PhD in Biological Sciences
The PhD degree is aimed at students headed for professional careers that include research
and/or those intending to teach at the university level. Many students who enter the
PhD program already have an MS, though this is not required. PhD graduates from our
department have gone on to careers as faculty members at universities in the US and
beyond, as staff scientists at state and federal organizations (e.g., Alaska Department
of Fish and Game, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Forest Service, the National
Parks Service), as well as environmental consulting firms and non-profit organizations
(e.g., ABR, The Nature Conservancy, Smithsonian Institution).
PhD students work with a graduate advisory committee to develop a dissertation that represents a significant and original intellectual contribution to their field of interest. Although there is no minimum course requirement, most PhD students do complete some coursework. Dissertations typically include three or four manuscripts suitable for publication in scientific journals, and there is a strong expectation that one or more of these will have been published prior to degree completion. Degree completion typically takes five to seven years.