Programs in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) at the University of Miami Miller’s School of Medicine (UMMSM) provides students a wide variety of research opportunities in the biological sciences across many disciplines and departments.

First–year students take a core curriculum that builds a solid foundation in the biomedical sciences. The common coursework in the first semester ranges from molecules to cells to systems of human physiology. Lectures are balanced by breakout sessions, in which faculty members discuss the primary literature with students in small groups. Students have the flexibility to select breakout sessions that match their interests. The core curriculum also offers critical learning opportunities in biostatistics, genomic and analytical tools. In the second semester, students select individual modular courses offered in our eight disciplines. These courses cover topics of specific relevance to graduate programs or research topics. Students also complete a course in Biostatistics and a workshop in BioInformatics.

PhD Program Selection

During their first year in the umbrella program, students complete three to four laboratory rotations in various disciplines. This opportunity allows students to explore their interests before selecting a program and dissertation mentor. Students match with mentors in specific programs and achieve program affiliation at the end of their first year in one of the following programs (for years two through five):

Contact Information

Office of Graduate Studies
Rosenstiel Medical Sciences Building, Suite 1128
1600 NW 10th Avenue, M857
Miami, FL 33136

305 243 1094 |


Admission Requirements

Please see the Office of Graduate Studies website for application requirements for the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PiBS).

Curriculum Requirements

Journal Club2
Journal Club 1
Required Courses
PIB 701Introduction to Biomedical Sciences (Students should take 5 credits, unless authorized by the GPD to take less.)1-5
PIB 702Scientific Reasoning1-3
PIB 705Biostatistics for the Biosciences3
PIB 731Laboratory Research3-5
PIB 780Research Ethics1
PIB 782Professional Development: Skills for Success I1
PIB 783Professional Development: Skills for Success II1
PIB 790Grant Writing Basics for Biomedical Graduate Students (Course for students who have completed the PiBS year. Students may register in the summer following PiBS or any subsequent semester.)1
PIB 830Doctoral Dissertation1-2
Total Credit Hours15-24

Students in this degree program take PIB 700 two times, at 1 credit each for a total of 2 credits.

Plan of Study

Students enrolled in the first year program in biomedical sciences complete the following core requirements. The curricula for years two through five can be found in the program links above.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
PIB 701 Introduction to Biomedical Sciences 1-5
PIB 702 Scientific Reasoning 1-3
PIB 731 Laboratory Research (1 credit per lab rotation) 2
PIB 700 Journal Club 1
PIB 780 Research Ethics 1
PIB 782 Professional Development: Skills for Success I 1
 Credit Hours7-13
PIB 700 Journal Club 1
PIB 705 Biostatistics for the Biosciences 3
PIB 731 Laboratory Research (1 credit per lab rotation) 2
PIB 783 Professional Development: Skills for Success II 1
Program Electives: Select from List Below
 Credit Hours7
PIB 830 Doctoral Dissertation 1
 Credit Hours1
Summer II
PIB 830 Doctoral Dissertation Early Start 1
 Credit Hours1
 Total Credit Hours16-22

Program Elective Courses

The following program courses are available to first year students in their spring semester. It is generally recommended that students only take courses in the program they wish to enter. This will put students on a timely path to graduation. Your options will be discussed in your spring course advising session.

