Programs by Campus

Bloomington

Biology

Degrees Offered

Master of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in evolution, ecology and behavior; Master of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in microbiology; Master of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; and Master of Arts for Teachers.

Special Departmental Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate major in one of the biological sciences and course work in the program in which a degree is sought. A degree in a related field (e.g., chemistry, physics, or mathemat­ics) may suffice if appropriate biology courses were included in the student’s degree program. Students seeking admission to biology degree programs may apply directly to the Department of Biology or online. Applications must include a complete entrance form, letters of recommendation, undergraduate tran­scripts, and scores on the Graduate Record Examination Gen­eral Test. (While it is not required that applicants also submit scores on the Subject Test in Biology, it is recommended that they do so.) The TOEFL score is required if the native language is other than English.

Special Requirement for the M.S. Degree

It is a requirement of the Department of Biology that the M.S. degrees be completed within five semesters; however, the M.A.T. program allows additional time.

Grades

For all graduate degrees, students must maintain a minimum GPA of B (3.0) in order to remain in good standing in the Graduate School. Courses to be counted toward the degree must be passed with a grade of B- (2.7) or better. To be eligible for financial support, the Department of Biology requires students to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2.

Ph.D. Qualifying Examination

Includes written, oral, and research components. See specifics for each program below.

Satisfactory Progress Toward a Degree

After passing the preliminary examination, for a student to remain in “good standing” in the Department of Biology requires that sufficient progress is being made toward completing a thesis. If the research advisory committee judges progress to be unsatisfactory, probation may be recommended. At the end of the probationary period (usually a semester), probation will be lifted if the advisory committee judges the student’s progress to be satisfactory. If the advisory committee judges the student’s progress to remain unsatisfactory, then the student will be required to leave the program.

Thesis

The final requirement of each Ph.D. program is a Ph.D. thesis, which must be defended in a public research seminar and in a meeting of the research advisory committee. See specifics for each program below for additional requirements and for Master degree requirements.

Other Provisions

All students enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the Department of Biology will be required to serve as associate instructors for at least one semester, regardless of their source of support; and they must complete formal instruction in teaching methods in order to enhance their teaching skills. Students whose native language is not English must become sufficiently fluent to pass the university's A.I. exam during the first year to remain in the program. It is the conviction of the department that teaching experience is a vital aspect of graduate education, whether or not the student intends to pursue a teaching career after attainment of the desired degree(s).

Evolution, Ecology and Behavior
Master of Science Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours, of which at least 20 credit hours must be taken in approved ecology and evolutionary biology courses. The courses must have a coherent focus within the general field of ecology and evolutionary biol­ogy and must be approved by the student’s advisory committee.

Thesis

Required.

Final Examination

Includes a public research seminar and an oral de­fense of the thesis before the advisory committee.

Master of Arts Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours, of which at least 20 credit hours must be taken in ecology and evolutionary biology courses. These courses must have a coherent focus within the general field of ecology and evolutionary biol­ogy and must be approved by the student’s advisory committee.

Thesis

Required. The thesis will be written on a non-experimentally based project ap­proved by the student’s advisory committee.

Final Examination

Normally includes an oral de­fense of the thesis before the advisory committee.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 90 credit hours comprised of 29+ formal course credits. Course credits include: (1) a 20 credit ‘major’ (composed mostly of EEB courses, with exceptions approved by the EEB Graduate Program Director [GPD]), including two courses from one concentration area listed below and one course from a sec­ond area; (2) a six+ credit ‘minor’ (taken within Biology or through another department: credits vary from 6 to 15; see below); and (3) a three credit statistics ‘toolkit’ class (Z620 Biostatistics or equivalent). Up to six credits in the ‘major’ may come from three sources: (A) Z620 journal clubs, (B) L500 Independent Study/Readings (graded), and/or (C) L501 Rotations (graded). L500/L501 credits require written summaries approved by the students’ graduate advisor(s) and the GPD. Not more than four credits may come from any of sources (A) - (C). Additionally, two credits in the major should come from L570 (Seminar in Ecology and the Environment). Remaining credit hours come from dissertation research. Any changes described here to course requirements can (but do not have to) apply retroactively. A student may apply courses taken for a MS degree if they are approved by the student’s advisory committee and the minor advisor.

