Academic Catalog

Biological Sciences (Ph.D.)

Admission Requirements

In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School the applicant should have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree with a major in a biological or other science. Applicants who have completed degrees in other disciplines will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants must submit scores for the general portion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The approval of the Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Admissions Committee is required for admission of applicants. Three letters of reference must be submitted, along with a statement of the Candidate’s goals and career objectives. Admission is granted for the Fall Semester only.


Program Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires ninety credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. Sixty credits must include the following:

Select at least twelve credits in Biological Sciences from a core curriculum
Select no more than thirty-two credits in BIO 7996, Research Problems
BIO 8995Graduate Seminar in Biology (minimum 4 credits)2
BIO 9996Lab Rotation (minimum 2 credits)2
Select thirty credits in course work at the 7000-level or higher, exclusive of doctoral dissertation research. Six of those credits must be in courses exclusive of BIO 7996, BIO 8995, and BIO 8999.

The remaining thirty credits must be earned as dissertation credit, taken in consecutive academic year semesters.

BIO 9991Doctoral Candidate Status I: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
BIO 9992Doctoral Candidate Status II: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
BIO 9993Doctoral Candidate Status III: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5
BIO 9994Doctoral Candidate Status IV: Dissertation Research and Direction7.5

Academic Scholarship: All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Qualifying examinations are administered in two parts. The first part is a written test which is taken during one of three testing periods, July at the end of the first two semesters, November in the second year, or April in the second year. A list of examination topics will be generated by the student's dissertation advisory committee at least two months before the scheduled exam.

Students who pass the written qualifying examination take the oral examination within one year of the written test. Students are required to complete a written prospectus of their dissertation research, in the form of a grant proposal. The oral examination will include, but not be limited to, a defense of the prospectus. The examiners will be members of the student’s dissertation advisory committee. The oral examination is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Candidacy status is reached after the Plan of Work has been approved, the written and oral portions of the qualifying examination have been passed, approximately fifty credits have been completed, and the student’s dissertation advisory committee has been named.

Teaching/Research Requirement: Every doctoral student is required to teach at least two semesters or have equivalent teaching experience.

Continuance in the doctoral program depends upon satisfactory progress as determined by the student’s Dissertation Committee with the Departmental Chairperson as an ex officio member.

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