A minimum of 72 credit hours is required for the Ph.D. degree in biology. Students should consult the section "Transfer Credits" in the Graduate Bulletin for rules on how many credit hours may be transferred from another institution. Completion of an M.S. degree is not normally required for admission to the full-time program for the Ph.D. degree but may be required of part-time students. Students must pass the Ph.D. qualifying examination in their respective areas of specialization: biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, or microbiology.
Each student, in addition, will be required to pass a comprehensive examination (which serves partly as an oral defense of the thesis proposal) taken prior to performing the major portion of the dissertation research, and in any event, prior to the sixth semester of study and at least one year before oral defense of the thesis. The final examination for the Ph.D. degree consists of an oral presentation and defense of the dissertation.
The Ph.D. program is tailored to fit the student's background and goals and is subject to approval at the time of filing of the program of study (Form #401). Programs of study may be designed in any of the three areas of concentration. However, all programs of study must include at least 36 credits hours in formal courses (exclusive of BIOL 691).