PhD Degree Requirements


The department offers a graduate program in human physiology with an emphasis on research, leading to a PhD. The primary goal of this program is to provide classroom and research experiences that will allow students to grow into professionals with the knowledge and experience to be great researchers.

The program also provides students with the opportunity to grow as university-level educators. This is an individualized program with a strong emphasis on research. Decisions on accepting applicants to the graduate program are made by the faculty based on space within laboratories and financial support available, both of which vary greatly from year to year.

It is important to understand that admissions are made on an individual lab level. To be accepted into our program, a faculty member must be willing to accept you as a graduate student in their research lab.

Tish Sanchez Ramey

Graduate Coordinator: 

Tish Sánchez-Ramey
Phone number: 541-346-4337

Andrew Lovering

Director of Graduate Studies:

Andrew Lovering
Phone: 541-346-0831
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Doctorate Program Handbook

Our Student Handbook for the Research-Intensive Graduate program holds important information about our graduate program. Please review it here. 

PhD Handbook

Admissions Requirements

Recommended criteria for applying to the graduate program include the following:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited university with a GPA of 3.40 or higher on a 4.00 scale
  • Completed coursework with a grade of B+ or better in general chemistry, general biology, and two courses of physiology or combined anatomy and physiology

Minimum requirements for admission to all graduate programs include the following:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited university with a GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale
  • Completed course work with a grade of B- or better in general chemistry, general biology, and two courses of physiology or combined anatomy and physiology
  • In addition to the above requirements, applicants for whom English is not a native/primary language must meet the Division of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirement.
  • Human Physiology does not require GRE scores

Admissions Process

Admission is granted for Fall term only. The window for applications opens September 1st, 2022. The deadline for Fall 2023 admission is December 1st, 2022.

Complete the Division of Graduate Studies’ online application and pay a $70 non-refundable filing fee (International applicants $90).

Fee waiver: The Division of Graduate Studies offers waivers for applicants who meet specific criteria. Check the fee waiver information to see if you qualify. 

Apply Now

In the Human Physiology section of the online graduate application, submit the following information:

  • Faculty member(s) who you would like to work with.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Your previous coursework in chemistry, biology, and physiology
  • Unofficial copies of your transcripts

2. Arrange to have at least two letters of recommendation submitted from individuals who can attest to your potential for graduate study.

3. Applicants for whom English is not a native/primary language must show proof of proficiency. See the Division of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirement for additional information.

4. Applicants who accept an offer of admission and matriculate must submit official transcripts of prior academic. See  Official Transcript Requirement

Research PHD Program Application Tips

Thank you for your interest in our PhD program. Below are some helpful tips to ensure the smooth completion of your application.

Letters of Recommendation

You will need at least two letters of recommendation. When you enter your recommenders’ information and press SAVE, your recommenders will immediately receive an automated email with instructions on how to respond. They will be able to submit their letters prior to the submission of your application. Once emails have been sent, you will not be able to modify the recommender information. We suggest you contact your recommenders before providing their contact information on the application.

Departmental Questions

To assist in your preparations, we are providing you with the departmental questions ahead of time. We recommend preparing your answers to the questions below so you can easily copy and paste your responses to the online application later.

  • Which faculty members are you interested in working with and why? Are there other reasons you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Human Physiology at the University of Oregon? (400 words)
  • Describe up to three personal strengths that you believe will help you succeed in pursuing a graduate degree. (200 words)
  • Describe any previous research experiences. (200 words)
  • Describe any previous teaching, mentoring, or service experience, and how you approached it. (100 words)
  • Tell us about a goal you set and reached, and how you achieved it. (100 words)
  • Tell us about a goal you failed to achieve. (100 words)
  • What do you envision yourself doing after finishing a graduate degree in Human Physiology (e.g., within five years after graduating)? (200 words)
  • Describe your interests in and how you have contributed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. (200 words)

PhD Degree Requirements

The Human Physiology doctoral degree consists of a minimum of 135 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. At least 60 of these credits must be completed through Human Physiology courses.

Required Coursework

The following are required classes, if not already completed as part of earning the MS in-passing in Human Physiology at the University of Oregon:

  • Professional Skills (HPHY 611, 612, 613) [1 credit each]
  • System Physiology (HPHY 621, 622, 623) [4 credits each]
  • Students must complete at least one upper division 600 level Human Physiology class. Current options include: Signal Transduction (HPHY 640), Advanced Respiratory Physiology (HPHY 670); Human Cardiovascular Control (HPHY 676); Kinematics of Human Movement (HPHY 684); Kinetics of Human Movement (HPHY 685). New courses may be added to this list – check with the Graduate Coordinator for updates.
  • Students must complete two courses in statistical analysis (e.g., EDUC 614 & 640) covering the following topics: descriptive statistics, logic of hypothesis testing, elementary inferential statistics, confidence intervals, and introduce one-way analysis of variance, post hoc comparisons, a priori contrasts, within-subjects and between subjects effects, 2-way and higher order designs, and interactions. 
  • Dissertation (HPHY 603) [minimum of 18 credits]. These credits can’t be taken until the student has passed the comprehensive exam. 

In addition to these required elements, other Human Physiology courses and courses in other departments can be taken outside of the department to fulfill the 135-credit requirement, especially to augment the student’s training in an area unique to their research topic. All planned coursework should be discussed with the student’s advisor to determine the most beneficial set of courses for the individual student.