Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Biotechnology PhD Program (IB&B)
Goal of the Program: The goal of the Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Biotechnology (IB&B) Ph.D. Program is to provide students with depth of specialized knowledge in a major field of biology and the technical skills that will enable graduates to work with interdisciplinary teams of biotechnologists in diverse academic, corporate, and government research settings. Based on current areas of faculty expertise within the IB&B Program, accepted students will have the option of specializing in one of the following four interdisciplinary subfields: Molecular Bioscience & Biotechnology, Biomedical Sciences & Neuroscience, Computational Biology & Bioinformatics, and Ecology, Evolution & the Environment.
Overview of Degree Requirements: The Ph.D. may be completed in a minimum of three years and a maximum of seven years of post-undergraduate study. Requirements include completion of a minimum of 90 total credit hours including a minimum of 24 credits of course work, a minimum of six credit hours in research seminars, and an original doctorate thesis research project submitted as a written dissertation defended orally and approved by a committee of five Ph.D. faculty members. Specific Course Requirements include: Two core courses in cell and molecular biology (BY680 & BY681), Biotechnology or Molecular Biology Lab Course (BY622 or BY670) two specialization elective courses from one of four categories (Molecular Bioscience & Biotechnology, Biomedical Science & Neuroscience, Computational Biology & Bioinformatics; Ecology, Evolution & the Environment), one free elective course from any category, one course from the Computational Biology category, one course on Bioethics, six semesters of Bioscience Seminar, and thesis research. Please see Detailed Degree Requirements for more information.
Unique Characteristics of the IB&B Program: Although it is based in the Department of Biology, the graduate program is designed to be truly interdisciplinary across major sciences. Required courses in molecular and cell biology provide students with core knowledge of biological mechanisms at the graduate level. Breadth elective requirements are designed to provide interdisciplinary exposure and acquisition of skills in various biomedical fields, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering. A required course with content in bioethics gives students important perspective in humanistic aspects of the impact of science on society.
Requirements for Admission: Applicants must possess a baccalaureate (4-year) degree in biology or a relevant science major (e.g., biochemistry, biophysics, environmental science) and must have completed the following minimum college course preparation: three semesters of biology including genetics, four semesters of chemistry including organic chemistry, two semesters of physics, and two semesters of mathematics including calculus. Submitted application materials must include an official undergraduate transcript, statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and score results of the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) aptitude test. All international students for whom English is not a first language must submit a TOEFL score. The admissions committee will select candidates on the basis of aptitude, programmatic needs, and overall excellence of academic qualifications.
Faculty, Facilities, and Resources: Faculty members who participate in the IB&B Program serve as research advisors, members of qualifying exam and thesis committees, and as instructors of courses relevant to the program. A large variety of equipment and instrumentation is currently available on campus for bioscience research projects.
Employment Prospects for Program Graduates: The job market for qualified scientists in the biotechnology field is strong as there is need for scientists and engineers who are able to work on interdisciplinary teams in STEM areas. We expect that graduates of the IB&B program will acquire the skills to work in the biotechnology industry, governmental and private research institutes, and universities.