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Integrative Biology PhD

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.

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.

Changes to Graduate Studies admission requirements

In response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, admission requirements for graduate degree and certificate programs may have changed.
Learn more about changes to requirements

Apply and submit all required application materials to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Required materials

  • Statement of purpose: 300 - 600 words. 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 in assistantship decisions.
  • Official transcripts: from all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless if a credential is earned or not).
  • Official GRE score: sent directly from ETS; copies/scans not accepted. 
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume.

International students: official TOEFL or IELTS scores sent directly from ETS or testing agency; copies/scans not accepted). 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. Scores on the TOEFL should be 80 IBT minimum for admission and 100 IBT minimum to be eligible for a teaching assistantship. Scores on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) should be 6.5 minimum for admission and 7.0 minimum to be eligible for a teaching assistantship.

Deadlines and Test Requirements

Explore more about Integrative Biology

Course schedules and requirements


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