The program is focused on research training which begins in the first year as rotations in different laboratories and continues as the student begins potential thesis projects in a chosen mentor's laboratory. The Ph.D. thesis research involves meaningful, critical thinking and the execution of ideas in the laboratory through the use of sound scientific method. Students are guided by their mentors and a selected thesis research committee, that meets on a routine basis throughout the training experience.
Research laboratories are primarily located in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. In addition to extensive basic equipment and facilities, the program provides access to numerous specialized resources. These include facilities for peptide synthesis and sequencing, cell sorting by flow cytometry, protein purification and characterization, proteomics and microarray analysis, and biomolecular imaging.
All students receive a stipend, which is $27,000 for the 2012-2013 academic year. Stipends and tuition are available throughout the student's training experience, and are not tied to any other responsibilities, such as teaching requirements.
The Thomas Jefferson University student community totals over 2,000 students, including those enrolled in the Jefferson Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, which currently has over 600 students including 130 full-time Ph.D. candidates. Other university students are enrolled in the School of Health Professions, with over 700 students, and Jefferson Medical College, with about 250 new students admitted each year. Affordable housing is available on campus or in the surrounding community. The student body is a diverse one, with members from across the country and around the world. Many activities are coordinated by the Graduate Student Association .