The reproductive physiology program differs from most graduate programs at West Virginia University in several ways. First, it is an interdisciplinary doctoral program. The preparation of an M.S. thesis is considered an important component of earning the Ph.D. degree, because writing skills have become so integral to success in a scientific career. Thus the M.S. is integral to the doctoral program, not a separate program. Students may enter the program with an M.S. from another institution or another program at WVU, or may enter with a B.S. and complete an M.S. en route to the Ph.D.
Second, the emphasis of the program is to provide a high quality apprenticeship in research in reproductive biology. In the past, many of our doctoral graduates have gone directly into academic positions or research roles in government or industry without the necessity for postdoctoral education. The program remains small, by design, but demand for our graduates is strong.
Finally, the program, initiated in 1965, is one of only two interdisciplinary programs of long standing in the institution. The specialization of several faculty members in endocrinology, neuroendocrinology and molecular genetics strengthens the program and provides additional breath of experience for students. Faculty members are located in the Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, and the Departments of Biology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Physiology and Pharmacology. The faculty role in the program is entirely in the education of graduate students in research. Course offerings for our students come from several departments, with only the course in endocrinology of reproduction (An. Phys.) and our seminar and journal club, in the Division of Animal and Nutritional Science, being uniquely designed and offered for students in the program.
Current research includes work with dairy and beef cattle, and sheep.
The program is recognized both nationally and internationally as a program of excellence and is called upon regularly for presentations at international symposia, invited reviews, roles in scientific societies and as peer reviewers.
Entrance requirements include two semesters each of organic chemistry and physics, and courses in calculus, genetics, and embryology. Applicants are expected to request letters from three referees and present a statement of their long term goals.