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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


Welcome to the School of Biological Sciences. The ultimate goal of graduate students is to obtain a graduate degree and prepare for a professional career in science. Self-motivation, self-discipline, and guidance from faculty and peers are necessary ingredients. Attaining this goal is both possible and rewarding.

Graduate school in Biology is very different from undergraduate education, medical school, law school, or other professional graduate training programs. In graduate school you will become your own teacher and your own motivator. There are few formal courses; most training is done informally in laboratories and/or in the field rather than in the classroom. The few quantitative assessments of your performance (e.g., exam grades, course grades) are, nevertheless, of critical importance. Your graduate advisor will help guide the overall course of your project, especially at the beginning, but your rate of progress will depend largely on your own initiative and hard work.

The relatively free-form nature of graduate education, the necessity to become a self-motivator, and the diverse challenges can cause stress, anxiety, and lead to self-doubt. Experiencing self-doubt is typical and is best countered by keeping the lines of communication open between yourself and fellow students, and between yourself and your advisor.

I encourage you to meet with Graduate Program Coordinator Shannon Nielsen early and regularly. I am also available for consultations. We want you to succeed and, ultimately, to meet your goals!

Again, welcome.

Sincerely,
Richard Clark, Professor
Graduate Program Director

CONTACT GRADUATE ADVISOR

SHANNON NIELSEN

Welcome to the School of Biological Sciences. The ultimate goal of graduate students is to obtain a graduate degree and prepare for a professional career in science. Self-motivation, self-discipline, and guidance from faculty and peers are necessary ingredients. Attaining this goal is both possible and rewarding.

Graduate school in Biology is very different from undergraduate education, medical school, law school, or other professional graduate training programs. In graduate school you will become your own teacher and your own motivator. There are few formal courses; most training is done informally in laboratories and/or in the field rather than in the classroom. The few quantitative assessments of your performance (e.g., exam grades, course grades) are, nevertheless, of critical importance. Your graduate advisor will help guide the overall course of your project, especially at the beginning, but your rate of progress will depend largely on your own initiative and hard work.

The relatively free-form nature of graduate education, the necessity to become a self-motivator, and the diverse challenges can cause stress, anxiety, and lead to self-doubt. Experiencing self-doubt is typical and is best countered by keeping the lines of communication open between yourself and fellow students, and between yourself and your advisor.

I encourage you to meet with Graduate Program Coordinator Shannon Nielsen early and regularly. I am also available for consultations. We want you to succeed and, ultimately, to meet your goals!

Again, welcome.

Sincerely,
Richard Clark, Professor
Graduate Program Director

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

MCEB

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Program

EEOB

Research at
SBS

Research

Graduate Feature: Jordan Herman


WWJHD?

Few encounter a fer-de-lance snake and walk away unscathed. While working in Costa Rica recent School of Biological Sciences (SBS) graduate Jordan Herman (PhD’20) moved closer to observe a toucan dismembering the green iguana it was having for lunch. When the bird took off and dropped half of it, Herman picked up the iguana’s tail and realized she had nearly stepped on the coiled and camouflaged pit viper at her feet. 

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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.

Applications are closed for 2020. Check back next year.

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