University of Washington

Certificate Program Requirements

Required Courses

Students will be required to complete 15 units of graded courses, and to participate in training that distinguishes the Molecular Medicine Graduate Certificate Program from existing Ph.D. Graduate Certificate Programs at the UW. The defining elements of the curriculum are:

  • Molecular Medicine course (MOLMED 514 - 3 credits)
  • ONE of the following clinically focused courses:
    • Two quarters of Chief of Medcine Rounds (MOLMED 540 - 3 credits total)
    • A mentored Clinical Rotation in Medical Genetics (MOLMED 513 - 4 credits)
    • General Pathology (PATH 544 - 3 credits)
  • Demonstrate proficiency in statistics by doing ONE of the following:
    • Take statistics course relevant to biomedical research, such as Statistical Genetics (GENOME 560)
    • Take a similar online statistics course
    • Provide a transcript showing completion of a statistics course at another university and/or prior to beginning PhD studies.

In addition, students will be required to complete graded elective credits, to bring the total number of credits for the certificate to 15. Up to 6 elective credits may overlap with electives that count toward the PhD program.

Thesis Advisor

The faculty member who is the primary Thesis Advisor of a student in the MMTP must satisfy the criteria listed below, which are essentially those defined by the UW Graduate School and the National Institutes of Health:

  1. Appropriate research area and research record.
  2. Funding (or promise in obtaining funding, for junior faculty).
  3. Training record (or promise as trainers, for junior faculty).
  4. Holds either a Ph.D. or M.D. degree; or both degrees.
  5. Graduate school appointment, as required by the university.
  6. Active participation in graduate training and recruiting.
  7. Ability to provide effective training in responsible conduct of research.

Dual Mentorship of Thesis Research

Each Molecular Medicine trainee will be paired with a physician-scientist or translational research faculty member (or “Clinical Mentor”) to provide co-mentorship for his or her Ph.D. thesis, and to aid in preparation of the Year 4 Capstone presentation. The choice of Clinical Mentor will be determined by the student's thesis research goals and home laboratory. The role of the Clinical Mentor will be to provide a clinical perspective on the thesis research project, to facilitate interaction with patients, access to clinical samples or to translational research opportunities where appropriate, and to provide scientific and career guidance. In many cases, an appropriate Clinical Mentor will be readily identified by the Thesis Advisor. The Molecular Medicine Clinical Advisory Committee, headed by Dr. Conrad Liles and consisting of physicians who devote significant time to patient care and clinical investigation, will be available to work with trainees to identify a Clinical Mentor with expertise most appropriate to the trainee's interests and research.

Capstone Presentation (Year 4)

Students will work with their two mentors to present thesis research and discuss implications of their ongoing and proposed research for understanding human disease and for informing or directing clinical and translational research. This presentation will typically take place a year or more before the thesis presentation; and unlike the thesis defense, it need not focus on research results but on background and context for the research. It will not be credit bearing.

Half-day capstone mini-symposia are held two or three times a year. Student presentations should be about half an hour (20-25 minutes, plus time for questions). Presenters will receive individual feedback from Molecular Medicine faculty, as well as anonymous feedback from their peers via a short evaluation form.

Requirements for Award of the Molecular Medicine Certificate

Award of the Molecular Medicine Graduate Certificate will recognize that a student:

  • has mastered foundation knowledge defined by required courses;
  • has achieved fluency in the language of medicine;
  • has received practical, mentored experience in applying scientific and technological advances to the understanding and treatment of human disease.

Completion of the Molecular Medicine Training Certificate Program will require that students complete the course requirements listed above; receiveing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for courses required for the Certificate; complete the Capstone Presentation; and complete thesis research and submission of the Ph.D. thesis, as required by each student's home department or program.

Certificate Program