Department of
Animal Biology

Graduate Research

The Department of Animal Biology offers graduate work leading to a Master of Science degree or a Doctor of Philosophy degree, and particularly encourages applications from students interested in the broadly defined areas of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior.

Due to the breadth of modern biological research, students are expected to take advanced coursework in three of six areas:

  1. Ecology
  2. Evolution
  3. Behavior
  4. Genetics / Genomics
  5. Physiology / Anatomy
  6. Conservation

Additional courses are chosen by the student in consultation with a faculty advisory committee. The number and nature of these courses will vary with the research interest and background of the individual. Students are encouraged to begin research as soon as possible.

After a student pursuing a Ph.D. has formulated a definite research project, he/she takes a preliminary examination (no later than March 1 of the third year) presenting the thesis topic and preliminary research to a doctoral committee. General knowledge directly related to the research is also determined during the preliminary examination. Finally, a thesis based on original work demonstrating a thorough knowledge of theory and techniques must be defended at the final examination.

Graduate students are required to serve as teaching assistants in undergraduate and graduate laboratory courses for at least two semesters. Most students complete their Ph.D. training in 5 years and M.S. training in 2 years.

We encourage you to correspond directly with the faculty members whose research program is related to your own research interests.