Graduate Program in Biology

Graduate Program, Department of Biology

The Department of Biology has diverse, numerous disciplines of research and training activities that span from genetic and molecular studies, through cell and physiological investigations, and finally up through evolutionary, ecological and environmental exploration and discoveries. The faculty makeup is just as diverse, with researchers investigating developmental and genetic programming events, population genetics and biostatistics, host-microbe interactions and microbial ecologies, immunological and nervous systems, molecular plant biology, ecology and bioremediation, and also invertebrate aquatic system and evolutionary biology.

Science continues to remain at the forefront of information, technology, and engineering; the Department of Biology continues this tradition by intertwining the rich multidisciplinary approaches to provide a well-rounded, but specialized research training to ensure successful, competitive careers in research enterprise.

The Department of Biology offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in two major areas of concentration: 1) Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) and 2) Ecological, Environmental and Systematic Biology (EESB). CMB offers specialization in immunology, cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, neurobiology, physiology, developmental biology, microbiology and bioinformatics, while EESB offers specialization in ecology, evolutionary biology, environmental biology, conservation biology, and organismal biology. Incoming graduate students may elect any area of their choice leading to either M.S. or Ph.D. degree; however, the Ph.D. program is the major focus of the departmental graduate program. The department also participates in the M.D./Ph.D. degree program jointly offered by the Graduate School and Howard University College of Medicine

Please use the website to explore the multi- and interdisciplinary program, where you will find detailed information about admissions and the interview process, program structure, course curriculum, and pathway to the PhD, funding, faculty research and infrastructure, and even our student directory and alumni center.

Anna K. Allen

I would like to welcome you to the Department of Biology Graduate Program. Howard University continues to serve as the pinnacle program in the training and development of innovative leaders entering into research enterprise. We continue to look for highly motivated and ambitious students who can continue the rich tradition of investigation and exploration of the diverse disciplines within biological sciences.

Director, Graduate Program
Anna Allen (anna.allen@howard.edu) 
Department of Biology
 

Admission Information Funding Opportunities Forms and Information
Frequently Asked Questions Research Advisor Admission to Candidacy
Qualifying Exams Program Administration

GRADUATE STUDENT MANUAL

Graduate Manual.pdf

The Department of Biology offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in two major areas of concentration: 1) Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) and 2) Ecological, Environmental and Systematic Biology (EESB). CMB offers specialization in cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, neurobiology, physiology, developmental biology, microbiology and bioinformatics, while EESB offers specialization in ecology, evolutionary biology, environmental biology, conservation biology, and organismal biology. Incoming graduate students may elect any area of their choice leading to either M.S. or Ph.D. degree; however, the Ph.D. program is the major focus of the departmental graduate program. The department also participates in the M.D./Ph.D. degree program jointly offered by the Graduate School and Howard University College of Medicine

Graduate Program Requirements

REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCTORATE IN PHILOSPHY (PhD)

Total credit hours required  = 72

Divided as follows:
Core courses 12-15 credit-hours
Electives courses 28-30 credit-hours
Graduate Seminar 2 credit-hours 
Ph.D. Research 12 credit-hours
Dissertation Thesis credit-12 hours

Credit will not be given for more than the required twelve hours of Thesis. Students should not enroll in Thesis until they have been admitted to candidacy. Letter grades will not be given for more than twelve hours of research. The electives may include additional research credits for which letter grades will not be given. 

Students in the Ph.D. program should not expect departmental support beyond five years.

All candidates for Ph.D. degree are required to take any three of the following four core courses prior to applying for candidacy:

(a) Biochemistry, 3-4 credit-hours, which can be satisfied by any of the following options: i. Biochemistry, 222-101, 4 credit hours or ii. Biochemistry, 205-251 and 205-252, 3-credit hours each
(b) Molecular Biology of the Cell, 280-532, 4 credit hours
(c) Ecological and Environmental Biology, 280-533, 4 credit hours
(d) Evolutionary and Systematic Biology, 280-534, 4 credit hours

Two (2) semesters of Graduate Seminar

Graduate Seminar: Two semesters courses of Graduate Seminar are required including: (a) Graduate Seminar, 280-500, 1 credit hour (b) Graduate Seminar, 280-501, 1 credit hour

** All graduate-level courses (400-level and above) in the department may be used to satisfy degree requirements.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MASTERS IN SCIENCE (MS)

Total credit hours required = 30

Divided as follows:
Core courses: 8 – 11 hours
Graduate Seminar: 2 hours
Research: 6 hours
Thesis: 6 hours
Electives: 5-8 hours

Credit will not be given for more than the required six hours of Thesis. Students should not enroll in Thesis until they have been admitted to candidacy. Letter grades will not be given for more than six hours of research. The electives may include additional research credits for which letter grades will not be given.
Required Courses: Students in the MS program should not expect Departmental support in the form of a graduate assistantship beyond two years.

 

One (1) course from each of the following two groups of courses: Cellular and Molecular Biology

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell

Ecology, Environmental and Systematic Biology

  • Ecological and Environmental Biology
  • Evolutionary and Systematic Biology

Two (2) semesters of Graduate Seminar

Graduate Student Progress Report Form

Graduate Progress Report Form.pdf