Biological sciences

Degrees Offered

Master of Science
Doctor of Philosophy


Masters: Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Ecology, Genetics, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Neurophysiology, Physiology
Doctoral: Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Ecology, Genetics, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Neurophysiology, Physiology, Neuroscience

Program Description

The biological sciences graduate program aspires to train experimental scientists capable of teaching and directing independent research by providing a broad theoretical background and an appreciation for the rigor of the scientific method. This program provides excellent training in modern biology suitable for jobs in academia, industry, and government.

The department offers two areas of graduate study: biological sciences and neurosciences. Both provide students with research experiences using all areas of modern biological techniques to study molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, systems and organism functioning. The biological sciences area has several specializations including: cell and developmental biology, biochemistry and genetics, microbiology and ecology and physiology. The neuroscience area is offered in collaboration with the neuroscience faculty in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Health Sciences. In addition to general training in the biological sciences, students receive specialized course work in the neurosciences and choose a neuroscience laboratory from either department for their dissertation research. The main areas of research include: the neurobiology of addiction, stress and mental disorders, mechanisms of feeding behavior, neuronal regeneration, and ion channels.

Applicants are expected to have completed a bachelor's degree in biology or related field. As a general rule, strong preference will be given to applicants to the doctoral program. Only in exceptional circumstances will students be admitted to the master's program. A master's degree is not a prerequisite for admittance to the doctoral program.

Visit the Department Web Page for more detailed program information.

Application Requirements

  • Read all application instructions prior to beginning an application.
  • A completed application form and fee online.
  • Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges/universities except Marquette.
  • A statement of professional goals and aspirations.
  • Three letters of recommendation that give evidence of the applicant's scholarly promise.
  • GRE scores (General Test is required, Subject Test is recommended).
  • For international applicants only: TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.

Application Deadline

Although no official deadline exists for the master's or the doctoral programs, completed applications should be received by December 15th for full consideration. Applications for admission received after this date will be considered as space permits.

Financial Aid

The 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. A select number of domestic Ph.D. students will be supported by GAANN Fellowships.

Private scholarships may also be available. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for need-based federal aid (loans) to help fund their educational expenses as well.