The Doctorate in Biological Sciences is a program of the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences

BGSU biological sciences graduate researchers in a boat on Lake Erie, Ohio, sampling the water in the shadow of a cooling tower.
  • Doctorate Available
  • Doctorate Available

Doctor of Philosophy in

Biological Sciences

The BGSU Doctor of Philosophy in biological sciences offers graduate training in both applied and fundamental areas of biology.

BGSU is well-placed to help you develop critical thinking skills and become a highly qualified biological scientist. We engage doctoral candidates in active learning, individual research experiences and interdisciplinary collaborations with a nationally recognized research faculty who provide professional leadership to national and international scientific communities.

BGSU biology faculty and graduate students have a strong track record of public outreach, education and applied research, embracing our mission as a public university for the public good.

High-quality doctorate in the biological sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences conducts state-of-the-art science research, which is the foundation for graduate training.

Significant areas of research concentration include molecular biology, microbiology, cell biology, development, genetics, physiology, neurobiology, behavior, ecology, conservation biology and evolution.

Working In close cooperation with an advising faculty member, you will define the theme of your studies and then start to define your questions, determine how to find the answers and explore the skills you will need to do so.

This Ph.D. program leads you to the generation of new knowledge, original insight and an expanded understanding of biological science.

STAND OUT in areas like

  • Plant-insect interactions
  • Neurochemistry of aggression
  • Host-virus evolution
  • Aquatic community ecology
  • Circadian rhythms of cells
  • DNA/RNA preservation


Your course of study is designed, with the advice of your committee, to meet your particular needs and interests.

BGSU doctoral candidates in biological science must complete at least 60 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the master's degree or 90 semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree (usually completed in 4 years). 

These hours must include 10 semester hours of formal coursework, including biodocumentation and grant writing, one of the core biological science courses and at least 16 semester hours of dissertation research.

Students must complete a preliminary written and oral examination covering general biological knowledge, usually by the end of the second year of study. Once you complete these examinations and defend a proposal (within 6 months of the Prelims), you will be considered to be a candidate for the Ph.D. degree.

You must then complete an independent research project acceptable to your doctoral committee. This research project is to be described and evaluated in the dissertation. The final oral examination consists of a defense of the dissertation and may cover related fields of study.  Doctoral students are also expected to have at least one manuscript submitted, accepted or published before graduation.

Our research encompasses both basic science and targeted efforts to address societal challenges, including medical and environmental issues.


Alumni of the BGSU biological science program have contributed work to coronavirus rapid tests, understanding the toxicity of the Lake Erie algae bloom, Ohio water quality, new fuel sources, forensic science and many other areas.

Post-doctoral career options are numerous with many graduates pursuing teaching opportunities across the world and development and commercialization opportunities. Others enter university-based and commercial applied research in government, conservation nonprofits, international NGOs and the private sector.

GO FAR in your career

  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Post-Doctoral Associate
  • Research Associate
    Lab Leader
  • Government Research
  • Nonprofit Science Leadership
  • Education & Outreach

The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds the median weekly earnings of all Ph.D. qualified workers to be $1,883 with a group employment rate of around 99 percent.

BGSU Graduate College

The Doctorate in Biological Sciences is a program of the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The biology program underwent Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2019-20.

More information on accreditation

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The biology program does not lead to professional licensure.

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The biology program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact

Updated: 11/10/2022 03:35PM