Program Overview

The Biology Graduate Program at Fisk University has two tracks (MS and MA)

  1. The Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program, a thesis-based MS degree program exclusively for students who are committed to pursuing a PhD and a career in research. The Masters phase of the Bridge Program is research-intensive and is unique in that you take classes at both Fisk and Vanderbilt and receive mentoring and support from faculty and staff at both institutions. Your thesis committee will have faculty members from Fisk and from Vanderbilt, and we will encourage you and help you to make connections with Vanderbilt programs. During your first two years, you will carry out your thesis research in a lab at Fisk University. We have faculty members engaged in molecular biology, genetics, cancer biology, neuroscience, host-pathogen interactions, bioinformatics, structural biology, and health disparities research. You are not “locked in” to attending Vanderbilt for the PhD; many students opt to continue to Vanderbilt for their PhD, but we also have had students continue on to PhD Programs at Yale, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, and Meharry Medical College. Unfortunately, the way this program is structured and supported by federal grants, we cannot support students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

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  2. The Fisk University non-thesis-based Master of Arts in Biology Program. A non-thesis MA degree program for students wanting additional training before pursuing medical school, other professional schools, transitions from other fields into biology and biomedical careers, and those currently in teaching and industry professions seeking personal development and advancement. This degree is based on coursework at Fisk in molecular biology, biochemistry, cancer biology, bioinformatics, and related fields, and does not require a thesis. This program is open to U.S. and international students regardless of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.

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Other Requirements

  • Meet with Thesis Committee, choose defense date, submit summary
  • Strongly consider presenting your work at major conferences

Summer of Second Year

BIOL 599Thesis Preparation