Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Group

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Academic Advising

Course advising is the responsibility of the Advising Committee. In view of the diversity of the students in the program, the Committee reviews the background of each student, and in consultation with the student, decides on his or her curriculum. The goal is to provide a flexible yet structured program so students of diverse backgrounds will receive the appropriate training for their research interests.

Each incoming student meets individually with the Advising Committee during orientation week to select his or her fall courses, and at the end of December to select spring courses. A group meeting is held in early May to discuss summer lab rotations. Rising second year students meet individually with the Advising Committee mid-July to discuss fall courses and at the end of December to select spring courses, although some students may not need this second meeting if they have fulfilled all course requirements.

Students are assigned a student mentor as soon as they are accepted into the program. The role of the mentor is to provide informal advice on more general aspects of graduate education, such as adjustment to graduate life, guidance in career paths, and to advise a student in choosing a Thesis Advisor.

In addition to the regular advising provided by the Advising Committee, the BMB Graduate Group and its umbrella organization, Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) provides support and training for other practical issues of being a Ph.D student. These include topics such as scientific writing, applying for fellowships, how to get the most out of your thesis committee.

Career Services provides a wealth of career information on its website. It works with all Penn students to help them define career goals through individual counseling and workshops on a wide range of topics from resume writing to interview to networking. It also sponsors on-campus recruiting sessions and maintains lists of job opportunities.