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QWhy pursue a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Marquette University?

AThe biological sciences program is designed to develop the whole person with a superior graduate education tailored to the individual. This program provides both personalized attention and abundant resources and expertise to provide excellent training in modern biology suitable for jobs in academia, industry, and government. The research you will conduct will be at the forefront of science, and will teach you to communicate advanced biological concepts. Through Marquette's Preparing Future Faculty program, you’ll be trained for success as teacher-scholars. Marquette's biological sciences graduate programs offer all the guidance and resources you'll need to reach your full potential in a meaningful and rewarding career.

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QWhen is the application deadline?

AFor full consideration, applications should be submitted by December 15th for admittance for the fall term. All applications must be submitted online through the Marquette University Graduate School. If you have more questions about the application process, check the Graduate School's FAQ's.

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QWhat degrees do you offer?

AThe Department of Biological Sciences offers two tracks that lead to a Ph.D., Biological Sciences and Neurosciences.

*Please note that while we offer a Master's degree in Biological Sciences, we are not actively recruiting for Master's degree candidates at this time.

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QDo I need a Master’s degree to apply?

ANo, a Masters degree is not required for admission into our Ph.D. program. Applicants are expected to have demonstrated academic excellence in both the classroom and the laboratory, and should have an undergraduate background in a biology-related discipline


QWhich Neuroscience option is right for me?

AThere are two tracks that lead to a PhD with a neuroscience research emphasis within the Biological Sciences graduate program: 1) the Neuroscience Track and 2) the Biological Sciences Track with an emphasis on Neurophysiology

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QIf I want to apply to both tracks, do I need to submit two applications?

ANo, you only need to submit one application. Please note your preferred track in your application. Your application will be considered first for acceptance into your preferred program.


QAre students accepted for Spring or Summer terms?

AMost of our incoming students are admitted for the fall term. Applications are reviewed starting in mid-December. Applications may be occasionally considered for spring or summer terms.


QWho needs to take the TOEFL and when does it expire?

AApplicants from non-English speaking countries must provide a TOEFL score, or another acceptable proof of English proficiency. Test scores may not be more than two years old. Typically, successful candidates to our program have TOEFL scores of at least 90. The Marquette University institution code is 1448.

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QIs there a minimum GRE score or GPA needed to be admitted?

ANo, our program does not have a required minimum score. The application is considered in its entirety.


QWhat is the GRE code for Marquette University?

AThe Marquette University institution code is 1448.


QIs the GRE subject test required?

ANo, the biological sciences graduate program does not require a subject test.


QHow many students are accepted?

AIn 2014: 79 applied, 18 offers were made, and 9 students were admitted.


QDo you accept Conditional Enrollment?

ANo. Our general policy is to provide full-stipend support to all students who are enrolled in our Ph.D. program and remain in good academic standing. The decision to admit a student into the program is made by a faculty committee, which considers an applicant’s application and supporting documents in competition with other applicants to the program. All applications MUST be submitted online through the Graduate School, and MUST include all of the following:

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QWhat financial aid is available, and can I get health insurance?

AThe Department of Biological Sciences is committed to the full 12-month support of each graduate student in good academic standing, including an 18-credit tuition scholarship and stipend. Ph.D. students are supported by teaching assistantships or by federal grant-supported research assistantships. Additional fellowships provided by the University or by private foundations are awarded on a competitive basis to Ph.D. candidates that qualify. The nine-month academic year stipend for 2014-2015 will be $22,588 plus a summer stipend and university supported health insurance. A select number of domestic Ph.D. students will be supported by federal GAANN Fellowships.


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QWhat do faculty members do for their research?

AFaculty members in the Biological Sciences track are involved in a diverse range of research fields: Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology; Genetics and Molecular Biology; Microbiology and Ecology; and Neurophysiology and Physiology. Faculty in the Neuroscience track conduct research in the fields of drug and alcohol addiction, stress, schizophrenia, locomotor control, feeding, neurodegeneration, and ion channel function, among others.

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QHow do I choose my lab?

AFaculty members will present their current research to first-year students at the start of the fall term. After these presentations, students will identify three faculty members in whose labs they would like to work. Students will do three lab rotations to help identify which lab is the best fit for their Ph.D. research. Following the three lab rotations, students will be matched with a Ph.D. research mentor, according to both student and faculty preferences.

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QWhat courses will I need to take?


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QCan I be accepted directly into a lab?

ANo. All first-year students need to complete three lab rotations before being accepted into a lab for their Ph.D. research.

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QHow many semesters will I be teaching?

ARecognizing that college teaching is often a major activity of Ph.D. graduates, students in the Biological Sciences graduate programs gain experience in the classroom by observing and participating first-hand as teaching assistants for at least two semesters. All courses in the Biological Sciences department at Marquette are taught by faculty members.

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QWhere do students go after completing the Biological Sciences Ph.D. program?


Our graduates have gone on to be successful in a wide range of academic, industry, and government positions.


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QIsn’t Milwaukee too cold in the winter?

AWell…sometimes. Winters in Milwaukee are highly variable. In some winters we see chilly temperatures and lots of snow, while other winters are much more mild. The average high temperature in January is 28°F (-2°C) and the average low temperature in January is 13°F (-11°C). On the flip side, summers in Milwaukee are beautiful, with average high temperature in July is 81°F (27°C) and the average low temperature in July is 63°F (17°C).

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QIs Milwaukee a welcoming city for international students?

AYes! International students find Milwaukee to be easy and fun to explore. Marquette has a large population of international students who can help you get involved in local culture. Our program includes students from a diverse range of nationalities.

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QWhat is there to do in Milwaukee (Arts, Theater, Sports, Restaurants…)?

AA lot! Milwaukee is a great combination of a big city and a small city. It has all the arts, culture, restaurants and big league sports of a big city, but fewer of the drawbacks, like traffic or pollution. Milwaukee hosts a series of summer festivals including the world's largest music festival, Summerfest, and many ethnic festivals.

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Biological Sciences Department

Marquette University, Wehr Life Sciences
(Directions/campus map) PDF
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7355
Visit our contact page for more information.