Concentration Area Requirements

Ecology/Population Biology

  • E455 (SPEA) Limnology
  • L575 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning
  • L577 Theoretical Ecology
  • L578 Advanced Population Biology
  • L579 Community Ecology
  • L591 Plant Population Biology—An Experimental Approach
  • Z620 Ecological Niches
  • Z620 Ecological Stoichiometry
  • Z620 Ecosystems and Global Change
  • Z620 Quantitative Biodiversity
  • Or other course approved by the EEB Graduate Program

Evolutionary Biology

  • I590 (INFO) SNP Discovery and Population Genetics
  • L505 Molecular Biology of Evolution
  • L533 Evolution of Genes and Genomes
  • L567 Evolution
  • L568 Evolutionary Genetics
  • L563 Evolution of Cells and Proteins
  • Z620 Evolution of Development
  • Z540 Genetics of Structured Populations
  • Z620 Phylogenetics
  • Z620 Systematics
  • G562 (Geo Sci) Geometric Morphometrics
  • Or other course approved by the EEB Graduate Program

Behavior/Physiology

  • A501 Techniques in Reproductive Diversity
  • L560 Physiological Ecology
  • L581 Behavioral Ecology
  • P548 Neuroethology
  • Z460 Animal Behavior
  • Z466 Endocrinology
  • Z563 Comparative Neurobiology of Animal Behavior
  • Z566 Laboratory in Endocrinology
  • Z620 Sensory Ecology
  • Or other course approved by the EEB Graduate Program

Minor

Each EEB student must complete coursework for a minor. The minor may obtained from a separate department (e.g., Informatics, Statistics, Environmental Science, Geology, Geography, Education), a relevant interdepart­mental program (e.g., Animal Behavior, Genetics), in a different graduate program in the Depart­ment of Biology (e.g., Genetics, Microbiology), or an ‘Individualized minor’. EEB will waive the three credit ‘toolkit’ requirement in statistics for students minoring in Statistics (15 credit). Requirements are set by the unit administering the minor but will consist of a minimum of 6 credits up to a maximum of 15 credits.

Ph.D. Qualifying Examination

Includes written oral and research components. All full-time Ph.D. students must pass part I of the examination (written and oral breadth of kowledge examination) by the end of the thirteenth week of their fourth semester and must pass part II of the qualifying examination (dissertation proposal defense) by the end of the sixth week of their sixth semester. In the event of failure or postponement of part II, students may retake the examination once, but no later than the end of their sixth semester.

Thesis

Students write a thesis based on scientific research.

Final Examination

Public research seminar and oral defense of the dissertation before the student’s research committee.

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

The MCDB program consists of formal coursework, laboratory research, and professional development. Students in the MCDB program learn how to plan, execute, and critically analyze scientific research. Other professional development includes learning how to give oral presentations and write high-quality research papers and grant proposals. The MCDB program provides students with the training and research experience necessary to pursue a diversity of careers, including academic research, biomedical research, biotech industry, university-level teaching, among others.

Graduate Minor in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior

Students in other departments or in other programs in the Department of Biology may concentrate in one of the three areas of specialization (ecology/population biology, evolutionary biology, or behavior/physiology) by selecting two or more courses from the chosen area for a minimum of 6 credits. The minor advisor may also approve of one course from each of two (or three) of the areas described. A course may not simultaneously satisfy both major and minor course requirements. Course offerings outside of the list below can be used to satisfy the EEB minor. However, such substitutions require approval of the minor advisor and the EEB Graduate Program Director. A student may apply courses taken for a MS degree if they are approved by the student’s advisory committee and the minor advisor.

