2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    Dec 02, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Biological Sciences (Ph.D.)

Program Coordinator/Contact

Radhey Kaushik, Department Head
Volker Brözel, Professor/Graduate Coordinator
Department of Biology and Microbiology
Alfred Dairy Science Hall 228, Box 2104A

Program Information

This is a cooperative program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biological Sciences. Departments that cooperate in the program are Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering; Agronomy, Horticulture, & Plant Science; Animal Science; Biology & Microbiology; Dairy & Food Science; Health & Nutritional Sciences; Natural Resource Management; and Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences at South Dakota State University.  The masters and doctoral programs in Biological Sciences allow for considerable latitude in the education and training of students. The plan of study can be designed to meet the interests and individual needs of the student. While the training of most students is largely directed to a single discipline represented within one of the participating departments, cross-discipline training is available. Generally, identification of a major professor with resources to support the student’s dissertation project is required for unconditional acceptance into the program. Therefore, interested persons should make application for program admission well in advance of the anticipated date of enrollment. Please refer to each departmental section for a listing of the graduate faculty and details regarding the areas of study offered in this program. Inquiries should be made directly to the department representing the discipline of interest.  Specializations are available in the following areas:

Biological Sciences Program Objectives

Graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences will:

  • Have a thorough understanding and knowledge of biological principles related to the chosen discipline.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct innovative research to create new knowledge.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write grant proposals to secure research funding.
  • Utilize appropriate statistical methods to make inferences from research.
  • Write a coherent dissertation and submit one or more manuscripts to a scientific journal.
  • Understand and articulate the potential applications of basic research.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use ethics in decision making and planning.
  • Demonstrate information literacy for science-based decision making and lifetime learning.
  • Be prepared to enter into careers related to research and development or academic institutions.
  • Contribute to the advancement of science in the discipline.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge of program: Exhibit knowledge concerning biological and/or microbiological systems/sciences at a level appropriate to a Ph.D. holder.
  • Communication skills: Express their scientific views effectively in both oral and written form.
  • Understand scientific method: Understand the scientific methods and techniques for solving research problems and analyze scientific data using the appropriate statistics.
  • Use statistics to analyze data: Be able to use statistics to analyze scientific data.
  • Publish research: Be able to conduct and publish scholarly research. (Option A)
  • Professional development: Demonstrate professional development and competence so that they may enter the work force in academia or industry.

Course Delivery Format

Biological Sciences courses are delivered face-to-face and enhanced with web-based instruction. Online delivery may be offered for specific courses.

Facilities and Services

A variety of outstanding laboratories, green houses, McCrory Gardens and Arboretum, livestock units, and field stations are available for education and research. Many Biological Sciences faculty hold appointments in the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy 60 Credit Plan
  90 Credit Plan

Core Requirements

The student, major advisor and Advisory Committee select the discipline specific emphasis area of the biological sciences. The courses will be identified on the student’s Plan of Study no later than the end of the first year of study.

  • XXX 790  or 890 Seminar Credit: 1 - Selected with advisory committee approval

  • Credits: 1
  • Minimum of 3 credits of STAT courses numbered 500-level or higher
  • XXX 898D  Dissertation Credits: 30-40 - Students are required to present a seminar on their dissertation
  • Electives as needed to reach 60 or 90 credits

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE: Not a general requirement, but individual departments may require GRE
TOEFL: required score of 525 paper-based, 71 Internet-based
IELTS: 6.0
Duolingo: 100

(Individual departments may have different requirements for GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo.)

General Requirements

Graduate students must consult with their advisor before registering for graduate coursework.

For additional information refer to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree Requirements .