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Integrative Biology

The PhD program in integrative biology encourages students to consider research questions from diverse biological perspectives, ultimately addressing their questions through the integration of concepts from multiple disciplines. 

Our program provides a strong foundation in molecular and cellular biology, organismal and developmental biology, and ecology and evolution. We strive to:

  • prepare students for innovative careers in academia, government and industry
  • provide independent research experience
  • promote competency in scientific communication

Students must complete 55 semester credits, of which 19 are from graduate courses numbered 500 or above. Required courses include:

  • Biological Statistics
  • Professional Communication
  • one course each in Molecular & Cellular Biology, Organismal & Developmental Biology, and Evolution & Ecology
  • one course in a cross-disciplinary topic
  • 2 credits of BIO 525 (Graduate Student Seminar)
  • 34 credits are of doctoral research credit 
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average must be maintained

At the conclusion of formal coursework, the student forms a committee, passes a written qualifying exam, and separately writes and defends an original research proposal. 


UMass student with petri dish
New: Integrative Biology PhD

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved UMass Dartmouth’s new Integrative Biology PhD program, preparing leaders on the life sciences.

Areas of research

Faculty in the Integrative Biology program work in broad areas of biology.

  • molecules
  • genes
  • genomes
  • organisms
  • behaviors
  • ecosystems

A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis. This award is subject to the work needs of the position and department, your satisfactory performance of duties, your academic record, and availability of funds, and may be subject to change.

Learn more about assistantships at UMass Dartmouth

International (F-1) students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT). To learn about the eligibility criteria and detailed steps to apply, please review the International Student & Scholar Center (ISSC) OPT page and USCIS resources. F-1 students must consult with the ISSC to apply for STEM OPT.

University requirements for graduate admissions

  • Submit an application via the online portal. Be sure to provide your full legal name and to capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns.
  • Pay non-refundable $60 application fee (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa) via the online portal. For Nursing applicants, the non-refundable application fee is $75.
  • Statement of Purpose, minimum 300 words. Unless otherwise indicated in the program requirement details, indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist us in making assistantship decisions.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not). Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled a final official transcript is required. International students applying for Data Science must submit semester-by-semester transcripts as well as consolidated transcripts. 
  • Many programs have specific recommendations/requirements, please see the additional program-specific requirements for more information.
  • International students: official TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson PTE or Duolingo (if accepted by program) score. Unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted). This is required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country, see exemptions for more details. The Duolingo test is not accepted for the following programs: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies & Theory, Marine Science and Technology (MS, PSM, PhD), Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Portuguese Studies, Professional Writing and Communication, Psychology (ABA, Clinical, Research), and Public Policy. 
  • All official documents are required for enrollment, please have documents (ie. test scores) sent prior to the expiration. 

Program-specific requirements

Candidates must submit the required application materials, university requirements and program-specific requirements, for consideration.

  • 2 letters of recommendation. Applicants will be required to provide the recommenders name and email address so we can contact the recommender for the letter of recommendation.

Program deadlines

Integrative Biology Faculty

Alan Ventetuolo
Diego Bernal
Erin Bromage
Elizabeth McCliment
Genevieve Kozak
Jefferson Turner
Jefferson Turner
Kathryn Kavanagh
Kenneth Oliveira
Michael Sheriff
Mark Silby
Pia Moisander
Pia Moisander
Robert Drew
Sarah Donelan
Tara Rajaniemi