Biological Sciences Doctoral Program

Be the Difference with a PhD in Biological Sciences 

The Biological Sciences offers research-based PhD graduate program that 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 careers in academia, industry, and government.

The goal of this programs is 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 concentrations including: cell and developmental biology, biochemistry and genetics, microbiology, ecology and physiology. 

Individualized attention in lab and learning environments

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.

Visit the Biological Sciences web page to learn more about the program and department.

Required course work can be found on the Graduate Bulletin.

Please note while we have a Master's program are not actively recruiting for Master's degree candidates at this time.


Take the next step toward your future

  • Request Information
  • Application Details
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Financial Aid & GAANN

Ready to learn more about Marquette's Biological Sciences graduate programs? 

Request more information now or schedule an on-campus visit.

Graduate Program Recruiter

Tim Carter

(414) 288-7139

Email the Graduate School

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Application Deadline

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.

Application Requirements

Read all application instructions prior to beginning an application.

1 Upon admission, final official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities, with certified English translations if original language is not English, must be submitted to the Graduate School within the first five weeks of the term of admission or a hold preventing registration for future terms will be placed on the student’s record. 


Anticipated learning outcomes for the Ph.D. degree program:

  • 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

Anticipated learning outcomes for the M.S. degree program:

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

  • Demonstrate independent scientific thinking

  • Contribute to and execute an original research project

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