BMB 705Principles of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology4
BMB 709Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology3
BMB 715Structural Biology and Applications to Drug Discovery2
BMB 719Fundamentals of Epigenetics3
CAB 710Cancer Biochemistry and Molecular Biology3
HGG 630Variation and Disease2
HGG 640Family Studies and Genetic Analysis2
MCP 704Mechanisms of Drug Action3
MCP 743Introductory Python Programming for Bioscientists3
MCP 752Systems Biology and Approaches in Pharmacology3
MCP 753Computational Pharmacology and Fundamentals of Drug Design3
MDB 751Advanced Cell Biology Approaches to Molecular Medicine3
MDB 752Current Topics in Mammalian Development3
MDB 753Histology1
MIC 623Mechanisms of Microbial Virulence2
MIC 728Principles of Immunology3
NEU 721Principles of Membrane Physiology and Biophysics I2
NEU 722Principles of Membrane Physiology and Biophysics II2
NEU 760Neuroscience 1A (Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience)2
NEU 761Neuroscience 1B (Developmental Neuroscience)2
PHS 741Principles of Membrane Physiology and Biophysics I2
PHS 742Principles of Membrane Physiology and Biophysics II2
PHS 610Cell Physiology Biophysics2
PHS 611Neurophysiology2
PHS 612Systemic Physiology4

PIB 700. Journal Club. 1 Credit Hour.

All PIBS students are required to attend one journal club or seminar each week.
Components: SEM.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

PIB 701. Introduction to Biomedical Sciences. 1-5 Credit Hours.

This course surveys fundamentals of molecular and cellular biology that underly all modern biomedical research. Lectures are organized into modules that cover Proteins and DNA, Gene Expression, Signaling and Membranes, Cells, and Development. A final module covers immunology, organ systems, and genetics. Experimental techniques are emphasized throughout, with the first week of the course devoted to a bootcamp on common biomedical methods.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

PIB 702. Scientific Reasoning. 1-3 Credit Hours.

This course teaches scientific reasoning by critical reading of primary research papers in a small-group setting. Multiple small groups are offered every week and students can choose from different topics related to lectures in the companion PIB 701 course. Research papers are discussed in two 1-hour sessions each week.
Components: DIS.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

PIB 705. Biostatistics for the Biosciences. 3 Credit Hours.

This is an introductory course that will cover the basics of applied statistics. The course will emphasize a practical understanding of statistical concepts: the goal is to prepare you to be able to properly analyze and interpret data from your research, not to turn you into a statistician. As such, the structure of the course is designed to give you lots of hands-on experience with data and statistical software, and to teach you how to proceed when you encounter novel problems in the future (e.g., data that you're not quite sure how to analyze). An overall goal of the course is to prepare you to be able to intelligently assess the statistics commonly encountered in journal articles within your field and provide you with the fundamental skills required for more advanced statistical methods when you late encounter the need.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

PIB 706. Informatics for the Biosciences. 3 Credit Hours.

PIB 706 is designed to teach problem solving using the Python programming language. No prior programming knowledge is needed. Students will learn to write their own original Python programs to parse, manipulate, and analyze big data sets containing genomic, proteomic, and structural information. As the course progresses, students will be encouraged to apply their emerging programming knowledge to tackle scientific problems of their interest. The course culminates with each student designing a final project related to their research. This is a hands-on course with in-class interactive programming. Therefore, students are required to have their own Mac or PC laptop in good working condition for every class—no exceptions.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

PIB 710. Internship in Biomedical Sciences. 1-3 Credit Hours.

The purpose of this internship program is to provide an opportunity for graduate students to obtain experience in a broader set of careers for PhD graduates and gain professional competence in the field of biomedical sciences.
Components: EXP.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

PIB 731. Laboratory Research. 1-6 Credit Hours.

Laboratory rotations familiarize students with a variety of modern techniques in biomedicine and potential mentors for their dissertation projects. One credit is awarded per rotation.
Components: LAB.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

PIB 780. Research Ethics. 1 Credit Hour.

The NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts stipulates that Institutions receiving support for National Research Service Award Training Grants are required to develop a program in the principles of scientific integrity. This program should be an integral part of the proposed training effort.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

PIB 782. Professional Development: Skills for Success I. 1 Credit Hour.

This workshop will teach students the basics on how to: manage your career, choose a rotation lab / mentor, read a scientific paper, write a lab report and present in the journal club and lab meetings.
Components: LEC.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall.

PIB 783. Professional Development: Skills for Success II. 1 Credit Hour.

