Doctor of Philosophy in Biology

Admission Requirements

  1. Must meet current minimum general requirements as published by the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. May enter the program with a Master’s degree or directly with a Bachelor’s degree.
  3. GRE test scores are not required for admission to the biology graduate programs.  Applicants have the option to submit GRE scores if they believe the scores provide evidence of academic qualifications.

  4. Minimum GPA of 3.0 for the Master’s degree work. If applying with only an undergraduate degree, must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 for all undergraduate work or 3.0 for junior - senior credits.
  5. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog

Financial Assistance

Financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships and internships are available on a competitive basis. Students seeking teaching assistantships should complete their applications by February 15, since most offers for appointments are made beginning in early March. Teaching assistantships are renewable if progress toward the degree and instructional service are satisfactory. Research assistantships may be offered by faculty members for work on specific research projects for nine or twelve month periods.

Degree Requirements

Students seeking the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Biology Department.

The Ph.D. degree program requires the completion of a program of study of at least 90 semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. The program of study, prepared with the approval of a five-member faculty advisory committee, includes the following:

  1. A major area of a minimum 90 credits including coursework, research and dissertation structured at the committee’s discretion but with a minimum of 18 semester credits of course work. Work completed in a master’s program may be incorporated into the doctoral program if approved by the student’s advisory committee.
  2. A minor is not required, but each student is expected to show competence in related areas as determined by the student’s faculty advisory committee.
  3. A minimum of five (5) credits on BIOL 503 Seminar (included in 1. above).
  4. A minimum of four (4) credits of BIOL 509 Scientific Writing (credits included in 1. above). Two credits should be taken while the student is writing their thesis proposal (see below). Two credits can be waived at the discretion of the student’s advisory committee for students with a well-written Master’s thesis and at least one first-authored publication in press.
  5. BIOL 470 Biostatistics (3 credits) or other introductory statistics course and either 1) BIOL 571 Research Design and Statistical Analysis (3 credits), 2) a 500-level, data analysis course (3 credits minimum) in a specialty area approved by the student’s advisory committee, or 3) prior equivalent graduate course in statistical analysis and experimental design if approved by the student’s advisory committee.
  6. Two scholarly tools. The nature of the scholarly tools shall be determined based upon their importance to the student’s field of research as determined by the student’s advisory committee.
  7. Satisfactory completion of an acceptable dissertation proposal (written proposal, proposal presentation and proposal defense) evaluated by the student’s advisory committee.
  8. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination administered by the student’s advisory committee.
  9. Performance of research suitable for publication in refereed professional journals and satisfactory completion of an acceptable dissertation (written dissertation, dissertation seminar and dissertation defense) based thereon.