College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2012-2013

Department of Biological Sciences

Biology, Doctor of Philosophy

This doctoral degree allows advanced students to pursue their content and research skills while studying under faculty specialists in microbiology, botany, genetics, bioinformatics, human biology, ecology, and zoology. The program is enhanced by advanced research facilities that include the Deaver Herbarium, the Electron Microscope Facility, and the nationally prominent Microbial Genetic and Genomics Center, home to powerful research into anthrax, plague, and other bacterial-disease-causing infections.

Careers

What Can I Do with a Doctor of Philosophy in Biology?

The Doctor of Philosophy program provides advanced training in research through focused coursework and extensive research experience, using an integrative, interdisciplinary, and evolutionary approach. Students will develop expertise in collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data at a level appropriate to the profession.


University Requirements

  • To receive a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses, from one or more disciplines, ranging from at least 60-109 units of graduate-level courses. Most plans require research, a dissertation, and comprehensive exams. All plans have residency requirements regarding time spent on the Flagstaff campus engaged in full-time study.

    The full policy can be viewed here.
     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 60
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Dissertation Dissertation is required.
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Foreign Language Optional
Research Individualized research is required.

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Doctoral Requirements
  • Take the following 60 units:
    • Coursework, beyond the bachelor's degree, covering the major principles of biology (45 units)
    • BIO 799, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved dissertation (15 units)
  • Please note that you may count only 15 units of dissertation credit toward your degree. However, experience tells us that our doctoral students in Biology end up taking an average of 36 units. This is due to the requirement that you register for BIO 799 for each semester during which you work on your dissertation.

    In addition, we require that you:
    • Have a reading knowledge of one foreign language or skill in statistics
    • Perform satisfactorily on a comprehensive exam in your fifth semester
    • Fulfill Northern Arizona University's residency requirements. (For more information about residency and other requirements that pertain to this degree, see Doctoral Requirements Policy.)
    • Pass the oral exam on your dissertation (Dissertation Defense)
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability



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