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Biology Graduate Programs

The School of Biological Sciences comprises research groups that span the broad spectrum of the life sciences. Reflecting this diversity, graduate training is provided through two focused graduate programs. Each program features its own research emphases, journal clubs, and requirements for advanced degrees. Multiple faculty members participate in more than one graduate program.

Many of our faculty members also participate in the interdepartmental programs in Molecular Biology, Biological Chemistry, and Neuroscience. These programs have their own admissions processes that are independent from the School of Biological Sciences. Please see the websites of these programs for details about their specific admissions requirements and application processes.

Message from the Graduate Program Director

We are excited that you have chosen or are considering the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah to pursue your graduate studies in biology!

Our school provides an inclusive environment for you to purse your passion for science. Our faculty comprises nearly 50 members whose research interests are diverse, and who serve as mentors for ~90 graduate students from around the world. Complementing outstanding faculty, staff and facilities, the school’s graduate program is highly interactive.

In performing your graduate studies in the program, you will be exposed to a wide range of biological investigation, from molecular structures and cells, to genetics, to organisms and ecosystems and their interactions. The school’s collegial environment, with many opportunities for interactions among research groups, has been a long-standing strength, and continues to be so today. Graduate school is a time to make lifelong friendships and connections as you grow as a scientist and mature as a person. It is a challenging and exciting time, one filled with opportunities to make new discoveries as you acquire important skills and disciplined logical thinking that will serve you for the rest of your career. Pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree can be a life changing and rewarding experience. Our lives were shaped and enriched by our times in graduate school, and we hope that your time in the School of Biological Sciences will be similarly influential in your life.

We wish you the best for your scientific explorations as you move through your graduate studies!

Kent Golic
Graduate Program Director

Frederick Adler
SBS Director

Graduate Student Coordinator

SBS Graduate Students are encouraged to meet early and often with the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Shannon Nielsen


(801) 581-5636

South Biology Building

257 South 1400 East, Rm. 223


Rotation Advisor for MCEB Students

Michael Werner

Assistant Professor

(801) 585-0471


Graduate Student Research Programs

Reflecting research diversity at the School, graduate training is provided through two focused graduate programs. Each features its own research emphases, journal clubs, and requirements for advanced degrees. Multiple faculty members participate in more than one graduate research program.

Molecular, Cellular & Evolutionary Biology Program


Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Program


Research at


Dedicated to All Axes of Diversity

The  Diversity Fellows Program is an on-site, one-day workshop for students with a strong interest in research in all areas of biology who wish to enter graduate school within the next 1-3 years.

2023 Applications will be available Fall Semester

Graduate Diversity Office

Inclusiveness of students from communities underrepresented in higher education, particularly racial and ethnic communities, creates a better academic environment for all students and is a goal we are committed to reaching.

Graduate School Diversity Office 

Latest News

David Almanzar

David Almanzar came to the University of Utah in 2016 to pursue his PhD following his undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts. There he conducted research as an undergrad in Rolf Karlstrom’s lab, imaging neurons in the brains of fish. Today, working in the lab of Dr. Ofer Rog, Almanzar works on understanding how […]

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Seeing the world through ants

Ants are among the most numerous insects in the world, numbering from 10-100,000 trillion individuals globally with more than 10,000 species. But you don’t have to tell that to John “Jack” Longino, professor of biology. Known affectionately as “Ant Man” in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah and beyond, Longino is […]

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Johanna Varner’s 3D-Print Double

Some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in history—including the research that led to mRNA vaccines—were pioneered by women. While history has shown that women are integral to scientific advancement, the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) landscape is still highly inequitable. In honor of Women’s History Month, consider the story of SBS alumna, PhD’15, […]

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