PhD in Biological Sciences


The doctoral degree requires a minimum of 72 credit hours.  Fifteen hours are composed of formal coursework at the 8000 or 9000 level, including BIO_SC 8050 Professional Survival Skills, and a course in ethics.  The remainder of the 72 hours is made up of seminars and thesis research.  Otherwise, students design their program of study based on their research interest and in consultation with their faculty advisor.

Admission Eligibility & Criteria

The Division of Biological Sciences actively recruits outstanding graduate students from both national and international pools. Selected candidates are interviewed. The best are admitted to the division for graduate study. Even more important than the quantitative Grade Point Average, we are interested in evidence of critical qualitative characteristics including: undergraduate research experiences and presentation of research results; ability to face and overcome obstacles; exceptional motivation, work ethic, intellectual vitality, initiative, creativity, critical thinking ability and leadership ability.

All entering graduate students should have a broad background in biology and should have completed courses in mathematics through integral calculus, chemistry through organic chemistry and a year of physics. Exceptions may be made for individual students. Outstanding students with undergraduate degrees in areas other than biology (such as biochemistry, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics or psychology) are encouraged to apply with the understanding that subject matter in biology will be addressed in the first year of graduate study.

  • Fall deadline: December 1
  • Minimum TOEFL scores:
Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
250 608

Required Application Materials

To the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • All required Graduate Admissions documents

To the Biological Sciences Program:

  • Division of Biological Sciences application form
  • Official Transcripts
  • 3 Reference letters
  • Personal Statement
  • Statement of previous research or scholarly experience
  • Résumé

Admission Contact Information

College of Arts and Science
218 Tucker Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-1847