Graduate Program Overview

a small frog in a jar, which sits atop a lichen-covered rock
A specimen of the extinct Holoaden bradei, last seen in the wild in 1978, sits in what was once its natural habitat (Upper Itatiaia National Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil).


We thank you for your interest in graduate studies in the Department of Biological Sciences at The University of Alabama and we encourage you to learn more about us by browsing this site, contacting us directly and exploring the research interests of our faculty.


The mission of the graduate program in the Department of Biological Sciences is to foster the development of the next generation of scientists by providing a strong technical background, a sound grasp of current scientific problems, and the analytical skills needed to address such problems. We want to instill a motivation for continued learning, which will allow the student to define and solve new kinds of research problems during a professional career. Upon graduating, our students will move on to positions in academia, industry, and government. We welcome the input of our students on our graduate program, which will assist us in developing our program to remain at the cutting edge of science.

Degree Programs

The department offers programs leading to the Master of Science in Biological Sciences, Master of Science in Marine Science, and Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences degrees. As of Fall 2019, students may also enroll in a coursework only Master of Arts in Biological Sciences degree program. The graduate program is designed to provide broad training in the Biological Sciences, with specialization in the fields of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) or Ecology, Evolution and Systematics (EES). Research foci within MCB include disease model systems; evolutionary and developmental genetics; microbiology and immunology; genomics; and protein biochemistry. Research foci within EES include population, community, and ecosystem ecology; microbial ecology; evolutionary biology; conservation genetics; marine biology; animal behavior and physiology; and systematics, with a special emphasis on aquatic systems.

Research Opportunities

All graduate students join the research group of one of our faculty and conduct independent research projects under their direction and mentorship. Prospective graduate students are encouraged to explore our faculty research interests and contact professors to discuss mutual interest in joining a research group.

Frequently Asked Questions

See this document for frequently asked questions and answers.