The Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University offers a unique combination of traditional rigorous research experience, breadth of course work, and training in effective communication of scientific concepts. This program is specifically designed for students who wish to pursue careers in the biological sciences that require excellence in both teaching and research. The communication requirement also provides excellent training for careers in government and industry.
Our Doctoral programs allow students to specialize in the following areas:
Our Ph.D. program in biological sciences is unique in that it combines the traditional research experience associated with a degree in biology with the broad span of course work and the pedagogical experience so vital to careers involving the effective communication of scientific concepts.
This program is specifically designed for those students who wish to pursue teaching or teaching and research careers in the biological sciences in colleges or universities. However, the pedagogy requirements should also provide an excellent background for careers in government and industry, where the role of a Ph.D. is to organize and effectively communicate information.
The Ph.D. in Biological Sciences will be a tripartite program with emphasis on course breadth, formal training in teaching, and research experience.
The program consists of:
The breadth required to teach college level biology successfully and to perform meaningful research in biological sciences is provided through course work and laboratory rotations.
Communication of information has long been a major function of Ph.D. scientists, and organization and dissemination of knowledge are critically important to all scientists. Therefore, an integrated part of the program is an emphasis on the training of doctoral candidates for their central role as communicators and teachers. This will be accomplished through course work focused on teaching and supervised practical experience under the guidance of a Teaching Advisory Committee.
Original research under the guidance of a dissertation committee culminating in the doctoral dissertation on a selected aspect of biology, completes the triad and gives the student a focused view of one aspect of biology to complement the breadth found elsewhere in the program.
The program, designed to be completed in four to six years, will prepare Ph.D.-level biologists with an appreciation of the interdisciplinary and didactic nature of biology and an ability to effectively convey this knowledge.
Prospective students who have questions about our programs or the application process please contact:
Dr. Bruce Bejcek, Graduate Advisor
Phone: (269) 387-5634
Fax: (269) 387-5609
Current graduate students at WMU who have a question should contact:
Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs, Graduate Advisor
Phone: (269) 387-5843
Fax: (269) 387-5609