This workshop will teach students the basics on how to: write a fellowship and scientific paper as well as the proper and ethical handling of research data.
Components: LEC.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Spring.

PIB 784. Practical Graduate Teaching. 1 Credit Hour.

Senior graduate students have the opportunity to participate in Graduate School teaching by evaluating presentations, teaching in small groups, and mentoring first-year graduate students in the Program in Biomedical Sciences. The overarching goal is to prepare future academicians in the complex process of training accomplished, well-rounded scientists. The activities required from the students would be: Participate in the mentoring program; read and evaluate abstracts of PIBS student rotations; participate of PIBS rotation presentations, ask questions; provide feedback of rotation presentations (abstracts and oral) to PIBS students within small groups; and provide mentoring to PIBS students in PIB701 topics.
Prerequisite: PIB 701.
Components: FLD.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

PIB 785. PIBS Bioinformatics Workshop. 1 Credit Hour.

The aim of this workshop is to introduce graduate students to basic bioinformatics data retrieval and analysis as relevant to bio-medical research. The sessions will include discussion on focused topics and hands-on, project-based exercises. Only publicly available databases and web-tools will be used, no programming will be taught.
Components: WKS.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Summer.

PIB 790. Grant Writing Basics for Biomedical Graduate Students. 1 Credit Hour.

This course will provide biomedical graduate students with knowledge on how to find grant opportunities, plan for a grant submission, and write specific components of the grant application. Emphasis will be placed on F30/F31 grant submissions and how to write a training plan, selection of the sponsor and institution, training in RCR and facilities and other resources. This course is meant to complement the Introductory Writing Course offered by the Miami CTSI program and is not designed to provide in depth scientific assistance on the Specific Aims and Research Strategy sections of the proposal.
Components: WKS.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall & Summer.

PIB 791. Introduction to Data Science for Bioinformatics. 1 Credit Hour.

This course is aimed to introduce you to computing capabilities and data science tools applicable to applications in bioinformatics. This one-credit hour course should assist you in knowing the tools and computing strategies across both worlds and help you make informed decisions on your career goals. This course is divided into four modules and will be engaged for a minimum of 15 contact hours. In first module, students are introduced to an overview of computing, data analytics, and other tools such as Jupyter Notebooks, and programming in python for data processing and analytics with specific examples drawn from sequencing and bioinformatics. The second module devotes a discussion on different types of computing environments accessible to you on campus, in the cloud, and learning on ways to access them for your application specific needs. In this module we will know how to use Triton/Pegasus on campus and google/IBM cloud project. In the third module, students will work with pipelines and machine learning tools for data analytics. At the end of this module, students will know how to load, process, and analyze data for outliers using python tools and explore machine learning algorithms. In the last module, students will be required to pick problems from a stack and grouped to discuss and propose what strategies they would apply to advance knowledge in the challenge problems. Each student will submit a report on their experiences and lessons learned.
Components: LEC.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Fall.

PIB 792. Data Science for Bioinformatics. 1 Credit Hour.

This course provides an extended opportunity to upskill students interested in interdisciplinary areas of data science and bioinformatics. This week-long course is divided into three modules. During the first module, students are introduced to python programming, pipelines, and their applications in bioinformatics. The second module devotes efforts in understanding ways to design and prototype pipelines based on the sequencing datasets and questions to be analyzed. This includes a discussion on relevant machine learning algorithms. Finally, during the third modules students will be introduced to various computing architectures for scalable sequencing applications. Successful completion of this course will help students in better understanding the advanced computing and analytics tools and their gainful application in bioinformatics sequencing applications.
Components: LEC.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Summer.

PIB 830. Doctoral Dissertation. 1-12 Credit Hours.

Required for all PhD candidates. First-year students generally take one credit of doctoral dissertation in their first summer semester then continue in program specific dissertation credit through graduation.
Components: THI.
Grading: SUS.
Typically Offered: Summer.