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The graduate training program in Space Life Sciences at Texas A&M University is sponsored by:
NASA NSBRI
Model Plan

Model Plan for Ph.D. Students in Kinesiology, Nuclear Engineering, Nutrition, or a M.D./Ph.D. in Medical Sciences Seeking a Certificate in Space Life Sciences

Model Plan for Students Seeking a Ph.D. in Kinesiology and the Certificate in Space Life Sciences (Total number of required hours: 17):

Year One

Fall Semester

KINE 646 - Fundamentals of Space Life Sciences

Spring Semester

VMID 686 - Scientific Ethics
KINE 681 - Seminar in Space Life Sciences

Summer Semester

KINE 685 - NASA/Johnson Space Center (JSC), Clear Lake, TX

Year Two

Fall Semester

Students can select from the following courses:

  1. Nutritional Biochemistry I (NUTR 641) and
  2. Theory and Applications of Microdosimetry (NUEN 615).
Spring Semester

Classes and workshops coordinated by the Center for Teaching Excellence.
If desired, apply for a position in the NASA Space Radiation Summer School.
Abstracts should be submitted for presentations at national meetings.

Summer Semester

Students can select from the following Directed Studies summer training programs (KINE 685):

  1. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and/or
  2. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY.

Year Three

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters

Students can select from the following courses:

  1. Nutritional Biochemistry I (NUTR 641) and
  2. Theory and Applications of Microdosimetry (NUEN 615).

Students can select from the following Directed Studies summer training programs (KINE 685):

  1. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and/or
  2. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY.

Year Four

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters

Continue research program. Presentations at national meetings are expected as are the first publications generated by the research program.

Year Five

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters

When needed, research should be nearing completions, manuscripts published and dissertations written and defended.

Model Plan for Students Seeking a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and the Certificate in Space Life Sciences (Total number of required hours: 17):

Year One

Fall Semester

NUEN 646 - Fundamentals of Space Life Sciences

Spring Semester

VMID 686 - Scientific Ethics
NUEN 681 - Seminar in Space Life Sciences

Summer Semester

NUEN 685 - NASA/Johnson Space Center (JSC), Clear Lake, TX

Year Two

Fall Semester

Students can select from the following courses:

  1. Nutritional Biochemistry I (NUTR 641) and
  2. Applied Exercise Physiology (KINE 649).
Spring Semester

Classes and workshops coordinated by the Center for Teaching Excellence.
Apply for a position in the NASA Space Radiation Summer School.
Abstracts should be submitted for presentations at national meetings.

Summer Semester

Students can select from the following Directed Studies summer training programs (NUEN 685):

  1. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and/or
  2. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY.

Year Three

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters

Students can select from the following courses:

  1. Nutritional Biochemistry I (NUTR 641) and
  2. Applied Exercise Physiology (KINE 649).

Students can select from the following Directed Studies summer training programs (NUEN 685):

  1. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and/or
  2. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY.

Presentations at national meetings are expected by this year.

Year Four

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters

Continue research program. Presentations at national meetings are expected as are the first publications generated by the research program.

Year Five

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters

When needed, research should be nearing completions, manuscripts published and dissertations written and defended.

Model Plan for Students Seeking a. Ph.D. in Nutrition and the Certificate in Space Life Sciences (Total number of required hours: 17)

Year One

Fall Semester

NUTR 646 - Fundamentals of Space Life Sciences

Spring Semester

VMID 686 - Scientific Ethics
NUTR 681 - Seminar in Space Life Sciences

Summer Semester

NUTR 685 - NASA/Johnson Space Center (JSC), Clear Lake, TX

Year Two

Fall Semester

Students can select from the following courses:

  1. Applied Exercise Physiology (KINE 649) and
  2. Theory and Applications of Microdosimetry (NUEN 615).
Spring Semester

Participate in classes and workshops coordinated by the Center for Teaching Excellence.
If desired, apply for a position in the NASA Space Radiation Summer School.
Abstracts should be submitted for presentations at national meetings.

Summer Semester

Students can select from the following Directed Studies summer training programs (NUTR 685):

  1. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and/or
  2. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY.

Year Three

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters

Students can select from the following courses:

  1. Applied Exercise Physiology (KINE 649) and
  2. Theory and Applications of Microdosimetry (NUEN 615).

Students can select from the following Directed Studies summer training programs (NUTR 685):

  1. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and/or
  2. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY.

Presentations at national meetings are expected by this year.

Year Four

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters

Continue research program. Presentations at national meetings are expected as are the first publications generated by the research program.

Year Five

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters

When needed, research should be nearing completions, manuscripts published and dissertations written and defended.

Model Plan for Students Seeking a M.D./Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from the Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Certificate in Space Life Sciences:

A M.D./Ph.D. student can pursue either of two sequences of study. For sequence 1, a student will do the first two years of medical school classes (primarily basic sciences) and take the USMLE Step I Exam. The student will then undertake their Ph.D. training, which normally takes between 3-4 years. After defending their Ph.D. dissertation, the student then completes their medical training by undertaking the third and fourth year medical curriculum. In sequence 2, a student completes the first three years of the medical school curriculum, taking the USMLE Step I Exam in May or early June of the second year and the Step II and Clinical Skills exam in late June of their third year. The student will then undertake their Ph.D. training, which normally takes between 3-4 years. After defending their Ph.D. dissertation, the student then completes their last year of medical training. A typical course of study for a student following sequence 1 is shown below.

Year One

June-July

MSCI 685 - Directed Studies/Research Rotation (3 hours)

August-June

First Year Medical Curriculum (~50 hours)
M.D./Ph.D. Journal Club (no credit)

Year Two

June-July

Research Rotation (no credit)

August-early May

Second Year Medical Curriculum (~50 hours)
M.D./Ph.D. Journal Club (no credit)

May-early June

USMLE Step 1 Exam

Year Three

June-August

MSCI 691 - Research (3 hours)
STAT 651 - Statistics in Research or an equivalent biostatistics course (3 hours)

Sept-May

MSCI 687 - Ethics and Professionalism (1 hour)
KINE/NUEN/NUTR 646 - Fundamentals of Space Life Sciences (3 hours)
Required Courses for tracks in Medical Sciences (minimum of 6 hours)
KINE/NUEN/NUTR 681-610 - Space Life Sciences Seminar (1 hour)
MSCI 691 - Research
MD/PhD Journal Club (no credit)

Year Four

June-August

KINE/NUEN/NUTR 685 - NASA Johnson Space Center, Clear Lake, Tx (3 hours)

Sept-May

Electives – Students will select one course from amongst the following:

  1. NUTR 641 - Nutritional Biochemistry (3 hours)
  2. NUEN 615 - Theory and Applications of Microdosimetry (3 hours)
  3. KINE 649 - Applied Exercise Physiology. Any student taking Structure and Function of Human Organ Systems (MEID 905) will not be required to take KINE 649

Electives – Any courses needed to complete the requirements for a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences
MSCI 691 - Research
M.D./Ph.D. Journal Club (no credit)
Qualifying Exam

Year Five

June-May

MSCI 691 - Research
M.D./Ph.D. Journal Club (no credit)

Year Six

June-May

MSCI 691 - Research
M.D./Ph.D. Journal Club (no credit)
Defend Ph.D. Dissertation

Year Seven

June-May

Third Year Medical Curriculum (~50 hours)

Year Eight

June-May

Fourth Year Medical Curriculum (~50 hours)
USMLE Step II Exam
USMLE Clinical Skills Exam
Graduate