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The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Graduate College Bulletin

5.19 - Physiology

College of Medicine


940 Stanton L. Young Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK   73190
(405) 271-2226

Jian-Xing Ma, PhD, Chair
Siribhinya Benyajati, PhD, Graduate Liaison

For a complete listing of the departmental graduate faculty visit this web site

Master of Science
Doctor of Philosophy

Angiogenesis and Inflammation in Diabetic Retinopathy; Retinal Degeneration/Inflammation/Vitamin A Metabolism; Insulin Receptor/Phosphoinositide Signing in Retinal Diseases; Obesity-Associated Metabolic Disorders; Systemes Neurobiology of Aging and Diabetes; Cardiovascular Physiology and Neurophysiology; Gastrointestinal Disorders; Tumor, Progression, and Metastasis.

The Physiology graduate program provides comprehensive training in integrative sciences incorporating the tools and techniques of physiology with other disciplines to conduct research at the molecular, cellular, organ, and whole animal levels. The PhD program prepares students for academic careers involving research and teaching, as well as other careers where physiological training is required.

The department supports both the MS and the PhD Programs. For the PhD program, the department of Physiology is a participant in the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS) which combines the expertise of the seven programs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Microbiology & Immunology, Neuroscience, Pathology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physiology. Students wishing to enter the Physiology PhD program apply to GPiBS as described in the GPiBS section of the Bulletin. An application is filed with the Office of Admissions and is accompanied by official transcripts and results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and TOEFL for foreign applicants. Three letters of recommendation, from individuals who can address the candidate’s research potential and suitability for graduate school, are also required.  Applicants can also be admitted directly into the Physiology PhD program.

MS candidates must have previous course work in physics and organic chemistry as well as two semesters of biological sciences. The minimum Graduate Record Exam (GRE) – verbal and quantitative quantitative scores, each is typically 158-160 and 4.5 for analytical writing for both MS and PhD candidates. Application materials, including all transcripts and GRE scores, should be sent to the Office of Admissions and Records; three academic letters of recommendation and a statement of career goals should be sent directly to the Physiology Graduate Programs.

The MS degree is offered with a thesis (30 credit hours) or non-thesis (32 credit hours) option. For the thesis option four hours of PHYO 5980 are required. For either option, no more than one hour of PHYO 5971 can be taken for credit.

The minimum credit requirement for the PhD degree is 90 semester hours, of which at least 45 hours (and usually not more than 60 hours) must be taken in formal course work. The remaining hours constitute credit for research leading to the writing of an acceptable dissertation. Requirements for the degree can usually be met in four years of intensive study. During the first year, the student, who is a member of the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and will complete interdisciplinary course work emphasizing molecular aspects of cell and organismal biology, along with four research rotations that can span multiple programs at OUHSC. For the subsequent years, the student enters the Physiology PhD program, takes advanced physiology classes, and perform dissertation research in close collaboration with the major professor and doctorate committee.

Individuals who graduate with a PhD in Physiology have a number of exciting and rewarding career opportunities in academic research, teaching, biotechnology, government laboratories, industry, and health-related organizations.

Current Courses:  Search PHYO prefix courses found online at

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