Biology (Ph.D.)

Biology (Ph.D.) | Graduate

Our Biology doctoral students conduct pathbreaking research in contemporary biological sciences, from examinations of the molecular, physiological, and biochemical mechanisms underlying disease and advances in stem cell research to ecological, evolutionary, and environmental investigations.

The Ph.D. in Biology at Howard's Graduate School has core strengths in two principal areas of research specialization: The Cellular and Molecular Biology area incorporates research programs in immunology, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, neurobiology, physiology, developmental biology, microbiology, and bioinformatics. The Ecological, Environmental, and Systematic Biology area includes research programs in ecology, evolutionary biology, environmental biology, conservation biology, and organismal biology. Our graduates are now successfully pursuing research-related careers at top universities and across private industry and government sectors. As a doctoral student in Biology, you’ll gain a solid foundation in biological concepts and practical training in experimental design, statistical analyses, and lab/field observation. You'll also benefit from a highly collegial and collaborative research environment. A regular graduate seminar series provides exposure to the latest research in the field and offers a venue for you to develop your research ideas and present your early-stage research. You’ll also regularly collaborate with faculty on grant-funded lab research. Our Biology faculty is notable for its wide-ranging research, including investigations of genetics and biostatistics, host-microbe interactions and microbial ecologies, immunological and nervous systems, molecular plant biology, ecology and bioremediation, and evolutionary biology. Students may pursue a dual M.D./Ph.D. degree. 

Program Snapshot

      ❱  72 credit hours 

      ❱  Full-time

      ❱  On-campus format

      ❱  Degree: Ph.D.

      ❱  Dual degree: M.D./Ph.D.

Application Deadlines

Spring 2024 entry: 

      ❱  No spring entry 

Fall 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Dec. 1, 2023 (early deadline)

      ❱  Feb. 15, 2024 (priority deadline)

      ❱  Apr. 15, 2024 (final deadline)

Applicants should submit their applications as early as possible for earlier consideration of departmental funding opportunities. Applicants have until the final deadline to apply. However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the admissions cycle. 

Transfer credits accepted (reviewed by committee)


Dr. Dominique Pritchett

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Courtney Robinson

Interim Department Chair

Reba Brewington

Program Coordinator

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: M.D. / Ph.D., Ph.D.

Admission Requirements

Application for Admission

  • Online GradCAS application
  • Statement of purpose/ Statement of academic interest (500-1,000 words)
  • GRE scores not required
  • Official transcripts sent to GradCAS
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or the international equivalent 
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Autobiographical statement (500-750 words)

GRE Required?

  • No

GRE Preferred Minimums

  • GRE Verbal Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Analytical Writing: N/A

GPA Required Minimums

  • Overall GPA minimum: 3.0
  • Undergrad GPA minimum: 3.0

Prerequisite Courses (Recommended)

The following course prerequisites are recommended, not required (Students deemed qualified but not having appropriate recommended training may be admitted provisionally). No expiration date for recommended prerequisites.

  • Biology (college-level courses including a course in Genetics, 12 semester credit hrs)
  • Chemistry (college-level Chemistry courses with labs including a course in Organic Chemistry, 12 semester credit hrs)
  • Mathematics (college-level courses, 6 semester credit hrs including Precalculus) 
  • Physics (college-level courses with labs, including Pre-Calculus, 8 semester credit hrs)

Reference Requirements

Evaluator type accepted:

  • Professor (Required)
  • Supervisor/Manager

Evaluator type not accepted:

  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Coworker
  • Clergy
  • Other

Personal Statement Guidance 

Your Statement of purpose/ statement of academic interest should include comments on your current and potential future research interests. The autobiographical statement can include a statement of your academic journey and interest in biological science.