To provide the basis for advanced research, introductory courses covering both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems are taken in the first year. First-year students obtain practical research training by participating in eight-week rotations in the investigators' laboratories of their choice. These rotations provide the basis for selecting dissertation topics and mentors. After completing the first year, students tailor their curriculum from a large list of specialized courses in genetics and molecular biology, as well as other areas of current biological sciences.

All courses emphasize critical thinking, constructive literature evaluation, and presentation skills. Seminar courses occurring each semester focus on current topics in genetics and molecular biology and are presented by investigators within and outside of Emory. Students also present their findings in research-in-progress meetings, which are attended by their peers and the faculty.

Student invited speakers, small group teaching experiences, and training in the ethical conduct of research round out the overall list of activities that occur as students conduct research and prepare their dissertation.