The PhD Programs in Biology

The PhD Programs in Biology at the University at Albany provide the advanced multidisciplinary education required to develop successful careers in today’s research, teaching, government and industrial environments.

You will learn how to solve problems, work independently and as a member of a team, how to communicate (by writing, by giving oral and poster presentations, by speaking in public), how to meet deadlines, how to manage your time effectively and how to prioritise your activities. Many alumni from these programs now hold faculty positions in other universities as well as key positions in biotechnology companies and government agencies.

Many alumni now hold faculty positions in other universities as well as key positions in biotechnology companies and government agencies.

Click here for a video on the UAlbany Biology PhD program

The PhD Program is comprised of two core areas:

Molecular, Cellular, Developmental and Neural Biology (MCDN)

In the MCDN PhD Program, students study biological systems that range from bacteria and viruses to mammals and behaviors. This program allows students to gain multidisciplinary expertise in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, biochemistry, neurobiology and other disciplines while taking advantage of MCDN’s significant strengths: close collaborations with principal investigators and other leading faculty, exceptional teaching opportunities, state-of-the-art facilities and lasting career connections.

  • Advanced Research. Many professors in the program are recognized for their advanced research in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, RNA biology and neuroscience.  Recent projects have focused on areas as cell-cell signaling, the biology of introns, the regulation of bacterial gene expression, RNA folding, forward engineering approaches to cancer drug discovery and the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying brain function.
  • State-of-the-art facilities. Research and education for MCDN students take place in the multidisciplinary Life Sciences Research Building and the Biological Sciences Building. These spacious facilities provide access to live confocal imaging as well as core facilities for molecular biology, tissue culture, chemistry, and RNA science.
  • Collaborations, Entrepreneurship and Partnership. MCDN students work closely with MCDN faculty, fellow students, and research staff within their own core area and well beyond. The open laboratory and space in the Life Sciences Building facilitates interaction among research groups in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Psychology, leading to innovative collaborations across disciplines. There are multiple opportunities for research collaborations with other respected institutions in the area, including Albany Medical Center (AMC), Neural Stem Cell Institute (NSCI), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), SUNY Polytechnic Institute and The Wadsworth Center.
  • Opportunities to Teach. Students pursuing their PhD degree in Biology have access to an exceptional array of teaching experiences - with a requirement to TA for one year. The Institute for Teaching, Learning and Academic Leadership, located on the UAlbany campus, supports the development of key teaching skills, including communication and presentation.
  • Centers and Initiatives. Students working on relevant projects have access to the RNA Institute (located within the Life Sciences Building) and the Center for Functional Genomics (located on the East Campus).


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)

In the EEB PhD Program, students pursue a wide range of research activities, which span research about fundamental questions in evolutionary biology to research into the most challenging environmental questions of our time. The faculty members are distinguished for their research in such fields as disease ecology, host-parasite interactions, animal ecology and behavior, pathogen ecology and evolution of bacteriophages. Openings in the EEB program are currently limited; please contact Dr. Ing-Nang Wang or Dr. Wendy Turner before applying.

You can learn more about the Graduate Program by clicking on the following links:

  • Link to “How to Apply” page

  • Link to “Financial Considerations” page

  • Link to “Incentives and Awards” page

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