Coursework

Ecology/Population Biology

  • E455 (SPEA) Limnology (3 cr)
  • L575 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (1.5 cr)
  • L577 Theoretical Ecology (3 cr)
  • L578 Advanced Population Biology (3 cr)
  • L579 Community Ecology (3 cr)
  • Z620 Ecological Niches (1.5 cr)
  • Z620 Ecological Stoichiometry (1.5 cr)
  • Z620 Ecosystems and Global Change (1.5 cr)
  • Z620 Quantitative Biodiversity (1.5 cr)

Evolutionary Biology

  • L505 Evolution of Development (1.5 cr)
  • L533 Evolution of Genes and Genomes (3 cr)
  • L534 Evolution of Cells and Proteins (3 cr)
  • L567 Evolution (3 cr)
  • L568 Evolutionary Genetics (3 cr)
  • Z540 Genetics of Structured Populations (3 cr)
  • Z620 Systematics (1.5 cr)
  • I590 (INFO) SNP Discovery and Population Genetics (3 cr)
  • G562 (Geo Sci) Geometric Morphometrics (3 cr)

Behavior/Physiology

  • A501 Techniques in Reproductive Diversity (3 cr)
  • L560 Physiological Ecology (3 cr)
  • L581 Behavioral Ecology (3 cr)
  • Z460 Animal Behavior (3 cr)
  • Z563 Comparative Neurobiology of Animal Behavior (3 cr)
  • Z620 Sensory Ecology (3 cr)
Master of Science in Zoology Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours, of which at least 20 credit hours must be taken in the Department of Biology. The courses must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and the MCDB Graduate Program Director

Thesis defense

The students are required to prepare a research based thesis that must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and must meet the guidelines of the graduate school. The final exam includes a public research seminar and an oral de­fense of the thesis before the advisory committee.

Master of Arts in Zoology Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours, of which at least 20 credit hours must be taken in the Department of Biology.. The courses must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and the MCDB Graduate Program Director

Thesis defense

The students are required to prepare a thesis that must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and must meet the guidelines of the graduate school. The thesis will be written on a non-experimentally based project ap­proved by the student’s advisory committee. The final exam includes an oral de­fense of the thesis before the advisory committee.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Course Requirements

Students must acquire a total of 90 credit hours, which includes formal coursework totaling 22.5 credits for the major plus 6+ credits for the minor (credits vary by minor). MCDB students take a common core program of classes (see below). In addition, students typically do research rotations in three different labs during the first semester, after which they identify a lab in which to do their thesis research and form their advisory committee. Other courses can be substituted for the MCDB requirements pending permission from the students Advisory Committee and the MCDB Program Director. Any changes described here to course requirements can (but do not have to) apply retroactively.

Courses for the MCDB Major

  • B511 Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
  • L585 Genetics (3.0 cr)
  • Z620 Bioinformatics 2 Go (1.5 cr)
  • L523 Critical Analysis Lit. (1.5 cr)
  • L501 Rotations (3.0 cr)
  • L586 Cell Biology (3.0 cr)
  • L587 Dev. Biology (3.0 cr)
  • *Z620 Journal Class (1.5 cr)
  • Z620 Grant Writing (1.5 cr)
  • Z620 Research Ethics and Career Development (1.5 cr)

* Journal Class options: Z620 Chromosome and Genome Biology or Z620 Cell Biology or P550 Physiology of Cancer

Minor

Each student must select a minor field distinct from the chosen degree. The student has the option to select any minor in consultation with their advisor and the MCDB Graduate Program Director. The minor may be from within biology or from other units on campus. The requirements for the minor are decided by the minor-granting program.

Ph.D. Qualifying Examination

Includes written, oral and research components. All full-time Ph.D. students must take the qualifying examination by the end of the fourth week of their fifth semester. In the event of failure or postponement, students may retake the examination once, but no later than the end of the twelfth week of their fifth semester.

Thesis

Students write a thesis based on their scientific research and are expected to publish the findings of their scientific research in peer-reviewed journals.

Final Examination

Public research seminar and oral defense of the dissertation before the student’s research committee.

Graduate Minor in Genetics

The Genetics minor requires 6 credits of course work selected from among the list of courses below. Students may substitute courses for those on this list only upon approval of their Advisory Committees and the MCDB Director. A MCDB student can choose to minor in other fields that match their research and career aspirations with approval of their Advisory Committee and the MCDB Director. Any course requirements described here can (but do not have to) apply retroactively. A student may apply courses taken for a MS degree if the courses are approved by the student’s advisory committee and the minor advisor.

