A program of study leading to the Ph.D. degree is open to students who are candidates for, or who already have, the bachelor’s or master’s degree in the biological or physical sciences. To be admitted, the applicant should have had either a thorough training in the fundamentals of biology and both organic chemistry and general physics, or a broad training in the physical sciences and mathematics. Special attention is given to the applicant’s quality of scholarship and his or her promise as an investigator.
Since most biology Ph.D.’s will teach at some time during their careers, experience in teaching is considered an essential part of the Ph.D. program. The minimum teaching requirement is three contact hours a week for one year in the laboratory sections of undergraduate courses. Further teaching experience is gained through the preparation and presentation of reports in seminars and journal clubs. The department stresses organization of material and clarity of presentation.
The lecture rooms, teaching laboratories, and research facilities of the Biology Research Complex (consisting of Seeley G. Mudd Hall and Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories) offer a thoroughly modern research facility for molecular biology.
The department has fellowship funds for the support of graduate students. Awards are granted for tuition and living expenses. Laboratory fees and research expenses are paid by the department.
Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Embryology
The Carnegie Institution’s Department of Embryology is located on the Homewood campus, close to the Biology research complex. Members of this group hold part-time appointments in the Department of Biology and participate in the training of graduate students. With the approval of both the department and the Carnegie staff, a number of graduate students in biology conduct thesis research in the Carnegie laboratory. The interests of the Carnegie staff include developmental and molecular biology.
In addition to the general university requirements for an advanced degree (see Academic Information for Graduate Students), doctoral candidates must meet the following departmental requirements:
- Five core courses and four 600- and 700-level electives.
- At least one year of laboratory teaching during the period of graduate residence.
- A high level of achievement in a comprehensive written proposal and oral examination covering proficiency in the field of the student’s research interest and various areas of biology and related fields.
- A dissertation based on a program of independent research, a public seminar followed by an oral examination by the thesis committee.
All graduate students are required to complete the four core courses during the first year. In addition, students are required to complete four elective courses before graduation chosen from the list below of 600-level electives and 700-level seminars offered each semester. At least two out of the four courses must be 600-level.
|Core Courses, Fall Semester|
|AS.020.601||Current Research in Bioscience|
|AS.020.607||Quantitative Biology Bootcamp|
|AS.020.617||Quantitative Biology Lab 1|
|AS.020.686||Advanced Cell Biology|
|AS.020.668||Advanced Genetics and Molecular Biology|
|AS.020.699||CMDB Responsible Conduct in Research|
|Core Courses, Spring Semester|
|AS.020.674||Quantitative Biology and Biophysics|
|AS.020.637||Genomes & Development|
|AS.020.618||Quantitative Biology Lab II|