The Department of Biological Sciences is the focal point for research in the Life Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. The Graduate Program in Biological Sciences encompasses the broad scope of biological inquiry with several areas of study in the Biomedical Sciences, Global Health, and Ecology, Evolution & the Environment (EEE). This uncommon level of wide-ranging yet integrative biological inquiry provides an extraordinary environment for learning, innovation and collaboration.
The program provides a wide choice of faculty advisors, many of who lead their disciplines by serving as officers of professional societies, on journal editorial boards, study sections, scientific advisory boards and as consultants for various organizations. Many are recipients of prestigious awards and several are elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This vibrant research community continues to expand its faculty, both within the department and with associated faculty at the Indiana University School of Medicine at South Bend adjacent to the Notre Dame campus, and other departments at Notre Dame.
The department is home to over 140 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and is housed mainly in the Galvin Life Sciences Building at the center of the Notre Dame campus.
For the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences, each student is expected to complete a 60-credit hour program. This requirement is composed of at least 24 credit hours of course work and the remainder as dissertation research. Through the combination of coursework (24 credit hours above) and non-curricular activities, students demonstrate competency in the following six areas:
Students must pass a comprehensive written exam over foundational and advanced discipline knowledge.
Students must pass an oral candidacy exam that includes writing and defense of a scientific research proposal. The proposal rigor and format should meet the requirements of an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant in the Directorate for Biological Sciences or in the format of an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).
Students must pass a dissertation defense. When the research is completed, the student writes the dissertation, which is then read by the adviser and the students advisory committee. Upon approval, the student gives a final public oral presentation of the research, followed by an oral examination/defense of the research to the advisory committee.
Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100.
After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department.
Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.
The University offers five types of support to full-time graduate students: fellowships, teaching and research assistantships, tuition scholarships, training grant scholarships, and grants-in-aid. All assistantships and fellowships provide a full tuition scholarship. A 12-month stipend is $28,840.
University Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis. Most graduate students are supported as teaching assistants (TAs) or research assistants (RAs). A student supported by a teaching assistantship will perform duties involving classroom or laboratory teaching. A student supported by a research assistantship is supported by sponsored research grants or internal funds to the faculty advisor. All graduate students are expected to conduct research and complete coursework as required by the program, no matter the source of the support (fellowship, TA, or RA).