Course Listings for Genetics Minor1

  • L533 Evolution of Genes and Genomes (3cr)
  • L567 Evolution (3cr)
  • L585 Molecular Genetics (3cr)2
  • L586 Cell Biology (3cr) 2
  • L587 Developmental Biology (3cr) 2
  • Z620 BioInformatics-2-Go (1.5 cr) 2
  • Z620 Evolution of Proteins and Cells (3cr)
  • Z620 Introduction to Computational Data Processing in Biology (1.5cr)
  • Z620 Introduction to Computational Workflow Design in Biology (1.5cr)
  • Z620 CyberInfrastructure-enabled Computational Genome Science (3cr)
  • Z620 Phylogenetics (3cr)
  • Z620 Evolution (3cr)
  • Z620 Introduction to Genomics and BioInformatics (1.5cr)
  • Z620 Genetics of Behavior (1.5cr)
  • Z620 Microbial Genetics and Techniques (1.5cr)
  • Z620 Chromosome and Genome Biology Journal Class3
  • Z620 Cell Biology Journal Class3
  • P550 Physiology of Cancer Journal Class3
  • Z620 Methods in Epigenomics
  • Z620 The Legacy of Drosophila (3cr)
  • Z620 Digital Imaging and Light Microscopy
  • I590 SNP Discovery and Population Genetics (3cr)
  • P467 Diseases of the Nervous System (3cr)
  • P526 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (3cr)
  • P566 Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (3cr)
  • M580 Molecular Biology of Cancer (3cr)
  • M511 Molecular Biology of Prokaryotes (3cr)
  • M541 Bacterial Pathogenesis and Virology (3cr)

1 Or an equivalent course at IU or graduate work transferred from another university with approval of the MCDB Graduate Program Director

2 MCDB students cannot use these courses for the Genetics minor due to overlap with major degree requirements.

3 The same journal class cannot be taken twice to fulfill the major and minor. However, different journal classes can be taken for the major and minor.

Microbiology

Degree programs are available for students with interests in many areas of microbiology. Each student’s curriculum is designed by the student in consultation with the graduate pro­gram director, the student’s mentor, and an appointed advisory committee.

Master of Science Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours. At least 12 credit hours must be courses from the core biology curriculum other than M500 rotation credits or research credits. The courses must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and the Microbiology Graduate Program Director.

Students are expected to rotate (M500) in at least three laboratories dur­ing the fall semester.

Thesis

The students are required to prepare a research-based thesis that must be approved by the student’s advisory committee.

Final Examination

Normally includes a public research seminar and oral defense of the thesis.

Master of Arts Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours. At least 12 credit hours must be courses from the core biology curriculum other than M500 rotation credits or research credits. The courses must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and the Microbiology Graduate Program Director

Thesis

The thesis will be written on a non-experimentally based project ap­proved by the student’s advisory committee. The final exam includes an oral de­fense of the thesis before the advisory committee.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Course Requirements

The Microbiology program requires a total of 90 credit hours. Of these, 24 credit hours come from the Core Program course work listed below. Most Advanced Courses are half-semester 1.5-credit hour courses in areas requested by students. Each student must also take Grant Writing and Research Ethics and Career Development courses. Students also typically do research rotations in three different labs during the first semester, after which they identify a lab in which to do their thesis research and form their advisory committee.

The courses that make up the 24 credit hours for the Microbiology major are indicated below. Other appropriate courses may be substituted in their place with permission from the Advisory Committee and the Microbiology Graduate Program Director. Any changes described here to course requirements can (but do not have to) apply retroactively.

Major Course Requirements

  • L585 Genetics (3.0 cr)
  • Z620 Bioinformatics to Go (1.5 cr)
  • L523 Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature (1.5 cr)
  • *B501 Integrated Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
  • *B511 Duplicating and expressing the genome (3.0 cr)
  • *T508 Theory and Application of Biotechnology (3.0 cr)
  • M541 Microbial pathogenesis and Virology (3.0 cr)
  • M511 Molecular Biology of Prokaryotes (3.0 cr)
  • Z620 Grant Writing (1.5 cr)
  • Z620 Ethics and Career Development (1.5 cr)
  • M500 Research rotations (3.0 cr)
  • Elective Advanced Course work - typically Z620 credits (3.0 cr)
  • * Only one these three courses need to be completed for the major

Minor

Each student must select a minor field distinct from the chosen degree. The student has the option to select any minor in consultation with their advisor and the MCDB Graduate Program Director. The minor may be from within biology or from other units on campus. The requirements for the minor are decided by the minor-granting program

Ph.D. Qualifying Examination

Includes writtten, oral and research components. All full-time Ph.D. students must take the qualifying examination by the end of the fourth week of their fifth semester. In the event of failure or postponement, students may retake the examination once, but no later than the start of their third year in graduate school.

