Biological Sciences Ph.D.

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Minimum Requirements for Biological Sciences Ph.D.: 18 thesis credits

Optional Concentration: Wildlife Biology and Conservation

General University Requirements
Complete the graduate general university requirements.
Ph.D. Degree Requirements
Complete the Ph.D. degree requirements.18
As part of the Ph.D. requirements, complete the following:
Thesis (18 credits) 1
Biological Sciences Program Requirements
Complete and pass a written and oral comprehensive examination administered by the graduate advisory committee
Complete and successfully defend the Ph.D. dissertation
If entering the program without first completing a master’s degree in biology or a related discipline, complete coursework at least equivalent to that required for the Biological Sciences M.S. degree
Total Credits18

Note that in practice, most Ph.D. students also take coursework credits and more thesis credits than the minimum required. Any specific course requirements will be determined by the individual student’s graduate advisory committee. 

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Admission Requirements

Complete the following admission requirements:

  • Application for admission and application fee
  • Transcripts from all universities or colleges attended. Unofficial transcripts may be submitted with the application. Official transcripts must follow prior to matriculation

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Statement of Purpose that addresses the following:

    • Career aspirations

    • Research interests

    • Research experience and relevant training

    • Interest, experience, and/or plans to serve society through your career, including experiences or commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion

    • Relevance of UAF Biology and Wildlife in achieving your future goals, including the names of faculty members you have contacted regarding graduate training

Excellent statements of purpose are specific, informative, focused and concise. See the Biology and Wildlife website for more detailed instructions about the statement of purpose.  

  • Three letters of reference from individuals who can address your potential to succeed in graduate school. Ideally, letters of reference should come from university faculty, research staff, or professionals familiar with your academic and research achievements and also with the expectations of graduate school. References will be asked to address writing ability, critical thinking skills, quantitative skills, and potential to succeed in a graduate program. References that address notable service (e.g., Peace Corps or AmeriCorps) may also be informative.

  • Optional: scores from the GRE General Test will be considered if submitted

  • International students: please consult UAF’s most recent application requirements

Note - Students are typically not admitted to the program unless a faculty advisor has agreed to serve as the mentor. Applicants should contact potential advisors before applying.

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Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes are measurable statements that describe knowledge or skills achieved by students upon completion of the program.

Students graduating from this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency as scientists with mastery of the knowledge of their discipline and the ability to contribute original scientific knowledge through research
  • Demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Obtain employment relevant to their field of study