PhD Program

The PhD program in Biology provides both a broad background knowledge base and an in-depth study of a specialized area of biology. Students can choose to pursue a concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology or Molecular Microbiology.

The PhD program in Biology emphasizes close interaction between graduate students and faculty in developing the intellectual and experimental skills required for creative independent research. To be considered for admission to the doctoral program, a student must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, preferably in a biological science. Individuals with degrees in other natural sciences may be considered, depending on their interests and background.

A minimum GPA of 3.000 for all graduate work is required for the award of the PhD degree. All regulations of the Graduate School regarding maintenance of academic standing apply.

The Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology Group studies questions related to organismal development, aging, regeneration and repair. Our unifying theme is an interest in discovering how organisms build and rebuild tissues during development, after injury, and during aging. Studies in worm, fish, axolotl, mouse, and human tissue culture are providing insights into the development, function, and aging of multiple organ systems. We use genomic and proteomic analyses, and biological imaging approaches, to understand the roles and regulatory networks underlying tissue development and repair.

Biomechanics, Neurobiology, and Behavior Group pursues distinct interests, with a special emphasis on motor learning and control, biomechanics, circadian rhythms, neurogenesis and neural regeneration. Animal models run the gamut from jellyfish and termites to fish and human subjects. Research threads include the social behavior of insects, the neural architectures underlying rhythms, movement and goal-directed behaviors in humans and model organisms, and adult neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration in teleost fish.

Molecular Microbiology Group is interested in understanding the rise of multidrug resistant pathogens. Hence the focus of this group intersects strongly with that of the University in the areas of health and security. The Molecular Microbiology group investigates the bases of dormant persister cells, uncultured bacteria, composition and function of the human and environmental microbiomes, mechanisms underlying mutagenesis, regulation of the DNA damage response, and bacterial development including biofilm formation. Further strengths include the development of platforms for the discovery of new antimicrobials.


  • Concentrations in Cell and Molecular Biology or Molecular Microbiology
  • Bachelor’s and Advanced-degree entry are possible
  • Boston residence requirement of one year of full-time graduate work on campus

Our graduates pursue careers within academia and beyond.

  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Agios Pharmaceuticals
  • Masschusetts General Hospital

Application Materials

  • Application
  • Application fee – US $100
  • Unofficial transcripts for all institutions attended
    (Official transcripts required upon acceptance of admission offer)
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE General – recommended, but not required
  • Resume
  • Proof of English Proficiency for all applicants


Our priority deadline is December 1 with rolling admissions until March 15, based on space available.

We only admit degree program students for fall semesters.

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