Jun 16, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Doctor of Philosophy - Biological Sciences


Plan Description


The School of Life Sciences (SoLS) offers a Ph.D. program in Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Integrative Physiology, Microbiology and Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics. This degree is research intensive and is designed to prepare students for careers in academia, government, or industry. Students complete a minimum of 60 credit hours from a list of core and approved courses within their section. In addition, students are typically a Teaching Assistant (TA) for at least one semester. It is expected that students will first-author at least one peer-reviewed journal article.​ 

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

Applications for fall admission that are completed by the posted deadline will be given priority for state-funded graduate assistantships. Admission is based on a combination of criteria that may differ from one year to another, however, most successful applicants have a minimum of a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (junior and senior years) and score in the upper 50th percentile on all sections of the GRE. Students interested in enrolling in the Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics Track (Subplan 5) must have taken two semester-long biology classes prior to admission. Decisions for fall applicants will be made by April 1 if not sooner.

Applications are not considered complete unless they contain:

  1. A completed Graduate College Application with Official transcripts and three Letters of Recommendation.
  2. Official GRE score report; subject GREs are not required.
  3. A two-page personal statement describing why the applicant wishes to obtain a Ph.D. in biological sciences. 

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Cellular and Molecular Biology Track


Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements


Required Courses – Credits: 9


Complete 9 credits from the following list of courses:

Didactic Courses – Credits: 9


Complete 9 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Elective Courses – Credits: 23


Complete 23 credits of advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, or didactic courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the undergraduate degree. At least 24 of these hours (excluding dissertation) must be completed at the 700-level.
  2. Dissertation credits may be repeated for credit as needed, but only 12 credits may be counted towards the 60 credit hour minimum graduation requirement.
  3. Students must complete the specific didactic course work required. See SoLS’s Graduate Student Handbook http://sols.unlv.edu/current.html for specific requirements.
  4. Students working on their dissertation must register for at least 3 credits each semester (excluding summer) until the Dissertation is completed and given final approval.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Track


Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements


Didactic Courses – Credits: 18


Complete 18 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Elective Courses – Credits: 23


Complete 23 credits of advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, or didactic courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the undergraduate degree. At least 24 of these hours (excluding dissertation) must be completed at the 700-level.
  2. Dissertation credits may be repeated for credit as needed, but only 12 credits may be counted towards the 60 credit hour minimum graduation requirement.
  3. Students must complete the specific didactic course work required. See SoLS’s Graduate Student Handbook http://sols.unlv.edu/current.html for specific requirements.
  4. Students working on their dissertation must register for at least 3 credits each semester (excluding summer) until the Dissertation is completed and given final approval.

Subplan 3 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Integrative Physiology Track


Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements


Didactic Courses – Credits: 18


Complete 18 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Elective Courses – Credits: 23


Complete 23 credits of advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, or didactic courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the undergraduate degree. At least 24 of these hours (excluding dissertation) must be completed at the 700-level.
  2. Dissertation credits may be repeated for credit as needed, but only 12 credits may be counted towards the 60 credit hour minimum graduation requirement.
  3. Students must complete the specific didactic course work required. See SoLS’s Graduate Student Handbook http://sols.unlv.edu/current.html for specific requirements.
  4. Students working on their dissertation must register for at least 3 credits each semester (excluding summer) until the Dissertation is completed and given final approval.

Subplan 4 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Microbiology Track


Total Credits Required: 60

Course Requirements


Didactic Courses – Credits: 15


Complete 15 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Elective Courses – Credits: 23


Complete 23 credits of advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, or didactic courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the undergraduate degree. At least 24 of these hours (excluding dissertation) must be completed at the 700-level.
  2. Dissertation credits may be repeated for credit as needed, but only 12 credits may be counted towards the 60 credit hour minimum graduation requirement.
  3. Students must complete the specific didactic course work required. See SoLS’s Graduate Student Handbook http://sols.unlv.edu/current.html for specific requirements.
  4. Students working on their dissertation must register for at least 3 credits each semester (excluding summer) until the Dissertation is completed and given final approval.

Subplan 5 Requirements: Post Bachelor’s - Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics Track


Total Credits Required: 60

Course requirements


Didactic courses - Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Elective Courses – Credits: 23


Complete 23 credits of advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, core, or didactic courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 12


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the undergraduate degree. At least 24 of these hours (excluding dissertation) must be completed at the 700-level.
  2. Dissertation credits may be repeated for credit as needed, but only 12 credits may be counted towards the 60 credit hour minimum graduation requirement.
  3. Students must complete the specific didactic course work required. See SoLS’s Graduate Student Handbook http://sols.unlv.edu/current.html for specific requirements.
  4. Students working on their dissertation must register for at least 3 credits each semester (excluding summer) until the Dissertation is completed and given final approval.

Subplan 6 Requirements: Post-Master’s Track


Total Credits Required: 30 

Course Requirements


Degree Requirements


  1. Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours when entering the program with a master’s degree from another institution. At least 9 of these hours must be completed at the 700-level.
  2. Dissertation credits may be repeated for credit as needed, but only 12 credits may be counted towards the 30 credit hour minimum graduation requirement.
  3. Students must complete the didactic course work required by the Section (e.g., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and Integrative Physiology) to which they belong. See SoLS’s Graduate Student Handbook http://sols.unlv.edu/current.html for specific requirements.
  4. Students working on their dissertation must register for at least three (3) credits each semester (excluding summer) until the Dissertation is completed and given final approval.

Plan Graduation Requirements


  1.  The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the dissertation defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their dissertation to the Graduate College for format check. Once the dissertation format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for dissertation defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here