PhD Rotation Program

The College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) has developed the Biomedical Sciences PhD Rotation Program as an additional process to attract and engage quality students in biomedical research training and the associated doctoral curriculum.  This program selects up to four uncommitted prospective PhD students through a competitive and holistic application review process for admission to the Biomedical Sciences PhD each fall semester.  Rotations serve as a mechanism for laboratory and doctoral mentor selection; they also are an important opportunity for students to receive training in laboratory-specific techniques, methods, and instrumentation that will help them prepare for success as a doctoral student and in their future career path.  Upon admission, students joining the rotation program will choose three laboratories from a list of faculty participating in the Biomedical Sciences PhD Rotation Program that year and will spend 8 weeks in each of the three chosen laboratories during their first year.  Students participating in the rotation process will conduct a project associated with the work of each laboratory that may even result in manuscript authorship or other substantial achievements despite the relatively short rotation experience.  Each rotation student will be formally evaluated by the PI for that laboratory at the conclusion of the 8-week rotation.   At the conclusion of the three rotations and with feedback from the participating students and faculty, the CVM Office of Research and Graduate Studies will facilitate the matching of students with a doctoral dissertation mentor and the transition to a curricular track and research project to begin after the rotation period.

The CVM Office of Research and Graduate Studies will provide the following for each student participating in the rotation program during their first year:

  • A graduate research assistantship with an annual stipend of $22,000 in year one for the four students participating in the rotation program.  The faculty mentor selected at the end of the rotation process in year one is responsible for the stipend thereafter.
  • Payment of tuition and fees at an approximate cost of $9,400 for minimum full-time enrollment in fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  • The faculty mentor selected at the conclusion of the rotation process is responsible for funding the assistantship and any other required tuition and/or fees at the start of the student’s second fall semester.


PhD Applicants

All prospective students who complete the Apply Texas application and provide the appropriate materials for admission review by January 15 are eligible to be considered for the rotation program.

  • Applicants can continue to identify the name of a potential faculty mentor on their application for admission or can type “ROTATION PROGRAM” in place of the name of a mentor instead.
  • All applicants are considered uncommitted and eligible for the rotation program unless a faculty member communicates to the CVM graduate admission coordinator, Katharina Ojala, that they would like to initiate the traditional direct admission process.
  • In addition to the holistic review of applications, the Graduate Admissions Committee will select a set of uncommitted applicants to invite for an interview with questions related the applicant’s perseverance, goals, and overall preparedness for doctoral training.
  • Applicants will receive notification about the rotation program acceptance decision (accept or decline) by mid-February, along with information on how to pursue the direct admission process if they have not been chosen for the rotation program.
  • Applicants who accept an offer of admission to the rotation program are required to complete the 3 rotations before joining their permanent laboratory in the CVM.
  • Applicants must understand that admission to the rotation program does not guarantee acceptance to their first choice of laboratory at the end of the rotation process.