Overview

If you have the talent, we have the opportunity.

The Ph.D. in Biology Program has as its intellectual focus an interdisciplinary synthesis of the biological sciences and related biotechnology. The program draws upon the strengths of faculty in multiple departments and is intended to serve students with interests in conducting research in academia, industry and clinical settings. The interdisciplinary makeup of the program is designed to produce graduates who will be able to integrate the strengths of more than one discipline in solving biological problems.

All students are required to complete a series of core courses related to the interdisciplinary nature of the program (see Degree Requirements). The full interdisciplinary curriculum is tailored to each student with advanced courses in Biological Sciences as well as Bioinformatics and Genomics, Nanoscale Science, Chemistry, Biophysics, Engineering, Geography and Earth Sciences, Kinesiology, Epidemiology, and Health Sciences. The interdisciplinary program allows students to choose a mentor from a large cohort of Professors across departments and Carolinas Medical Centers. Students choose either the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCD) concentration or the Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B) concentration. 

The cornerstone of the doctoral program is the dissertation research. Each dissertation is expected to be a significant scientific contribution based on independent and original research, resulting in at least two publications in national/international peer-reviewed journals by the time of the dissertation defense.

Ph.D. students may choose to receive the non-thesis M.S. degree while continuing to work toward the doctoral degree provided they have successfully completed the Candidacy Exam and completed at least 30 hours of coursework, including two hours of Tutorial BIOL 6800 culminating in a written assignment developed in consultation with the student’s major advisor.  Obtaining the non-thesis M.S. requires dual enrollment in the Ph.D. and M.S. programs.  Doctoral students can apply for enrollment in the M.S. program after entering the Ph.D. program.

It is expected that the program will provide a teaching assistantship (TA) to students in their first two years and that a student's advisor will obtain research funds for a research assistantship (RA) for subsequent years. A TA position provides $11,000 per each of Fall and Spring semesters ($22,000/9 months). The possibility of an RA position and its stipend should be discussed with the studnet's individual Major Advisor. A TA will be provided for a maximum of eight semesters (four years). TA positions for additional semesters will be based upon available funds and departmental teaching needs. Every eligible student also receives a tuition waiver award and health insurance through the Graduate School for a maximum of ten semesters (five years). Students with a TA position must pay their own fees.