PhD Program in Biology

Our graduate program provides students of diverse backgrounds with the opportunity to intensely engage in research in the biological sciences and contribute to the broader scientific community.

Program Timeline

Average time to degree: 5.3 years

Alumni Careers

Percentage of graduates in post-doctoral or permanent positions: 94%

Graduate Publications

Average publications after completion of program: 3.8 per person

PhD Program

The Department of Biology introduces graduate students to diverse fields of biological science, and provides them with expert guidance to excel in research. The department is invested in training students to become excellent scientists, researchers, science communicators, and instructors. We are a diverse and global community, committed to expanding scientific career opportunities to all.

Some of our graduates become academics, whereas others find careers in government, private industry, public policy, or elsewhere (see where recent graduates are now). The ability to communicate ideas and research results clearly and convincingly is key to success in any career.

Experience Biology at Georgetown University

Professors and current students share their perspective of Georgetown’s cutting edge biology graduate program.


Potential applicants are urged to identify and contact potential research mentors directly before applying. Please refer to the research page and the list of faculty interested in accepting students. Not all laboratories will have open positions available for a new graduate student in a given year.

For Applicants

Financial Assistance for PhD Students

The stipend for PhD students in Biology is set by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Georgetown University and the Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees (GAGE). The current stipend rate is $36,934 for the year. The stipend is paid on a 12-month contract, typically in 26 biweekly pay checks.

Tuition Waiver
The Graduate school of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) provides full tuition waivers for all PhD students for the duration of the PhD program.

Health Insurance
Health insurance is required. The GSAS provides free student health insurance to all students. The insurance covers doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs. Students may waive this benefit if they prefer a different plan through parents or a spouse.

Dental Insurance
The GSAS provides free dental insurance to all students. The insurance covers routine dental care, such as cleanings and exams.

Yates Athletic Facility
All students are eligible to use the Yates athletic facility for free. The facility has a gym, swimming pool, and fitness classes.

Parental Leave
Graduate student workers are guaranteed six weeks of paid parental leave. This leave can be used to bond with a new child or to care for a sick child.

Medical Leave
Graduate student workers are guaranteed six weeks of paid medical leave. This leave can be used to recover from a medical condition or to care for a sick family member.

To learn more about financial assistance for PhD students, please visit the Graduate Funding page. You can read more about what it means to do a PhD in a union-protected graduate program here

Student Quotes


“Until you start your journey in grad school you might not know what you are missing out on. Other than the course work, grad school has been instrumental in  inculcating important life values and skills such as confidence, time management, survival, and holding personal and professional relationships in higher esteem. ”

Shahad Alqahtani, The Brinsmade Lab

“Studying at Georgetown has enabled me to be a lot more confident in my ability to ask questions and chart my own path in scientific research. My advisor and mentors here at Georgetown have been top quality in terms of both academic and personal support”

Vaughn Shirey, The Ries Lab

“Georgetown is a place with an environment conducive to learning and professional growth for prospective scientists working towards their graduate degrees and beyond. In this program, I found mentorship and training that foster the critical thinking required to answer the questions I am interested in. I found the multidisciplinary nature of the graduate student body to be engaging and supportive from the beginning of my journey.”

Fabiana Malaga,Brinsmade’s lab.
zachory park

“The breadth of research that goes on in the Bio department really facilitates a broad understanding of biology from the life of single cells to the life of much larger organisms. It really is something unique that you don’t get at other more specific departments and has really helped me think outside of the box with my own work.”

Zachory Park, The Rose Lab

Graduate Research Opportunities

Learn about the research programs that the department of Biology offers and find out which programs are recruiting graduate students.


Graduate Teaching Opportunities

Find out about the many opportunities that are offered to graduate students to develop teaching and mentoring skills.


Graduate Funding Opportunities

Learn about stipend funding and the additional funds from the GU Graduate School offered to help support graduate dissertation research or travel to meetings.