The PhD degree in biology is structured to challenge students to develop intellectual independence. This is demonstrated by designing and implementing a research project that requires substantial work on an important question in ecological or evolutionary theory, then analyzing and synthesizing results in a way that reflects the student's maturation as a scholar. Projects might include, but are not limited to, studies in population, community, or ecosystem ecology, population or conservation genetics, phylogeography, molecular evolution, bioinformatics, or phylogenetic systematics. Students will present and defend a dissertation project that includes chapters to be published as stand-alone manuscripts in appropriate scholarly journals.
Requirements for PhD Degree Program in Biology:
- Credit hours: Minimum 54 credit hours, including 18 dissertation hours (Bio 799R).
- Required courses: Bio 503 (Graduate Orientation, 1.0 credit) or equivalent; Bio 691R (Graduate Seminar, 2.0 credits, 4 semesters).Additional courses as determined by student's advisory committee and approved by department graduate coordinator.
- Students who have previously earned a master's degree must complete at least 36 credit hours of additional graduate work at BYU beyond the master's degree.
- Annual progress reviews by advisory committee and graduate committee.
- Presentation of research prospectus to advisory committee.
- Dissertation: Standard university dissertation or journal publication format.
- Examination: (A) Qualifying examination: oral examination, grant proposal, and literature review; (B) oral defense of research; and (C) oral defense of dissertation.
Baccalaureate degree or equivalent
Students will elucidate, using pertinent examples, the current state of the discipline in their area of specialization (e.g., key theories and research practices in ecology, evolutionary biology, bioinformatics) as well as use advanced biological concepts to interpret, analyze, and solve biological problems. (BYU AIMS 1, 2, 3)
Research Skills and Tools
Students will conduct research using appropriate tools and techniques within their focused area of graduate study (e.g., ecology, evolutionary biology). (BYU AIMS 2, 4)
Teaching Skills (optional)
Students will be given the opportunity to teach in the biological sciences by demonstrating an expert understanding of basic biological concepts, foundational theories, and key relationships from the molecular to ecosystem level. (BYU AIMS 4) However, this is not required of all PhD students and depends on their career trajectory and level of external funding.
|Characteristics of Students from Past Academic Year|
|Five Year Average of Graduated Students|
|Average Years to Degree||5.0|
|Graduated Per Year||4.3|
|Five Year Average of Admitted Students|
|Applied Per Year||9.8|
|Admitted Per Year||5.6|