PhD in Biological Sciences

The PhD degree is aimed at students who intend to develop professional careers that include the development and oversight of research programs and/or who intend 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) and environmental consultancy 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 that advances their field of interest. Although there is no minimum course requirement, most PhD students do complete some coursework. Dissertations typically include three to 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, which should generally take four to six years.

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