experience in proposal writing are recommended. 

To offer a broad perspective on modern biology, students may enroll in courses not only at the School of Public Health, but also at Harvard University in Cambridge, Harvard Medical School/Division of Medical Sciences, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A free shuttle bus connects these locations.

Required courses
*BPH 301/DBS 205                 (Fall) Biological Sciences Seminars (5 credits)
BPH 201r/DBS 300s (Fall/Spring) Laboratory Rotations (10 credits)
EPI 500           (Fall)           Fundamentals of Epidemiology (2.5 credits)
BIST 297/BIO 508-01   (Spring) Genomic Data Manipulation (5 credits)
MedSci 300       (Fall, Year 2)     Conduct of Science (2.5 credits)
At least 15 credits of the following core courses
BPH 208/EH 205 (Fall) Human Physiology (5 credits)
BPH 210/EH 208 (Spring) Pathophysiology of Human Disease (5 credits)
BPH 215/EH 504 (Fall) Principles of Toxicology (5 credits)
IMM 201/IM 702.0 (Fall) Principles of Immunology (5 credits)
MICRO 201    (Spring) Molecular Biology of the Bacterial Cell  (5 credits)
MICRO 205/HT 040            (Fall) Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis (5 credits)
MICRO 214       (Fall) Molecular Basis of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Host Response      (5 credits)
BCMP 200/BP 723.0 (Fall) Molecular Biology (5 credits)
CB 201/CB 713.0 (Spring) Molecular Biology of the Cell (5 credits)
BCMP 201/BP 714.0 (Spring) Biological Macromolecules: Structure, Function and Pathways     (5 credits)
BPH 222       (Spring)      The Science of Human Nutrition (5 credits)
GEN 201/GN 701 (Fall)         Principles of Genetics (5 credits) 
At least 7.5 credits of the following critical reading courses 
BPH 301qc/ID 512              (Spring)        Molecular Basis of Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases (2.5 credits)
BPH 305qc/EH 512 (Fall) Interdisciplinary Training in Pulmonary Sciences Part I (2.5 credits)
BPH 302qc/EH 513 (Spring)        Interdisciplinary Training in Pulmonary Sciences Part II             (2.5 credits)
BPH 303qc/EH 526 (Spring)     Critical Readings in Pathophysiology of Human Disease               (2.5 credits)
BPH 304qc/IID 201 (Fall)      Ecological and Epidemiological Control of Parasitic Diseases       (2.5 credits)
BPH 306qc/IID 202 (Spring) Tuberculosis (2.5 credits)
BPH 308qc/EH 527 (Spring) Molecular Signals to Understand Exposure Biology (2.5 credits)
BPH 309qc/   GCD 213       (Fall, Odd Years)       Tumor Cell Signaling and Metabolism (2.5 credits)
BPH 310qc/   GCD 212       (Fall, Odd Years)   Molecular Mechanisms of Aging (2.5 credits)
BPH 316qc/IID 216 (Spring) Molecular and Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases (2.5 credits)
BPH 317qc/IID 208 (Spring) Immunology of Infectious Diseases (2.5 credits)
*In addition to the above requirements, students must take
(either critical reading or core courses) be selected in consultation 
with the dissertation advisor.


First Year: Fall Semester

BPH 301 Biological Sciences Seminars
2 core or critical reading elective

  Spring Semester BPH 201r Laboratory Rotations
BIST 297 Genomic Data Manipulation
2 core/critical reading electives
  Summer Choose dissertation advisor/begin dissertation BPH 300 dissertation research credit
Second Year: Fall Semester

EPI 500 Epidemiology
MedSci 300  Conduct of Science
2 core/critical reading electives
BPH 300 dissertation research credit

  Spring Semester Preliminary qualifying exam preparation
BPH 300 dissertation research credit
  Summer Preliminary qualifying exam completed
BPH 300 dissertation research credit
Third and subsequent years: 

Continue dissertation research; elective courses optional; report to Dissertation Advisory Committee every 6-9 months.


Waiver of Course Requirements 

For some students who have successfully completed graduate-level course work, BPH course requirements may be waived if graduate-level competence is demonstrated to the Curriculum Committee before the end of the first quarter of year 1.  A "Curriculum Committee Waiver Form" may be requested from the BPH Program Office. A signed copy will be kept in the student's file as documentation of the Committee's authorization to grant an exemption to a student from further course work in these areas. 

Satisfactory Progress 

In general, the BPH program expects that students will receive B or better grades in core and required classes to reflect their command of these topics. The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) states that the minimum standard for satisfactory work in the graduate school is a B average in each academic year. A grade of C or incomplete is offset by a grade of A, and a D by two A's. Pluses and minuses are ignored for this calculation.