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.  Our courses are intended to broaden and deepen your thinking in biological concepts, research, and quantitative hypothesis testing. Additionally, students participate in independent study with individual faculty.  Since most course requirements are usually completed in the first year, students will have time to engage fully in individual research projects by the second year.

Course Requirements

 A minimum of 16 course credits are required for the Ph.D. degree, 3 credits are met by the Graduate Survival Skills course BIOL-505.  Other courses to be taken will be based on strengths, weaknesses, and interests of the individual student. The remaining courses can be taken from the Department of Biology – courses numbered 350 or above (no more than 8 credits can come from courses with numbers below 350 and these require special permission) – or from the Medical Center.  Please see the Graduate Catalog for detailed course descriptions.  Courses taken through the consortium of Universities will also apply to the program.

Other Requirements

  • Minimum of three years of residency. 
  •  Teaching experience as a Teaching Fellow for at least 2 semesters 
  •  Teaching pedagogy by completion of 5 workshops offered through the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship.  Completion of the Apprenticeship in Teaching Certification (AT program) is optional (requires 6 workshops and 4 tasks). 
  •  A passing grade on the Qualifying Examination taken during the first full year.  
  •  A passing grade on the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination taken during the third full year.  
  •  Ph.D. thesis and defense with a departmental thesis seminar.
  •  Submission of at least one first-author manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.