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Graduate Programs

Our graduate programs offer master's and doctoral training through a combination of coursework, lab or field research and thesis work. Graduate students begin their thesis research in the first year under the direction of a faculty mentor. 

During their time at DU, all graduate students are expected to publish their work in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Research assistantships and teaching assistantships help students hone specific skill sets depending on career interests.

Graduate students can pursue a master's or PhD degree in biology or a professional science master's degree in biomedical sciences.

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Master's
A master’s degree is the first level of graduate study, typically requiring one to two years of full-time study. To pursue a master’s, you’ll need an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree. Many degrees are specialized to prepare you to enter the job market as a highly qualified applicant or work as an educator in your field.
Doctoral
A doctoral degree is the highest achievable graduate degree, preparing students to work in the upper echelons of their field as either practitioners or educators. Many doctoral candidates complete a dissertation, thesis or project based off original research, defending their work in front of a committee of experts. Others take rigorous coursework that prepares them for professional practice and licensure.
MA
Master of Arts
MS
Master of Science
PhD
Doctor of Philosophy
PSM
Professional Science Master's
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College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Biological Sciences

PhD

About this Program

The University of Denver's PhD in biological sciences offers students the opportunity for graduate training in either cell and molecular biology or ecology, biodiversity and evolution. Areas of focus within cell and molecular biology include biophysics, intracellular trafficking and signaling, molecular forensics, RNA biology, virus-host cell interaction, developmental biology, neuroscience and endocrinology. Within ecology, biodiversity and evolution, areas of focus consist of plant-insect interaction, ecology of invasive species, forest ecology and evolutionary biology, including evolutionary ecology, evolution of animal behavior and evolutionary-developmental biology.

Requiring five years of research and coursework, including a public seminar, written thesis and oral thesis defense, the program couples coursework with original research and teaching opportunities. When conducting their original research, students can leverage state-of-the-art facilities and techniques. Our PhD students also have the chance to teach in undergraduate lab environments.

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Biological Sciences

MS

About this Program

The University of Denver's Master of Science in biological sciences provides students with graduate training centered on primary research, featuring concentrations in cell and molecular biology and ecology, biodiversity and evolution. Students begin their research with a faculty advisor upon entrance to the program, developing an independent research project that will culminate in a written thesis, public seminar and oral defense. The majority of our MS students have their work published in a scientific journal.

Because of the program's emphasis on primary research, graduates finish the degree strongly positioned to pursue a range of postgraduate opportunities, including careers in biotech and academic labs, government labs or agencies, or continued studies in professional or doctoral programs.

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Biomedical Sciences

PSM

About this Program

The University of Denver's Professional Science Master's in biomedical sciences gives students the opportunity to develop technical skills and theoretical knowledge that can prepare them for careers in the biomedical and health sciences fields. The program utilizes rigorous coursework to provide students with a depth of scientific knowledge and a strong foundation in ethics, communication and global awareness. Graduates often pursue careers in academic and industrial biomedical research, and the program can prepare them for work in fields such as healthcare, clinical research, government and regulatory affairs, especially when paired with further studies in professional schools.

The PSM program emphasizes active communications with biomedical professionals outside the University to ensure that the curriculum and capstone experiences are relevant and beneficial to both students and industry partners. An advisory board comprised of leaders in biomedical research, biotechnology, clinical healthcare, health institutions and hospital administration guides the curriculum by providing input regarding the academic skill set and professional tools most sought by employers in biomedical fields.

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

PhD

About this Program

The University of Denver's PhD program in molecular and cellular biophysics provides students a core foundation in biophysical theory and practice, along with flexibility and individualized attention. Participation of faculty from the departments of biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, and physics and astronomy enhances the strength and breadth of our program by incorporating cross-disciplinary and collaborative approaches to research. Areas of research include super resolution microscopy, developmental dynamics, protein folding, protein network analysis, signal transduction cascades, single molecule biophysics, cellular physiology and the development of novel imaging techniques.

Students with strong quantitative undergraduate backgrounds in fields such as physics, chemistry and mathematics who desire to apply these skills to biological problems are encouraged to apply, as are those with backgrounds in cell or molecular biology and solid foundations in mathematics and physics. We particularly encourage projects in the traditional disciplines of physics, biology and chemistry, as well as those using methods of mathematical analysis and computer modeling.