Graduate Programs in Biology

The Department’s graduate programs—leading to PhD degrees and Master's degrees in Biology—allow students to participate in research while preparing for successful careers in New York and around the world.

PhD in Biology

The PhD degree in Biology provides the advanced multidisciplinary education required for success in today’s research, teaching, government, and industrial environments. Many alumni now hold faculty positions in other universities as well as key positions in biotechnology companies and government agencies. Students select from one of two core areas:

  • Molecular, Cellular, Developmental and Neural Biology (MCDN). MCDN enables PhD degree students to investigate topics in cellular biology, developmental biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, neurobiology, and other disciplines, focusing on systems that range from bacteria and viruses to mammals.
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)In this core area, doctoral degree students in biology pursue research into the most challenging environmental questions of our time, from population dynamics theory to freshwater ecology to the evolutionary ecology of disease.
What Students Say…
  • “The department encourages collaborations within and outside the department, which allows graduate students to broaden their scope of thinking.”
  • “It has been a great first year where I have been able to meet many inspiring individuals, both faculty and students, who have generously helped me with their advice and guidance.”
  • “ research experience has been extremely rewarding.”
  • “...continuing my education was necessary to explore my own ideas and questions in the field”
  • “I felt very fortunate that the RNA Institute was opening, and the Life Sciences Research Building at UAlbany was quite impressive.”
  • “I was able to try different types of research working with different model organisms and methodologies”
  • “The location of the university and the opportunities for collaborations with different departments and institutions is a major attraction.”

Master’s Degrees in Biology

  • The University at Albany Master’s Degree in Biology prepares students for success as technicians in research, industrial, and forensics laboratories, as well as in environmental and public policy agencies. The Biology Master’s Degree is not required to pursue a PhD in Biology. Master’s students can choose from three options in the Department of Biological Sciences:
  • M.S. in Forensic Biology. The courts’ increasing reliance on DNA evidence has created a substantial demand for forensic biologists. In response, this program’s emphasis on theory and technique prepares students for productive careers as DNA analysts in both forensic and conventional analytical laboratories.
  • M.S. in Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy. Biologists in public policy are vital to the world’s conservation efforts—and sought after by organizations in resource management, land conservation, education, and research. This program equips students to examine decision-making processes as both scientists and policy analysts.
  • M.S. in Biological Sciences. This degree is designed to prepare students for careers as laboratory technicians in research, government, or industry. It is often combined with other training in the medical sciences, business, politics, law, or education. Students must obtain a research mentor in the department prior to acceptance. Students should not apply to the M.S. program until they obtain a research mentor from the Biology Department faculty. The name of the mentor should be clearly stated in their statement of purpose on their application.

Professional Science Management Certificate

Students who have completed their Master’s Degree in Biology can add to their expertise in business by completing this certificate program, which prepares them for positions in management and administration.

Next Steps

Learn more about how to apply to our PhD and Master's programs, or learn more about research assistantships or other ways to fund your PhD Graduate program in biology.