The Biology Department offers a research-focused program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. A B.S./M.S. degree is offered to enrolled undergraduate students. The Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) degree is administered through the Lynch School of Education in cooperation with the Biology Department.
Those seeking admission to the graduate program should have a bachelor’s degree and undergraduate coursework in calculus, physics, biochemistry, biology, and chemistry, including organic chemistry. Deficiencies in preparation, as noted by the Admissions Committee, may be made up in the graduate school.
The minimum curriculum for Ph.D. students consists of five Graduate Core Courses (BIOL6410 and BIOL6420 Contemporary Biological Questions and Critical Analysis I and II, BIOL6430 Experimental Methods and Design in Biology, BIOL6440 Molecular and Cellular Control Mechanisms, and BIOL6180 Scientific Proposal Writing), two additional Biology-approved Graduate Elective Courses (e.g., BIOL5000+, BIOL8000+), and a University seminar in Responsible Conduct of Research.
Graduate Research Experience begins with three lab rotations during the first year. After each rotation, students present at the Department Data Club. Rotations allow students the opportunity to explore important questions in different areas of biology and to determine if a particular lab environment is suitable for their thesis research. Students are expected to have joined a permanent lab by the end of this year, with permission of the lab’s P.I.
Students are also required to be a Teaching Assistant for at least two semesters, beginning in their first semester. Depending on the availability of funding from their lab P.I., they may be supported by either a Research Assistantship or a Teaching Assistantship in subsequent semesters.
Throughout the academic year, the Biology Departmental Colloquium hosts distinguished researchers in many areas of biology. Attendance is required of all full-time Ph.D. students at both the Seminar Talk and Department Data Club.
For the M.S.T. degree, course requirements vary depending upon the candidate’s prior teaching experience; however, all master’s programs leading to certification in secondary education include practical experiences in addition to coursework. Students seeking certification in Massachusetts are required to pass the Massachusetts Educators Certification Test. For further information on the M.S.T., please refer to the Lynch School of Education and Human Development section, Master’s Programs in Secondary Teaching, or call the Office of Graduate Admissions, Lynch School, at 617-552-4214.