University of Iowa

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences



The University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA 52242

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Ph.D., MS with thesis; MS without thesis (exit degree only)

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Ph.D. program of the Department of Biology at U. Iowa provides four core research tracks: cell and developmental biology, evolution, genetics, and neurobiology. The Department has 34 tenured/tenure-track faculty members who value excellence in both research and teaching. The program provides students with the training they need to excel in academic or biomedical research careers. First-year graduate students participate in a research rotation program, performing short research projects in three labs of their choice. Rotations allow students to sample different research areas and evaluate potential thesis mentors. Rotations also provide invaluable opportunities for hands-on training in new techniques, experimental systems, and approaches. Upon completion of rotations, students select a graduate advisor and begin their own thesis research. Entering graduate students also participate in a broad range of courses and seminars. Second-year students begin their major thesis research, continue their seminar and coursework, and have the opportunity to be an undergraduate teaching assistant. At the beginning of the third year, a comprehensive exam is taken, advancing students to full Ph.D. candidacy. Subsequent to the comprehensive exam, students focus primarily on their thesis for their remaining graduate career. Successful completion of the Ph.D. program usually takes four to six years and requires students to write and orally defend a dissertation of their own research. All Ph.D. students in the Biology graduate program receive full financial support. Stipends are typically increased annually to account for cost-of-living increases and to match regional peer institutions. Please consult our web site for the latest updates. Current compensation includes a stipend of $23,500 per year (2008–09), plus a full-tuition scholarship and low-cost health insurance coverage at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, ranked one of America’s Best by U.S. News & World Report.


The University of Iowa receives accreditation from a regional accreditation agency, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC).

International Student Requirements:

Competitive applications from international students should have TOEFL scores of at least 600 (pbt), 250 (cbt) or 100 (ibt). Undergraduate degree should be from a 4 year program (BA or BS). Will consider a 3 year BA or BS with one year in an MS program.

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Intensive

Locale: Small City

Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999

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