Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

AdmissionsFinancial Support │ CoursesStudent ResourcesStudent Handbook

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy can be pursued in the Department of Biology through the Purdue University Graduate School. The Ph.D. requires a total of 90 credit hours of registration. All requirements for the degree can be fulfilled in Indianapolis. 

Students graduating from the Department of Biology with Ph.D. degrees have been successful in obtaining post-doctoral research experience and have gone on to secure faculty positions at accredited institutions of higher learning or research positions in industry or government.

Qualifying Exam

Written Qualifying Examinations are administered at the end of the first year of study in the area most relevant to the student's research interests. By the end of the second year of study, the student must have passed the Qualifying Exam. For Indianapolis students, the examinations are available in the following four areas: (1) Immunobiology, (2) Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, (3) Cell and Developmental Biology, and (4) Membrane Biology. These areas are unique to Indianapolis and reflect the strengths and interests of the IUPUI faculty.

Preliminary Exam

Within a year of completing the Qualifying Exam, students are required to write and defend a dissertation research proposal (Preliminary Exam) before a Ph.D. advisory committee. Upon successful completion of the Preliminary Exam, students are admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D.