Ph.D. Program Biology

  • Concentrations in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental biology (MCD) and Environmental, Ecology, and Evolutionary biology (E3B).
  • Total of 72 credit hours to include 5 courses core curriculum, at least 3 electives, seminar, and a minimum of 18 credit hours of research and thesis
  • Core Ph.D. curriculum includes BIOL8101 Hypothesis Testing, BIOL8102 Cellular and Molecular BiologyBIOL8140 Evolutionary BiologyBIOL 8260 Careers in Bioscience: Professional Development, and seminar BIOL8201
  • Milestones: 
    • Third semester-- Form a qualifying exam/dissertation committee.
    • Fifth Semester--The qualifying examination in two parts, a written component and an oral component.
    • Sixth Semester--Thesis research proposal in an oral defense to the dissertation committee.
    • Final Semester-- Written dissertation, public presentation and oral defense 
  • Average time to completion of the Ph.D. degree in the program currently is 5.5 years
  • Students have opportunity for teaching assistanships or research assistantships and eligible students receive tuition renumeration (GASP award) and health insurance through the Graduate School.

The Ph.D. in Biology Program has as its intellectual focus an interdisciplinary synthesis of the biological sciences and related biotechnology. The program draws upon the strengths of faculty in multiple departments and is intended to serve students with interests in conducting research in academia, industry and clinical settings. Graduates of the program at UNC Charlotte should be well versed in quantitative approaches to biology. The interdisciplinary makeup of the program is designed to produce graduates who will be able to integrate the strengths of more than one discipline in solving biological problems.

All students are required to complete a series of core courses related to the interdisciplinary nature of the program (see curriculum). These courses will expose students to current issues in the biological, chemical, physical, and engineering sciences and to the ethical implications of biological and biotechnological research.  Students choose either the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCD) concentration or the Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B) concentration. The full interdisciplinary curricullum is tailored to each student  with advanced courses in Biological Sciences as well as Bioinformatics and Genomics, Nanoscale Science, Chemistry, Biophysics, Engineering, Geography and Earth Sciences, and Kinesiology.

The cornerstone of the doctoral program is the dissertation research. Each dissertation is expected to be a significant scientific contribution based on independent and original research, resulting in publications in national/international peer-reviewed journals by the time of the dissertation defense.

Ph.D. students may choose to receive the non-thesis M.S. degree while continuing to work toward the doctoral degree provided they have successfully completed the Candidacy Exam and completed at least 30 hours of coursework, including two hours of Tutorial BIOL 6800 culminating in a written assignment developed in consultation with the student’s major advisor.  Obtaining the non-thesis M.S. requires dual enrollment in the Ph.D. and M.S. programs.  Doctoral students can apply for enrollment in the M.S. program after entering the Ph.D. program.

Start Date

End Date

Program Duration

24 Months

Application Deadline


Phd programs

Certifications & Titles


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Full Time

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Charlotte , United States

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Phd programs

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