Graduate Studies in Biological Sciences

The biological sciences graduate program offers a research based Ph.D. degree. Students 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, but a M.S. degree is not expected for admission into our Ph.D. program. 

Our graduate program is small enough to offer a small student-faculty ratio, which means individualized attention and interaction among faculty and students, but is large enough to have the resources and expertise to train individuals in the theoretical and experimental aspects of modern biology.

Each year, we offer generous benefits in the form of research assistantships or teaching assistantships with tuition credits and a competitive stipend.

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.

  • Application Information
  • Financial Aid
  • Contact Us
  •  Learning Outcomes
  • FAQs

Application Requirements

Read all application instructions prior to beginning an application. Although no official deadline exists for the master's or the doctoral programs, completed applications should be received by December 15 for full consideration. Applications for admission received after this date will be considered as space permits.

  • 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. Outline your future scientific and career goals and explain how our graduate program fits within these goals. Be as specific as possible, mentioning specific research laboratories or courses of study, as appropriate.

  • 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

Financial Support

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. The nine-month academic year stipend for 2018-2019 will be $23,040 plus a summer stipend.  A select number of Ph.D. students may be supported by GAANN Fellowships.

Travel funds are available for students who present their data at conferences or participate in specialized courses off campus, including courses at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. Additional funds are awarded to students for research and academic excellence.

GAANN Fellowships

The Department of Biological Sciences at Marquette University has been granted Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowships by the U. S. Department of Education. The fellowships provide a stipend of up to $34,000 per year, depending on financial need. (Financial need is determined by a FAFSA needs analysis.) In addition, the fellowship pays all tuition and fees. Certain other educational expenses (books, supplies, travel to conferences, etc.) are included as well.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Full-time student pursuing the PhD degree.
  • United States citizen or permanent resident of the United States

Fellowships are open to all students with demonstrated financial need. Members of underrepresented minorities in biological sciences (African-Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Americans, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders) are especially encouraged to apply.

Other factors considered in determining awardees:

  • Excellence of academic record
  • Plans for an academic career

For further information, contact:

Michael Schläppi, Ph.D., Director of the GAANN program
Phone: (414) 288-1480
E-mail: michael.schlappi@marquette.edu

 

The anticipated learning outcomes for the Ph.D. degree program include:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth mastery of advanced concepts in Biological Sciences

  • Demonstrate independent scientific thinking

  • Demonstrate the ability to design and execute an original research project

The anticipated learning outcomes for the M.S. degree program include:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth mastery of advanced concepts in Biological Sciences

  • Demonstrate independent scientific thinking

  • Contribute to and execute an original research project
 

YOUR APPLICATION

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

When is the application deadline?
For 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.

What degrees do you offer?
The Department of Biological Sciences offers a Ph.D. and Master's degree in Biological Sciences . *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.

Do I need a Master’s degree to apply?
No, 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

Are students accepted for Spring or Summer terms?
Most 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.

Who needs to take the TOEFL and when does it expire?
Applicants 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.

Is there a minimum GRE score or GPA needed to be admitted?
No, our program does not have a required minimum score. The application is considered in its entirety.

What is the GRE code for Marquette University?

The Marquette University institution code is 1448.

Is the GRE subject test required?
No, the biological sciences graduate program does not require a subject test.

How many students are accepted?
In 2014: 79 applied, 18 offers were made, and 9 students were admitted.

Do you accept Conditional Enrollment?
No. 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:

      • Marquette University Graduate School Application for Admission
      • Undergraduate Transcripts (and postgraduate transcripts if applicable)
      • Graduate Record Examination scores (general test) GRE
      • A personal statement
      • Three letters of recommendation
      • Test of English as foreign language (TOEFL) scores (for applicants from non-English speaking countries) or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.

What financial aid is available?
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. The nine-month academic year stipend for 2018-2019 will be $23,040 plus a summer stipend. A select number of domestic Ph.D. students will be supported by federal GAANN Fellowships.

OUR PROGRAMS

What do faculty members do for their research?
Faculty members 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.

How do I choose my lab?
Faculty 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.

What courses will I need to take?
Suggested Biological Sciences Ph.D. Curriculum

 

Can I be accepted directly into a lab?

No. All first-year students need to complete three lab rotations before being accepted into a lab for their Ph.D. research. 

How many semesters will I be teaching?
Recognizing 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.

 

MILWAUKEE

Isn’t Milwaukee too cold in the winter?

Well…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).

Is Milwaukee a welcoming city for international students?

Yes! 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.

 

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

A 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.