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Doctor of Philosophy in Biology

A minimum of 72 credit hours is required to complete the Ph.D. degree in biology. You 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 Ph.D. degree program, but may be required of part-time students. You must pass the Ph.D. qualifying examination in your respective area of specialization: biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, or microbiology. 

In addition, you will be required to pass a comprehensive examination taken prior to performing the major portion of the dissertation research, prior to the sixth semester of study, and at least one year before oral defense of the thesis. This exam partly serves as an oral defense of the thesis proposal. 

The final examination for the Ph.D. degree consists of an oral presentation and defense of the dissertation.

Program Requirements 

The Ph.D. program is tailored to fit your background and goals and is subject to approval at the time of filing 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.

View Program Requirements »


For more information, please contact:

Program Director
Tanya Bekyarova, Ph.D.
Associate Chair, Department of Biology
Program Director of M.S. and Ph.D. Programs, Department of Biology (excluding Pre-health and Applied Life Sciences programs)
312.567.3428
bekytan@iit.edu