Jul 19, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2019-2020 
Rensselaer Catalog 2019-2020 [Archived Catalog]

Biology Ph.D.

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Candidates for the Ph.D. must satisfy the requirements of the Graduate Program Committee (GPC) including passing the first year Core Course, which serves as a qualifying exam with a grade of B or better, and passing two 4-credit graduate elective courses (one of which must be at the 6000 level, and one of which must be in BIOL or BCBP). Students must also pass a candidacy exam which consists of a written and an oral portion, and must be taken by the end of the second year of full-time study. Degree candidates also must submit a dissertation based on an original research project, present their findings in a public seminar, and defend their work in an oral examination. Additionally, all doctoral candidates are required to participate in teaching for at least one semester under the supervision of a faculty member. Seventy-two credit hours are required for the Ph.D.

Outcomes of the Graduate Curriculum

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • explain general principles and concepts from a variety of sub-disciplines within the broader field of biology.
  • demonstrate expert knowledge of a specialized field of biology and be able to ask and answer challenging questions in that field.
  • critically analyze and interpret the scientific literature and scientific presentations.
  • independently design, prepare, and execute experiments, using appropriate research techniques.
  • critically interpret research data and evaluate findings using appropriate statistical analyses.
  • independently design and execute a research strategy aimed towards answering a pressing scientific question in the field.
  • effectively communicate their scientific research and findings in a variety of written and oral formats, including the ability to prepare a manuscript of original research for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  • discuss issues related to scientific ethics and scientific misconduct and apply ethical standards to their research and professional conduct.

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