PhD in Biological Sciences

The PhD degree is aimed at students headed for professional careers that include research and those intending to teach at the university level. Many students who enter the PhD program already have a Master's degree, 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 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), 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 formal course requirement, most PhD students do complete coursework tailored to their educational goals. 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 be published prior to degree completion. Degree completion typically takes five to seven years.

In the field on the Yukon River
In the field on the Yukon River. Photo credit: Roger Ruess