Graduate Program

Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics

Thank you for your interest in our program! Our department offers programs leading to both Ph.D. and M.S. degrees. Many physiologists work in colleges or universities, where they teach undergraduate, graduate, or medical students. They also guide doctoral (Ph.D.) students who will become the teachers and investigators of the future. Some do applied research in industry. In large pharmaceutical companies, physiologists play important roles in drug discovery and the development of new disease treatments. Government laboratories, hospitals, and other clinical settings also provide opportunities to focus on research. In addition, many physiologists use their knowledge and expertise to work in full-time educational jobs or as consultants. Salaries range from good to excellent, but benefits often include more than money. For instance, professors may enjoy a high degree of job security with regular opportunities for study and research at other locations throughout the world. The need to discuss research with other scientists means that travel to meetings in the U.S. and overseas is a regular part of a physiologist’s activities. Physiologists who study unusual species or the effects of environmental extremes may travel to the deserts or poles of the earth or may even journey into space. For these and other reasons, exciting and rewarding opportunities are always available for physiologists.

Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences:

Graduate studies leading to a Ph.D. degree are offered through the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine.

M.S. in Medical Sciences:

Graduate studies leading to an interdisciplinary M.S. degree in Medical Sciences are offered through the Masters Degree Programs at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine.

Certificate Program

Online graduate studies leading to a Graduate Certificate in Medical Physiology or a Graduate Certificate in Medical Physiology with a specialization in Cardiovascular/Renal Physiology at the University of Florida.

Graduate Students:

The Department is active nationally and internationally in research and teaching. A high-quality IDP gives graduate students a special education from molecular biology to whole-animal physiology. We currently have 13 graduate students under the supervision of departmental faculty. Departmental graduates have pursued various post-graduate careers including academic post-docs, industry post-docs and anti-bioterrorism work with the federal government. Recent graduates are currently performing postdoctoral studies at Harvard University, Emory University, the National Institutes of Health, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, UCSD, the University of Arizona, and the Mayo Clinic. Two of our students have studied space physiology at NASA and have contributed to space shuttle mission analysis while others have pursued careers in patent law and military research.

Student Prizes:

Our students have won several prizes and awards. Graduate students have won honors such as the American Physiological Society’s Caroline Tum Suden Award, Sigma Xi awards, Graduate Research Awards, NSF and NIH fellowships, and American Physiological Society travel prizes and awards in cardiovascular research and renal physiology, a Dupont Merck Losartan travel award, and American Heart Association graduate student fellowships. Each year the best students from each department in the College of Medicine compete for a prize based on a presentation of their research.

Graduate-level courses offered to upper-division undergraduate students:

The series consists of three independent modules (GMS 6471, 6472 and 6473). A student must have senior standing and an upper-division GPA of at least 3.00. Please contact the course director, Dr. Erin Bruce, to obtain consent (

The “Fundamentals of Physiology & Functional Genomics” courses provide exposure to fundamental physiological concepts with an emphasis on the impact of functional genomics. Three independent modules will be offered for one credit each. Students may take any combination of the three modules. Each course consists of 3-4 hours of lecture, and paper discussion each week. Each module focuses on different organ systems that cover the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, gastrointestinal and autonomic nervous systems, along with modern experimental approaches in physiology.