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Integrated Biosciences

UMD Graduate School

Program Overview
The Integrated Biosciences graduate program offers study toward the doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree and Master of Science (MS) degree under Plan A (coursework and original thesis). The program has three areas of emphasis:

Admission and Application Requirements
To be admitted to the program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • A Bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university in the biological or physical sciences or a related field.
  • GPA 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale)
  • GRE General Examination test scores of 60th percentile or above - preferred. NOTE: Official (not copies) of the GRE results must not be more than 5 years old.
  • Although GRE Subject Test scores in Biology, Biochemistry, or Cell and Molecular Biology are not required, they are considered in decisions on admission and financial support if submitted.
  • Official TOEFL, MELAB, IELTS test scores.

Additional Recommended Experience/Education
A background in a wide variety of subdisciplines is appropriate preparation for the Integrated Biosciences Graduate Program. 

  • Examples include, but are not limited to, biochemistry, botany, cell biology, chemistry, developmental biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, immunology, limnology, medicinal chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, physical chemistry, physics, physiology, psychology, and zoology.
  • Prior research experience greatly strengthens applications.

Recommended Prior Coursework
Recommended coursework for admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. degree in IBS is outlined below. However, please note that all applications are evaluated in their entirety, and no single deficiency automatically disqualifies an application from being considered.
Recommended Prior Coursework

  • 1 year each chemistry, biology AND physics
  • 1 semester calculus
  • Other advanced courses in chemistry, biology, additional calculus, and introductory statistics, are highly recommended.

Recommended Prior Coursework

  • 1 semester college level calculus
  • 1 year each biology, chemistry, and physics
  • 1 year advanced chemistry
  • Examples include, but are not limited to, organic, analytical, inorganic, biological, or physical chemistry.
  • Basic knowledge of statistics recommended

Additional course recommendations
Ecology Organismal Population (EOP) emphasis:

  • 1 semester each statistics, ecology AND evolutionary biology
  • 1 course in two of the following subjects: Genetics, Cell biology, Biochemistry

Cell Molecular Physiological (CMP) emphasis:

  • 1 year organic chemistry
  • 1 course genetics
  • 1 course cell biology
  • 1 course biochemistry

Chemical Biology (CB) emphasis:

  • 1 year organic chemistry
  • 1 course biochemistry
  • 1 course cell biology

Degree Requirements
Please refer to IBS Student Handbook.

Deadlines and Dates
The IBS program only accepts applications for fall admission. The final application deadline is March 15. Prospective students are encouraged to apply by January 15 for fullest consideration for fellowships and assistantships. Applications received after January 1 will not be eligible for fellowship consideration.

Financial Aid
Both teaching and research assistantships are available through affiliated departments; for 2012, the base salary for a 9-month 50% appointment was $14,593 ($18.71/hr) for Masters students and $16,832 ($21.58/hr) for Doctoral students. Graduate students holding an assistantship are eligible for health benefits and tuition waivers of up to 14 credits per semester.
Summer support may also be provided by research assistantships available through individual faculty members and/or the IBS Program. In addition, some 12 month research assistantships are available.
To view the Handbook for Graduate Teaching Assistants - CLICK HERE (automatic download)
To view the Graduate Assistant Employment Policy - CLICK HERE

Travel Awards
Additional travel grant funding is available for enrolled graduate students.  CLICK HERE for additional information.

Areas of Specialization

The Cell, Molecular, and Physiological (CMP) Biology Emphasis:
The CMP emphasis of the Integrated Biosciences Graduate Program provides students with a broad base of knowledge to investigate questions in biology from the molecular, biochemical, cellular and organism physiology levels. Through coursework in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology and statistics, students obtain the basic knowledge required for critical analysis of research questions in the biosciences.
Elective courses provide more specialized information in specific areas of research. Students choosing the CMP emphasis are required to take some courses from the Ecology, Organismal and Population Biology emphasis and are encouraged to pursue it as an internal related field. Areas of research include diverse topics integrating knowledge in such traditional disciplines as molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, pharmacology, pathology, and microbiology. In addition, participation in program seminars and coursework in conjunction with students in the EOP emphasis provide CMP students with a unique perspective regarding population biology and the influence of the environment on the structure and function of the organism.

CMP Faculty
The Ecology, Organismal, and Population (EOP) Biology Emphasis:
The EOP emphasis provides students with a broad curriculum in ecology, statistical analysis of ecological data, and mathematical analysis of theories and models. Students choosing the EOP emphasis are required to take some courses from the Cell, Molecular and Physiological Biology emphasis and are encouraged to pursue it as an internal related field.
Thesis topics that cross disciplinary boundaries are encouraged. Examples of such topics currently pursued by students and faculty include use of genetic markers to quantitatively describe population structure and dynamics, the physiological basis of material and energy transfers between organisms and their environment, and mathematical analysis of complex behaviors of populations and ecosystems, such as bifurcations, catastrophes, and chaos.

EOP Faculty
The Chemical Biology (CB) Emphasis:
The CB emphasis provides students with an in-depth knowledge of the chemical and biochemical aspects of structure-function relationship of biological systems, and technical skills necessary to solve complex biological proglems using integrated approaches. Students who choose the CB emphasis are required to take classes in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, physiology, ecology, and statistics for critical analysis of research.
In this interdisciplinary IBS/CB track students gain fundamental knowledge and skills to function at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, physics, and biology because the molecular underpinning of all biological systems and functions are governed by tightly regulated changes in chemical structures of biomolecules, intermolecular interactions, and networks of coupled chemical reactions. Students are also be equipped with analytical and theoretical tools that are essential to understand complex biological processes and ultimately their medical impact. Electives also assist with more specific knowledge in the field and in thesis research.


Contact Information

Office address: Integrated Biosciences Graduate Program, University of Minnesota Duluth, 251 Swenson Science Building, 1035 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN 55812

Postal address: Integrated Biosciences Graduate Program, University of Minnesota Duluth, 207 Swenson Science Building, 1035 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN 55812

Other important contact information: Phone: (218) 726-6898; Fax: (218) 726-8152;
Email:; Website:

Director of Graduate Studies: Clay Carter,, 218.726.7347

Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies: Dawn Norman,, 218.726.6898

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