Apr 24, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog 
2023-2024 General Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: To search archives, MUST use search box to left. Current catalog: catalog.usu.edu.

Biology - PhD

College of Science

Department of Biology

Biology - PhD Program

Co-Directors: Dr. Carol von Dohlen and Dr. Karen Kapheim

Graduate Programs Coordinator: Anthony Sterenchak

Location: Biology-Natural Resources 117E

E-Mail: anthony.sterenchak@usu.edu

Phone: (435) 797-2485

WWW: https://www.usu.edu/biology/ 

Degrees offered: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biology or Biology (Ecology). The department also participates in interdisciplinary programs in Climate Adaptation Science and Neuroscience.

Ecology: https://www.usu.edu/ecology/

Neuroscience: https://www.usu.edu/neuroscience/

Climate Adaptation Science: https://www.usu.edu/climate-adaptation/

PhD Degree Course Requirements

  • Degree Verification

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or a similarly recognized international university is required for admission to and completion of a graduate program.


  • Overall Graduate GPA at least 3.0 and no grades of C- or lower;

Graduate students are required to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA for degree-program courses. Grades of C- or lower will not be accepted for a graduate degree.


  • Course Number Acceptability

Course requirements are determined by the student’s supervisory committee (6000 level or above). They will vary depending on the research emphasis selected and the background of the student.

Credits in the following areas are not acceptable in a degree program: foreign languages (unless included in an approved Program of Study), continuing graduate advisement, individual home study, military science, and courses numbered below 3000.


  • Matriculation Start Semester

A doctorate must be completed within eight years of entering the degree program. Additional time may be requested by the student’s committee and submitted to the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies for review.


  • Coursework Validity

Coursework over eight years old at the time of degree completion may not be used for a graduate degree unless it is revalidated.


  • USU Residency Requirement
    • Doctoral

At least 33 semester credits for a doctoral (Ph.D.) or audiology (AUD) degree must be taken from Utah State University and be part of an approved Program of Study. At least three semesters, two of which must be consecutive, of full-time registration in residence at Utah State University, is required.


  • Thesis/Dissertation Research Credits 6970/7970
    • Doctoral students:

A minimum of 12 dissertation credits (7970) is required if the student has a master’s degree, and a minimum of 18 is required if the student has a bachelor’s degree.

  • Doctoral forms:
    • Recommended General statement:
      • Approval of academic forms required for doctoral students by the School of Graduate Studies.
    • List of specific forms, depending on plan type:
      • Supervisory Committee
      • Program of Study
      • Annual Professional Development Plan
      • Individual Development Plan
      • Completion of Comprehensive Exams (Written and Oral)
      • Application for Candidacy
      • Appointment for Examination
      • Record of Examination
      • SGS and library review and approval of Dissertation
  • Defense
    • Completion of Public presentation of research
    • Completion of Private Defense with Supervisory Committee
  • Total Credits
    • PhD-M (With Master’s): 30
    • PhD-B (Bachelor’s only): 60


  1. BIOL 6750 Intro to Grad Studies