Graduate Programs

          If you have the talent, we have the opportunity.    

The Department of Biological Sciences offers graduate degrees at the Doctoral and Master’s levels in the biological sciences and interdisciplinary areas of genomics, biochemistry, nanotechnology, ecotoxicology, biophysics, bioengineering, biotechnology, kinesiology, and health sciences. Students in the Ph.D. and M.S. programs have the opportunity to conduct graduate research under the direction of a Graduate Program Faculty member within the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, Biophysics, Kinesiology, and select faculty at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The cornerstone of the Ph.D. program and the thesis-based M.S. program is the student’s research. Each dissertation/thesis is expected to be a significant scientific contribution based on independent and original research, leading to publications in national/international peer-reviewed journals. The non-thesis Master’s program includes a capstone project in the area of student’s interest.


Ph.D. program at a Glance

  • Concentrations in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental biology (MCD) and Environmental, Ecology, and Evolutionary biology (E3B).
  • Total of 72 credit hours to include 5 courses core curriculum, at least 3 electives, seminar, and a minimum of 18 credit hours of research and thesis
  • Core Ph.D. curriculum includes BIOL8101 Hypothesis Testing, BIOL8102 Cellular and Molecular Biology, BIOL8140 Evolutionary Biology, BIOL 8260 Careers in Bioscience: Professional Development, and seminar BIOL8201
  • Progression through the Ph.D. program is consistently tracked through completion of appropriate milestones and meetings with the student’s mentor and dissertation committee. Each student must select a dissertation research mentor during the first year. By the end of their third semester, students formalize selection of a research mentor and form a qualifying exam/dissertation committee. The qualifying examination is conducted in two parts, a written component covering general areas of biological sciences related to the core curriculum, and an oral component covering more specific topics of the student’s research. The student develops a proposal of his/her intended thesis research and must support the proposal in an oral defense to the dissertation committee. Students must submit their research results to peer-reviewed publications in order to receive external review of their research contribution. Each student must publicly defend his or her thesis followed by a defense of the work to the dissertation committee.
  • Average time to completion of the Ph.D. degree in the program currently is 5.5 years
  • Students have opportunity for teaching assistanships or research assistantships and eligible students receive tuition renumeration and health insurance through the Graduate School.

Thesis-based M.S. program at a Glance

  • Total of 30 credit hours to include 4 courses core curriculum, minimum of 1 elective, and research and thesis
  • Offers Concentrations in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental biology (MCD) and Environmental, Ecology, and Evolutionary biology (E3B).
  • Core MS curriculum includes BIOL8101 Hypothesis Testing, BIOL8102 Cellular and Molecular Biology, BIOL8140 Evolutionary Biology, BIOL 8260 Careers in Bioscience: Professional Development
  • Progression through the M.S. program is consistently tracked through completion of appropriate milestones and meetings with the student’s mentor and supervisory committee. Each student matches with a tentative research mentor at the beginning of the first year. By the end of their second semester, students formalize selection of a research mentor and form a qualifying exam/supervisory committee. The oral qualifying examination is completed by the end of the third semester. The student develops a written proposal of his/her intended thesis research to be approved by the supervisory committee. Students must submit their research results to peer-reviewed publications in order to receive external review of their research contribution. Each student must publicly defend his or her thesis followed by a defense of the work to the supervisory committee.
  • Average time to completion of the Master’s degree in the program currently is 2.5 years.
  • Students have opportunity for teaching assistanships or research assistantships and need-based tuition assistance determined by FASFA filings may be made by the Graduate School.

Non thesis-based M.S. program at a Glance

  • Total of 30 credit hours to include 4 courses core curriculum, minimum 6 electives, and a minimum of 2 credit hours of tutorial for capstone project completion
  • Offers Concentrations in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental biology (MCD) and Environmental, Ecology, and Evolutionary biology (E3B).
  • Core MS curriculum includes BIOL8101 Hypothesis Testing, BIOL8102 Cellular and Molecular Biology, BIOL8140 Evolutionary Biology, BIOL 8260 Careers in Bioscience: Professional Development
  • Progression through the M.S. program is consistently tracked through completion of appropriate milestones and meetings with the student’s mentor and supervisory committee. Each student matches with a tentative mentor at the beginning of the first year. By the end of their second semester, students formalize selection of a qualifying exam/supervisory committee. The oral qualifying examination is completed by the end of the third semester. Students must complete a capstone project or paper to be submitted and approved by teh mentor and supervisory committee for graduation.
  • Average time to completion of the non-thesis Master’s degree in the program currently is 2.35 years.
  • Need-based tuition assistance determined by FASFA filings may be made by the Graduate School; however, non-thesis Master's students are not typically eligible for teaching or research assistantships.