2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Biological Sciences (Ph.D.) - Biology Specialization

Location(s): Brookings Main Campus

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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

The Department of Biology and Microbiology provides students with a wide range of opportunities for advanced study. The graduate faculty offer expertise and graduate student advisement in subdisciplines from molecular biology through ecology. Faculty members are very successful in obtaining extramural funds to support graduate student projects. Graduate students have modern research laboratories, equipment and field research sites available to carry out their research projects. The learning environment, scholarly excellence and quality of teaching are areas of strength in the department’s Graduate Program.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Program content: Graduates will demonstrate fundamental knowledge in biological or microbiological sciences broadly focused on cellular and molecular biology concepts and will specialize in specific area of biology, microbiology or molecular biology.
  • Content – Research: Graduates will carry out research and scholarly activity in analysis of scientific data using statistics.
  • Communication skills: Graduate will demonstrate effective oral and written communications skills in expressing and reporting scientific findings and concepts.

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.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy 60 Credit Plan
  90 Credit Plan

Core Requirements

For details see specific program: Biological Sciences (Ph.D.) .

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

Ph.D. Graduation Requirements

  • Yearly evaluation (research progress + coursework)
  • Comprehensive written exam (mid-program)
  • Comprehensive oral exam (defense of written exam/research progress) (mid-program)
  • Oral presentation of Dissertation (public) during last semester of program
  • Oral defense of Dissertation (committee) during last semester of program
  • Dissertation completion

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE: Scores ranking above the 50th percentile will strengthen the case for admission
TOEFL: 90 Internet-based
TOEFL Essentials: 9.5
IELTS: 6.5
Duolingo: 115

At least two letters of reference or Personal References must be sent to the Department.  A personal statement that includes a description of the applicants involvement in research, the applicants research interest, and career goals is also required.

Retention in the program is dependent on formation of a committee and completion of review matrix by the end of the first year. In ensuing years, students must have a committee meeting and complete review annually.

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 .

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