Graduate Program in Biology: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Graduate Program          Faculty Research          NOD          M.S.          Information for Current Students

PhD students at the bench

Ph.D. Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program is designed to provide students with critical-thinking, communication skills, and interdisciplinary research training that are necessary for establishing independent research careers. Students receive research training in the world-class laboratories of faculty in areas of cell biology, cellular and molecular neuroscience, epigenetics, cancer biology, stem cell biology, gastrointestinal biology and cellular metabolism.  In the CMB track, students will acquire a combined course (minimum 24) and research credits (minimum 30) of 60, before completing dissertation research under our CMB track faculty. Graduate teaching assistantship, research assistantship and various fellowships are available for eligible Ph.D. students.


Students will complete two laboratory rotations in their first year before identifying their dissertation research lab and advisor.  If necessary, students have an option to do third rotation in the summer before the start of the second year.  After completion of the required course work, student take the Qualifying exam in the summer of their second year. 


Typical Ph.D. Student Progression

  Year 1: Rotation 1 and Rotation 2, Course works

  Year 2: Course works, Dissertation research, Qualifying Exam

  Year 3: Thesis prospectus, Thesis committee meetings, Dissertation research, 

  Year 4: Dissertation research, Thesis committee meetings

  Year 5-6: Dissertation research, Thesis committee meetings, Dissertation defense


For detailed information on Ph.D. student course curriculum and progression guideline, please see the links below.


             Sample Ph.D Course Curriculum       Ph.D. Progression Guideline


Ph.D. credit requirements

Total 60 credits: minimum 24 course credits + minimum 30 research credits

Completion of research dissertation


Funding opportunities for Ph.D. students

Most of the full-time Ph.D. students in the Biology Graduate Program receive funding either in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistanship or Research Assistanships, which provide a stipend, full tuition remission and health insurance.  Ph.D. students also have opportunities to apply for various fellowships at the local, state and federal levels. 


Application Requirements and Deadlines

All transcripts - GRE General (optional) - TOEFL (required for international students) - 3 letters of recommendation - Personal Statement (include description of previous research experience and current research interests) - Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. deadline: December 15 for Fall admission.  No Spring admission accepted. 


Questions?: Dr. Haesun Kim, Graduate Program Director



Graduate student at the bench