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Graduate Studies Program

Graduate Studies Curriculum

2013-2014-AMC-GSP-COURSE LIST-8-1-13


First Year
All first year basic science graduate students take AMC 510: Biochemistry and AMC 511: Molecular Cell Biology in the fall. These two courses are designed to cover the general principles of cell biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology common to all graduate programs within the institution. This curriculum will prepare the student for more specialized courses beginning in the spring semester of the first year and extending into Interdisciplinary Research Center (IRC) based courses in subsequent years. Each topic area is covered from a historical perspective but emphasis is placed on current experimental research.

First year students will also take AMC 515: Foundations in Biomedical Research, which is an interactive round-table format class. This course introduces students to experimental approaches used in biomedical research. 

First year students will also enroll in AMC 502: Research Colloquium in the Biomedical Sciences during the fall that meets once each week for student presentations and round-table discussions in areas that are consistent with the IRCs at the Albany Medical College. These groups complement, yet are independent of, the lecture components of the first year program. The objective of this course is to gain sufficient skill to identify important experimental findings (or flaws) within a given specific paper.

During the spring semester, students take specialized courses within their selected training program in two eight-week modules (mid-January to late March and late March to late May). These flagship courses will be in the areas of Cell Biology and Cancer Research, Immunology and Microbial Disease, Cardiovascular Sciences, and Neuropharmacology & Neuroscience.

Course Work Beyond the First Year of Graduate Study
Following the first year of graduate study, Ph.D. and M.S. students complete a series of course requirements established by the different training programs that includes advanced coursework, student participation in research colloquia and student seminars. All Ph.D. students are required to take a minimum of 24 credit hours of didactic course work and all M.S. students are required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours of didactic course work (including the Research Topics Colloquia taken in the first year).

All full-time students must be registered for a minimum of 10 credits per semester.


To view more details about the graduate studies curriculum, please select from the following: 

 COURSE WORK AND CREDIT HOURS - Normal course load for a full time student consists of 10 to 16 credit hours each semester. The lower and upper limits of full time registration are 10 and 18 credits each semester. A maximum of 15 credit hours of research each semester may be recorded. Matriculated students registering for course loads outside this range are required to receive the approval of the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies.

In the Center for Nurse Anesthesiology, credit for graduate-level practicum courses is allocated according to the individual course and ranges from 200 to 300 practicum hours per credit hour. In the Center for Physician Assistant Studies credits for graduate level full time rotations ranges in 40 hours per week or 160 to 200 hours per credit hour.

Courses for graduate credit must be approved by the Executive Committee as recommended by the Curriculum Committee, through the Graduate Studies Operating Committee. New graduate-level courses to be considered for approval must be submitted to the Curriculum Committee by the graduate faculty responsible for the course and accompanied by a detailed course description. Each credit for graduate-level courses is allocated on the basis of 15 lecture hours for didactic courses or 30 laboratory hours for research courses. Courses given at other institutions require the review and recommendation for approval by the Curriculum Committee, through the Graduate Studies Operating Committee. The final approval must come from the Executive Committee to be eligible for graduate credit at The Albany Medical College. The Executive Committee must approve all courses, and the Office of the Graduate Studies Program shall give notice of approval to the Registrar in writing.

COURSE EVALUATIONS - The Curriculum Committee reviews information from student and faculty evaluations of courses taught each semester and makes recommendations to the Graduate Studies Operating Committee, Student evaluations, using instruments designed by the Graduate Student Organization in concert with the Curriculum Committee and processed anonymously online with the summary of results forwarded to the Curriculum Committee. Faculty evaluations of courses are gathered by the course director and forwarded to the Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum Committee has responsibility for comparing previous year's evaluations and making recommendations to the Executive Committee through the Graduate Studies Operating Committee.

COURSE CANCELLATION - A request to cancel a course may be made by the Course Director if less than five students register for the course. When a request is made to cancel a course the Curriculum Committee will review and advise the Center Directors on the impact of the course cancellation. Then the Center Directors, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies, and the Vice Dean for Academic Administration will vote on the request for course cancellation within 48 hours of the course director's request.

