The ILS curriculum is specifically designed to facilitate the transition to graduate research and education. The first semester is structured to engage students in meaningful research experiences and to teach good research practices through innovative curriculum. Research rotations provide an opportunity for students to explore the breadth and depth of life science research available at UGA through the ILS program before formally committing to a thesis project and advisor.

Fall Semester Coursework

Required Courses

  • GRSC 8000. Rotations – Three 6-week rotations. Students can request a rotation with ANY of our 200+ ILS-affiliated faculty members that are drawn from 15 departments / institutes. Students can expect to have 30+ hours of time per week for research-related activities.
  • GRSC 8010. Professional Development for ILS Students– This 7-week discussion-based class provides guidance on all the activities needed to become a successful professional scientist. Taught in the 1st half of Fall semester.
  • GRSC 8550. Responsible Conduct of Research – This 7-week discussion-based class delves into the impact of science on society, the importance of ethics in science, proper data management, and the value of proper mentoring, among other topics. Taught in the 2nd half of Fall semester.
  • GRSC 8020. Critical Reading of the Primary Scientific Literature – This semester-long class teaches you how to deconstruct and understand primary literature at a level needed for becoming a successful graduate student. Topics emphasize both foundation and emerging topics.

Elective Courses (choose one)

  • GRSC 8015. Biological Data Management – This semester-long class teaches you how to solve non-trivial challenges frequently encountered when managing complex and heterogeneous biological data sets. Topics include standard operating procedures for collecting and managing data including metadata, quality control of data capture and annotation, and covers both digital and non-digital types of data.
  • Grant Writing (various course numbers) – These semester-long classes teach grant-writing skills with the goal of preparing a fellowship or other grant proposal for submission to an external agency as part of the class.
  • LLED 7768 / LLED 7769. These language development seminars are designed to improve the language skills of an international student that might seek future stipend support through a Teaching assistantship. Performance on the IELTS or Speak test section of the TOEFL is used to gauge whether any of these courses are required (see here).

Spring Semester Coursework

The second semester marks the start of thesis research. After deciding upon a thesis advisor and graduate program, ILS students matriculate into a department- or institute-based graduate program and formally become a student of the chosen program. All students must meet the degree requirements of the chosen graduate program in order to receive a graduate degree. In general, most require a defined set of coursework, successful completion of advancement to candidacy exams, and a body of work that satisfies the requirements of the degree being sought. For details on program-specific requirements, please refer to the websites of participating units.