The Graduate Degree Program in Department of Biology offers comprehensive programs with several pathways toward the M.S. (thesis or non-thesis) and the Ph.D. degrees in the Biological Sciences. The programs are directed towards understanding biological systems in such diverse areas as Cell and Developmental Biology, Neurobiology & Neuromechanical  Systems, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

The flexible programs of study are arranged in consultation with faculty members to meet the specific need of each student, taking into account previous training and current research interest.  Students engage in research early in their graduate programs and acquire detailed knowledge and training through faculty-student relationships, teaching assistantships, graduate student associations, and mentoring.  The Department provides weekly seminar series which enable students and faculty to attend presentations by visiting scientists and faculty keeping them abreast of advances in diverse areas of the biological sciences.

Doctor of Philosophy

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded in recognition of in-depth knowledge in a major field and comprehensive understanding of related subjects together with a demonstration of ability to perform independent investigation and to communicate the results of such investigation in an acceptable dissertation.

Students entering with a Bachelor’s degree will satisfactorily complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework. For students entering with an approved Master’s degree, completion of at least 18 semester hours of course work is required. To advance into PhD candidacy, a student must pass the qualifying exam. Steps required for completing the qualifying exam include creating three abstracts on specific topics, writing a research proposal, presenting a seminar, and conducting a two-part oral exam. A minimum of 18 semester hours of dissertation research (BIOL 701) is required for all doctoral candidates to earn the degree. APPLICATION DEADLINE DECEMBER 15THAPPLY NOW

Master of Science

The Department of Biology offers both thesis and non-thesis Master of Science degree programs. Both programs require a minimum of 30 semester hours of courses at the 300 level or higher. A minimum of 18 semester hours of formal course work is required for the thesis degree, and a minimum of 24 semester hours of formal course work for the non-thesis degree. The remaining credits may be research credits (BIOL 601 Research and BIOL 651 Thesis M.S.).  APPLICATION DEADLINE DECEMBER 15THAPPLY NOW

Click here for information on different options for the M.S. degree in Biology


Master of Science Entrepreneurial Biotechnology Track

The Entrepreneurial Biotechnology (EB) is a two year, 30 credit hour MS degree program offered by the Department of Biology in conjunction with the Science and Technology EB Program. Students study state-of-the-art biotechnology, practical business and technology innovation while working on a real-world entrepreneurial project with an existing company.  The program helps to connect students with mentors, advisors, partners, funding sources and job opportunities and prepares students to work in diverse research or technology-centered environments.  APPLICATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 1 FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, AUGUST 1st FOR DOMESTIC STUDENTS for MS Plan A (Entrepreneurial Program only).  APPLY NOW

For questions about our graduate programs, please email Steven Webster (