GRADING SYSTEM AND REPORTING OF GRADES - All courses that have been approved for graduate credit are graded as follows: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, or F. For each credit hour earned, numerical values are allotted to these grades as follows: A=4, A-=3.7, B+=3.3, B=3, B-=2.7, C+=2.3, C=2, C-=1.7, D=1, and F=0. These numerical values are multiplied by the number of credit hours allotted in each course to obtain "quality points." The grade point average (gpa) is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours. The grades of D and F are not acceptable for course credit toward a graduate degree but will be used in calculating the gpa. Research credits are submitted as S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). Other courses with the recommended approval of the Curriculum Committee may be graded as P (Pass) or F (Fail) Grades of S/U or P/F are not included in gpa calculations. Aspects of professionalism may be incorporated into the grade.

The criteria for assigning the grade of S (Satisfactory) include enthusiasm for research, excellent work-ethic, independent thinking, keeping current with the literature, conducting experiments in an appropriate and timely manner, thoroughly analyzing the data, keeping excellent records of the experimental procedures and outcomes, writing the results in the form of abstracts, manuscripts, and presentations, and the ability to interact well with others in the laboratory.

If the student's mentor believes that the student is not performing up to expected standards the mentor may assign a grade of U (Unsatisfactory).

The criteria to be considered for receiving a grade of P (Pass) includes enthusiasm for the material presented, class participation, an excellent work-ethic, reading the literature, conducting experiments and/or completing assignments in an appropriate and timely manner. If the student does not perform at the expected level during the course, the course director may assign a grade of F (Fail).

APPEAL OF A GRADUATE STUDIES COURSE GRADE - Students may appeal a course for two weeks from the date that they are notified of the grade. The appeal must be made directly to the Course Director in writing. The Course Director may: recalculate the numerical grade; review the final examination or clinical examination grade; or clarify comments or input from mentors on the clinical rotation. The Course Director does not have to show the student all of their evaluation sheets but must summarize the contents. Students should not meet with individual faculty or clinical preceptors to question evaluations without the approval of the Course Director. All disputes regarding grades should be mediated / coordinated by the Course Director. If a student is dissatisfied with the results of the discussions with the Course Director then he/she may request that the Graduate Director and the IRC Director or Clinical Masters Director review the issue. This request must be in writing. If a student still is dissatisfied, the student must detail their dissatisfaction in a letter to the Vice Dean for Academic Administration with a copy to the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies. The Vice Dean will convene the Dean's Committee. The Dean's Committee is composed of  the Vice Dean for Academic Administration, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies, Associate Dean for Medical Education, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Services. The meeting of the Dean's Committee will be convened within one month after grades are distributed. The Dean's Committee will arrange a forum that includes: the Course Director; the Graduate Director of the department and the IRC Director or Director of the Clinical Masters Program; Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies; the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Services and the student. The Committee will be chaired by the Vice Dean for Academic Administration or his designee. All parties may present their positions and discuss the issues. The meeting will result in a final grade determination. Furthermore, a student has the right to put a letter stating their dissatisfaction with a grade in their file if the resolution doesn't support the student's point of view.

CROSS-REGISTRATION COURSES - Graduate courses taken at other institutions through cross-registration will be included in calculating the gpa. Courses taken at other institutions prior to admission shall not be calculated in the gpa, although such courses may be used to fulfill the degree requirements. Subject to recommended approval by the Progress Committee, a student may remediate or repeat a didactic course in which a grade of C, D, or F was received. Although both grades will appear on the transcript, only the remediated or repeated grade will be used to calculate the gpa. All recommended approvals made by the Progress Committee must receive the approval of both the Graduate Studies Operating Committee and the Executive Committee before they are put in to effect.

Grades should be recorded by Student Records within one week after the end of the course. If a student fails to complete course requirements the grade of incomplete (I) will be recorded on the transcript and the student will be notified. All requirements in a course must be completed within one month following the last day of examinations in that course. An incomplete (I) will be converted to Failure (F) on the transcript, if the student fails to complete all requirements. Exceptions may be granted for health or emergency reasons.

