PhD in Biology Online Programs
An online PhD in Biology program is a research-focused, terminal degree in the biological sciences where courses are taken anywhere with internet access. Usually, programs cover key biological sciences and then give students an option to choose a specific area for in-depth study.
The areas of emphasis might include biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics or other topics favored by individual universities. A students’ chosen area then acts as an anchor for independent research and inquiry.
written by Rana Waxman
Earning Your Biology PhD Online
In some schools, an online PhD in biology is a custom-made program that you and your advisor team up to design around your professional and personal goals. At the same time, the format is usually planned-out to appeal to busy adults who need a flexible schedule. Sometimes, to fulfill degree requirements, students may have to visit their campus or an approved local school or laboratory. Otherwise, when you earn a biology PhD online, some of the possible features are as follows.
- Work on assignments when convenient for you
- Study at home or office
- Access resources online any time you need them (e.g. online library)
- Like in traditional classrooms, use text books to supplement courses
Also noteworthy is that when students successfully complete their degree, the actual award does not usually include the words ‘distance-learning’ or ‘online’. So, while the experience of the virtual classroom may be non-traditional, the final document could look the same as it does for on-campus students. Contact individual programs to learn more about their online resources and format.
Core Courses and Topics in Online Biology PhD Programs
Below are examples of the topics or areas you may work on as you pursue an online PhD in Biology degree. By no means is it a complete or required list. Rather, it is meant as a reference point. Your individual curriculum may vary by program or based on your area of concentration.
- Medical Image Processing
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology
Read program descriptions and contact advisors for detailed course listings.
Dissertation and Research
Research also plays a hefty role in many online PhD in Biology program. Because of this, most programs offer some type of doctoral dissertation course. This could include instruction on bioinformatics and how to write scientific proposals. The actual final dissertation project is usually defined by your university. In some cases, it could entail about 15,000 words. Also, each Doctor of Biology graduate may be encouraged to publish their research papers either online in the public domain or through professional journals and periodicals worldwide.
Many traditional PhD programs in biology accept applicants with a bachelors degree and thus include laboratory rotations to help students define their interests. This may not be the case with an online Doctor of Biology (PhD). Distance programs may be oriented instead to busy mid-career adults and at-work professionals. These individuals may be involved in research within their industry or workplace, but do not yet have their PhD. Because of this, applicants may be presumed to have a masters degree and several years field/life experience.
DID YOU KNOW?
A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a closely related field is needed for entry-level microbiologist jobs. A Ph.D. is needed to carry out independent research and to work in universities.i
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