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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Biological Sciences


Degree Programs

Doctoral Program (PhD)

How to apply

The PhD degree is typically a 4- to 5-year program that combines coursework and extensive original thesis research. Students begin their thesis research under the direction of a faculty member during the first year. The doctoral degree carries the credential for a professional career in research or academics.

Requirements for completion of the PhD program

The PhD requires 90 quarter hours of graduate coursework and research credit in either Cell & Molecular Biology or Ecology & Evolution, completion of all candidacy exams, and successful completion and defense of the PhD thesis. Up to 10 quarter hours of graduate credit (or a blanket transfer of 45 quarter hours from a previous master's program) may be accepted as transfer credit with approval of the Departmental Graduate Committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Research Areas

The doctoral program offers research opportunities that coincide with faculty research and expertise.  Visit the Research webpage to learn more.

General Expectations

Graduate students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and make adequate progress on research as assessed by the major advisor and Thesis Committee. All graduate students are required to attend departmental seminars. Students supported by a GTA position are expected to fulfill all obligations required of the GTA appointment.

Advancement to Candidacy

PhD students are required to pass both a qualifying exam and research proposal exam to advance to candidacy.