Ph.D. Degree Program

Program for the Ph.D. Degree

Our graduate program is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to graduate level topics in diverse areas of biology.  We have designed a set of four courses exclusively for graduate students.  These courses are intended to broaden and deepen your thinking in biological concepts, research, quantitative hypothesis testing and pedagogy. 

Students can also participate in other courses as well as independent study with individual faculty.  Since most course requirements are usually completed in the first year, you then have time to engage fully in individual research projects by the second year.
Graduate Handbook (current version, 2014).

Course Requirements 

Other courses as deemed appropriate based on strengths, weaknesses, and interests of the individual. At least 16 course credits are required, of which 9 credits are met by BIOL-501 and 502, with no more than 8 credits coming from courses with numbers below 350.  Please see the Graduate Catalog for detailed course descriptions, or follow this link.

Other Requirements

  • Minimum of three years of residency. 
  • Teaching experience as a Teaching Fellow for at least 2 semesters. 
  • Passing grade on the Qualifying Examination at the end of the first full year. 
  • Passing grade on the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination at the end of the third full year.   (The Comprehensive Examination is prepared by a student's thesis committee and is  individualized for each student.)
  • Ph.D. thesis and defense with a departmental thesis seminar.