Thesis

Students write a thesis based on scientific research.

Final Examination

Public research seminar and oral defense of the dissertation before the student’s research committee.

Graduate Minor in Microbiology

Students in other departments or in other programs in the Department of Biology may minor in Microbiology by completing a minimum of 6 graduate credits from the courses listed below.  A minor advisor must join the student's Advisory Committee and participate in designating required course work. This minor advisor will approve courses that meet the minor requirement. A course may not simultaneously satisfy both major and minor course requirements. Course offerings outside the list below can be used to satisfy the Microbiology minor, but such substitutions require approval of the minor advisor and the Microbiology Graduate Program Director. An overall average of B (3.0) or better is required in the Microbiology minor coursework.

Coursework

  • M430 Virology Lecture (3 cr.)
  • M440 Medical Microbiology: Lecture (3 cr.)
  • M460 Microbial Evolution (3 cr.)
  • M480 Microbial and Molecular Genetics (3 cr.)
  • Z620 Medical Microbiology and Medical Immunology (3 cr.)
  • M511 Molecular Biology of Prokaryotes (3 cr.)
  • M525 Microbial Physiology and Biochemistry (3 cr.)
  • M541 Microbial Pathogenesis and Virology (3 cr.)
  • M550 Microbiology (3 cr.)
Plant Sciences

(Department is not currently admitting students to this program)

Master of Science Degree

(Department is not currently admitting students to this program)

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours, stressing suitable advanced courses in plant sciences and cognate areas. At least 20 of the credit hours must be in the major area.

Thesis

Normally required; an alternative project may, however, be approved by the student's advisory committee.

Final Examination

A public research seminar and an oral de­fense of the thesis or defense of an approved alternative project before the student's advisory committee.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

(Department is not currently admitting students to this program)

Ph.D. students choosing a molecular approach will follow the procedures of the genetics and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology graduate programs. Likewise, students choosing an organismal approach will follow the procedures of the evolution, ecology and behavior program.

Zoology

(Department is not currently admitting students to this program)

Master of Science Degree

(Department is not currently admitting students to this program)

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours, of which at least 20 credit hours must be taken in the Department of Biology.

Thesis

Normally required; an alternative project may, however, be approved by the student's advisory committee.

Final Examination

Normally includes a public research seminar and an oral de­fense of the thesis; or defense of an approved alternative project before the student's advisory committee.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

(Department is not currently admitting students to this program)

Ph.D. students choosing a molecular approach will follow the procedures of the genetics and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology graduate programs. Likewise, students choosing an organismal approach will follow the procedures of the evolution, ecology and behavior program.

Course Requirements

A total of 90 credit hours of advanced course work, including dissertation.

Minor

Selected in consultation with research advisor and zoology program director.

Master of Arts for Teachers Degree

The Master of Arts for Teachers in biology is offered by the University Graduate School (not the School of Education) to provide training beyond the bachelor’s degree for those who intend to teach in junior or senior high school and who wish additional training in biology. Each student in the program must possess a teacher’s certificate by the time the degree is con­ferred, with the exception of international students who intend to return to their native country.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with sufficient hours in biology to enable the student to take courses carrying graduate credit.

Course Requirements

A total of 36 credit hours, of which a minimum of 25 credit hours must be in courses in the biological sciences that carry graduate credit; the remaining 11 credit hours may be in edu­cation. All programs of study must be approved by the Master of Arts for Teachers program advisor.

Certification Requirements

For a complete list of courses in education and other areas that are required for provisional certification, consult the School of Education Undergraduate Program Bulletin.


Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.