TRANSFER OF CREDIT - A request to transfer credit to meet a specific Albany Medical College center requirement or elective should be initiated by the student's Center and forwarded to the Office of the Graduate Studies Program. The letter should clearly state which Center requirement or elective each transferred course would replace and should provide assessment of the course in terms of 1) the course(s) to be transferred must be graduate level or equivalent; 2) the course content compared to the course that it is intended to replace, and 3), in the case of courses taken several years ago, the appropriateness of the course's material in the current field of study; 4) The student must have received a grade of at least B or 3.0 in the course(s) requested for transfer. The supporting documentation must include a detailed description of the course(s) and a certified transcript, and in addition, a student may be required to take a competency examination. Given that the student will be receiving an Albany Medical College degree, he/she should generally not transfer more than half of their total AMC didactic credits; however students may request on a case-by-case basis that additional credits be transferred. Research credits earned at other institutions are not transferable. Requests for transfer of credit must be made within the first year of study in the program. The Curriculum Committee will evaluate the courses for transfer and will recommend the credits for each course. The Committee will determine whether the credits to be transferred are appropriate for fulfilling Graduate Studies Program requirements and will make the appropriate recommendations to the Graduate Studies Operating Committee for review prior to presenting the final recommendation to the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee will determine the number of credits acceptable for transfer and will submit their decision and the certified transcript to the Registrar. The approved courses shall be entered on the Albany Medical College Graduate Studies Program transcript showing institution, course title, and credit hours. Grades earned at another institution or program will not be used to calculate the gpa for Albany Medical College graduate students. The above does not apply to grades earned at another institution through cross-registration or by other approved mechanisms while a matriculated student at Albany Medical College.

A student who has completed a course or degree program in the Graduate Studies Program of the Albany Medical College may, within two years, transfer all non-research credits with a grade of A or B into a graduate program, at the request of the Center Graduate Director. These grades will be reflected in the gpa with the recommendation of the Curriculum Committee and approval of the Executive Committee.

If a continuously matriculated student transfers from one Center to another while pursuing the same degree, research and course credits are transferable, subject to the approval of the new Center. The Curriculum Committee, with the support of both Centers, will determine whether the results of a successfully completed Written Preliminary Examination may be transferred from one Center to another. Recommendation for action will be made to the Graduate Studies Operating Committee for review prior to presenting the recommendation to the Executive Committee.

If a continuously matriculated student transfers from the Masters degree program to the Doctoral degree program (which requires the approval of the Center and the Graduate Studies Operating Committee), all research and didactic credits are transferable.

AUDITING OF COURSES - Auditing students are permitted to register, but not for credit, in any course approved for graduate credit. The audit must be approved by the Course Director and by the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies prior to registration. Limitations and tuition charges set for non-matriculated Students apply. Audit shall be indicated on the transcript by the designation AUD. A course taken for audit credit cannot, at a later time, be used for credit or to satisfy degree requirements for that course.

COURTESY COURSE ATTENDANCE - Students, fellows, and other staff members of Albany Medical Center may attend lectures in a course with permission of the instructor and/or supervisor without registration. Courtesy course attendance cannot be considered as registration for auditing of courses. Such individuals may not register at a later time in order to claim credit for such attendance.

REGISTRATION - Responsibility for notifying graduate students of critical dates such as registration rests with the Office of the Graduate Studies Program in conjunction with the Office of Student Records. Students must be registered continuously (for every semester) until completion of the Defense of Thesis, or request a Leave of Absence. Students must register by the date specified or be subject to a late fee of $20. Registration for matriculated students is accomplished through a computerized registration process.

ADD/DROP COURSES - A student may add a course prior to the completion of 30% of the course, based on total contact hours. The procedure for withdrawal is to use the Add/Drop form together with the written approval of the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies. A student may withdraw from a course prior to completion of 30 percent of the course. Such withdrawals shall be indicated on the transcript by W. A student withdrawing from a course after 30% of the course has been completed but prior to completion of 60% will receive a grade of W/P (withdrawn/ passing) or W/F (withdrawn/failing) at the discretion of the Course Director. The determination of 30% and 60% is based upon total contact hours. W, W/P, and W/F are not used to calculate the GPA and a course in which a student has received one of these grades does not count in the determination of credits for full time student status. Requests for course withdrawal after completion of 60 percent of a course will be denied. Exceptions may be made if a health or emergency reason exists. The Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies, after consultation with the Course Director, will decide on the validity of any requested exception.