University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Biology

Graduate Programs

Our Program has excellent students, world class faculty for advisors and superb staff. We will work with you to design a set of courses, a research project and other activities that will prepare you for your career choice of:

  • academic research
  • medical institution research
  • private sector research
  • government work
  • teaching at the baccalaureate level

No matter what your choice is, we will help you to develop as a research scientist, who knows how to write, think critically, and express yourself effectively. We will also help you to network and find the right position for your next step: postdoctoral training, industry, teaching position, etc. All of our students learn to teach undergraduates, and we will help you develop your teaching skills, which will serve you well even if teaching is not your ultimate career goal. Our graduates are very successful and we expect that you will be as well. We appreciate your contribution to undergraduate research, to the research program of our faculty, and to the quality and liveliness of the Biology Department.

The research of our faculty is grouped into two clusters: Cell and Molecular Biology and Ecology-Evolution-Animal Behavior, and you will have the opportunity to mention from the outset of the application process whose research you are interested in.

Overview of graduate programs

The M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Biology

The M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Biology are geared to the needs and interests of each individual student. Graduate students may be admitted to work with a specific faculty sponsor, or may choose to rotate through appropriate laboratories to identify a faculty sponsor. Upon arrival, incoming graduate students take a diagnostic examination in four major subject areas. Based on the results from that examination, the faculty work with each student to map out the first year's course work. During that first year graduate students interact with faculty and other students to further define their areas of interest.

Typically, the student has chosen a Studies Committee, identified a major advisor, and started work on a thesis topic by the end of his/her first year. Later in the student's tenure, a written comprehensive examination compiled by the Studies Committee must be completed. Finally, a written thesis must be submitted and defended before the Thesis Defense Committee.



Requirements for Ph.D. Degree

A total of 75 hours, including six graduate colloquia, must be completed. Biology offers graduate courses in ecology, evolutionary biology, animal behavior, physiology, cell biology, genetics, and development; furthermore, our graduate students typically take courses offered by other departments, such as biochemistry and statistics. In addition to formal course work, all students must spend at least one semester as a teaching fellow.

Requirements for the Master's of Science

Four hours of Biology graduate colloquia and 26 additional hours of course work and thesis research. In addition to formal course work, all students must spend at least one semester as a teaching fellow.

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science for Teachers (Biology)

A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and certification as a teacher of biology or an associated field. At least three years of secondary school teaching. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination, general (aptitude) section.

Degree Requirements for the M.S.T. (Biology)

Thirty hours of course work to include a selection of courses in the Departments of Botany and Biology which will broaden and balance the undergraduate work in biology. At least two 200-level courses in each department. Courses in four of the five following areas: anatomy; morphology and systematics; genetics; developmental biology; and environmental biology. Up to 12 hours of 100-level courses may be used for the above requirements where approved by the advisor and the Dean. Appropriate courses in related science departments may be used to complete the required 30 hours. No thesis is required; however, each degree recipient must complete a written and oral examination.

The Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) in Biology

The AMP allows UVM undergraduates to obtain a master's of science degree with intensive course work and research in their senior year, followed by an additional year of coursework and research, culminating in a formal thesis. Students select a thesis topic and a graduate committee and may specialize in the areas of cell/molecular biology or ecology/evolution. The program allows motivated students to obtain a master's degree within a defined period of time and to build on their undergraduate research experience.

Further information regarding course offerings and degree requirements can be obtained by contacting the Graduate College.

Looking for department details? Discover Biology at UVM.

Last modified March 10 2016 12:58 PM