Offered on campus
The Ph.D. in Biology is a Purdue University degree offered in the Department of Biology.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Biology requires 90 credit hours and is the highest degree conferred by Purdue University in the Department of Biology at IUPUI. The doctoral degree is restricted to applicants who have demonstrated superior ability in a recognized academic discipline. The program is highly research-oriented and culminates in a thesis of scholarly merit indicative of the candidate’s ability to conduct original research in a recognized field of specialization.
The program is composed of formal courses, guided individual study in a chosen field or discipline, study on cognate subjects as may be required by the candidate’s advisory committee, and original research that serves as the basis of a scholarly thesis. Students graduating from the Department of Biology with Ph.D. degrees have been successful in obtaining post-doctoral research experience and have gone on to secure faculty positions at accredited institutions of higher learning or research positions in industry or government.
There is no minimum number of course work hours required in the Ph.D. program, but we encourage you to register for at least 30 credit hours during your first two years of study. You must also register in Seminar (69600) twice (unless you have equivalent presentation experiences). The seminar is an oral presentation on a topic unrelated to your thesis topic and is given publicly.
You will work closely with a major professor who will direct your thesis research and play a principal role in determining your course of study. You can enter the Ph.D. program either having chosen a major professor, or you can choose to do a series of laboratory rotations in your first semester to become acquainted with various research possibilities.
You’ll also work closely with a graduate advisory committee consisting of:
- your major professor
- a faculty member of the Purdue University – West Lafayette Department of Biological Sciences, who will chair the committee
- a person from another department (representing an outside area)
- one or more additional members from the IUPUI Department of Biology (inclusion of this/these member(s) is highly recommended but not mandatory)
Understanding your degree timeline
- Select your major professor if rotating in several laboratories; some students will have identified a major professor prior to admission
- Qualifying examination (typically after the end of the semester)
- Establish graduate advisory committee (within 6 months of passing qualifying exam)
- File plan of study (as soon as possible after forming graduate advisory committee)
- Preliminary examination
- At least two semesters must elapse between the preliminary examination and the final examination
- File for candidacy
- Thesis defense/final exam
- Submit final thesis by end of semester
- Complete NSF survey on earned doctorates
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