Each academic year, approximately 45 students are admitted to the University of Virginia as a class, or cohort, of Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) doctoral students. First year students typically take an immersive 12-week core course and complete three 6-week laboratory rotations. They then select advanced courses in their area of interest from a menu of over 40 6-week advanced modules, which they take during the remaining part of their 1st and 2nd year. During the spring semester of the 1st year, students select a thesis adviser and a department or academic program from which they will take the Ph.D. qualifying examination (in year two) and eventually be awarded a Ph.D. degree. Thesis advisers act as academic and research advisors from year two to graduation and can be any approved full-time or affiliated University of Virginia faculty member.