Program Overview

The joint KGI-Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences program at City of Hope is designed for ambitious individuals who are interested in pursuing a variety of research-oriented careers related to medicine. In year one, students will take rigorous graduate-level courses in applied biomedical sciences offered by KGI, a pioneer of the professional science master's degree. In the second year, students will produce leading-edge research that discovers fundamental mechanisms of diseases and develops novel therapeutic strategies at the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, a world-class biomedical research institute with expertise in therapeutics, population science and stem cell research.


First Year
  • Core Science - 12 units
  • Professional Development - 3 units
  • Advanced Technical Course - 15 units
Second Year
  • Research Thesis Capstone (Summer, Fall and Spring) - 30 units
Total: 60 units

Capstone - Master's Research Thesis

First Year
  • Independent research (Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences): student is expected to broadly define a thesis research project
Second Year - Summer
  • Develop project, establish thesis mentor and thesis committee
  • Training in responsible conduct of research and laboratory safety training
Second Year - Fall Semester
  • Hypothesis/goal and aims paper (must be approved by thesis committee)
  • Lead discussion on a topic (KGI)
  • Preliminary thesis (complete draft of all sections except Results, Discussion and Methods)
  • Presentation of preliminary thesis to committee members
Second Year - Spring Semester
  • Lead discussion on a topic (KGI)
  • Completes remaining thesis sections; thesis submission and thesis defense
  • Public presentation/research symposium at KGI


During the independent research, students will be working closely with research staff, postdocs or Ph.D. students, and will give an oral presentation on their work at the end of the school year.