Studies in the Department of Biology's Ph.D. in Biological Science program span everything from molecules to ecosystems and involve the study of organisms across all domains of life. Topics are rooted in both basic and applied research. Students work and study at sites within Colorado, across the United States, and around the world. Some general areas of investigation include anatomy/morphology, behavior, bioinformatics, biological science education, biotechnology, cell biology, conservation biology, developmental biology, disease biology, ecology, ecosystem science, evolutionary biology, genetics, genomics, global change biology, molecular biology, neurobiology, physiology, systematics, systems biology, synthetic biology, and theoretical/mathematical biology.

Effective Fall 2018

Ph.D. with prior Master's Degree
Credit from Master's Degree30
Coursework completed in consultation with advisor 142
Program Total Credits72
Ph.D. without prior Master's Degree
Coursework completed in consultation with advisor 172
Program Total Credits72

A minimum of 72 credits are required to complete this program.

Additional Program Requirements:

  • No specific courses must be taken in satisfaction of Departmental degree requirements; however, the candidate must be able to demonstrate a general knowledge of biological science as well as competence in specific areas of concentration. 
  • A graduate student participating in an advanced degree program of the Department of Biology must meet with the Graduate Advisory Committee at least once annually, and the student shall submit an annual report of progress toward the degree, signed by their Graduate Advisory Committee, to the Department Chair for review.
  • A graduate degree in Biological Science indicates that the individual has achieved a professional level of competence in research as well as formal classwork. Consequently satisfactory progress in a research program must parallel the effort in coursework.
  • A preliminary examination, administered by the Graduate Advisory Committee and consisting of both written and oral components, must be passed at least two semesters prior to the dissertation defense and graduation.
  • A completed dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate Advisory Committee and approved following a successful oral defense (final examination).