Biological Sciences PhD

Biological Sciences—MS, PhD

There has never been a more exiting time to become a biologist. Rapid advances in molecular biology and the mounting urgency to better understand the global ecosystem are converging to provide challenges for biologists in all disciplines. The graduate program in biological sciences at Michigan Tech frequently draws upon additional expertise in the areas of forestry, chemistry, mathematical sciences, mechanical engineering, and civil and environmental engineering—making for a stimulating, interdisciplinary, and intellectual atmosphere for career development.

Degrees Offered

The Department of Biological Sciences offers masters and doctoral graduate degrees in Biological Sciences. Students opting for the MS degree can expect to spend two years meeting their requirements. Throughout the program, students will hone their research skills, write a thesis, and complete additional course work. Students choosing to pursue a PhD in Biological Sciences typically take between three and six years to complete their degree requirements. PhD students will develop an original research question, execute research, write a thesis, and take both written and oral examinations to demonstrate competency in the discipline.

Degree Requirements

For more information about departmental graduation requirements (for both the MS and PhD programs), please see Graduate Requirements.

Program Strengths and Areas of Research Excellence

The Department of Biological Sciences has a number of areas of research excellence including:

Cell, Genetics, Developmental, Toxicology, Gene Silencing, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology (both Plant and Animal)

Rupali Datta

Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-1783
rupdatta@mtu.edu
Dow 530

Erika I. Hersch-Green

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-3351
eherschg@mtu.edu
Dow 730

Michael R. Gretz

Professor, Biological Sciences

Director, Biotechnology Research Center

906-487-3175
mrgretz@mtu.edu
GLRC 222

Chandrashekhar P. Joshi

Department Chair, Biological Sciences

Professor of Plant Molecular Genetics, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

906-487-2738 (Biology)
cpjoshi@mtu.edu
Dow 741, Noblet 168

Guiliang Tang

Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-2174
gtang1@mtu.edu
Dow 406 / Dow 416

Xiaoqing Tang

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-1872
xtang2@mtu.edu
Dow 533

Thomas Werner

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-1209
twerner@mtu.edu
Dow 523

Ramakrishna Wusirika

Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Director, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) Program

906-487-3068
wusirika@mtu.edu
Dow 505

Qing-Hui Chen

Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-1629
qinghuic@mtu.edu
SDC 231/ Dow 407

Human Health and Mammalian Science; Peace Corp MS in Health

John J. Durocher

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-1659
jjduroch@mtu.edu
Dow 735

Karyn Fay

Director, Medical Laboratory Science Program, Biological Sciences

Professor of Practice, Biological Sciences

906-487-2254
kafay@mtu.edu
Dow 734

Xiaoqing Tang

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-1872
xtang2@mtu.edu
Dow 533

Brigitte Morin

Instructor, Biological Sciences

Jason R. Carter

Department Chair and Professor, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

Associate Dean, College of Sciences and Arts

Adjunct Professor, Biological Sciences, Cognitive and Learning Sciences

906-487-2994
jcarter@mtu.edu
SDC 231

Qing-Hui Chen

Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-1629
qinghuic@mtu.edu
SDC 231/ Dow 407

Medical Laboratory Management

Students may elect to focus their MS studies in medical laboratory management (MLM). The focus option consists of approximately one-half science courses and one-half business courses—integrating both theoretical and practical aspects of laboratory sciences with management theory. The program is flexible and suitable for both the experienced medical laboratory scientist and the recent graduate. It not only provides knowledge and expertise in MLM, but also challenges the student to learn more about rapid developments in immunology, microbiology, and biochemistry. This non-thesis option within the MS degree allows for completion of the Biological Sciences MS degree within a relatively short period of time. Past candidate projects have included studies using computer analysis of cost accounting to study MLM, computer models for productivity analysis, and writing and assembling laboratory manuals.  Applicants must have MLS(ASCP) certification.

Karyn Fay

Director, Medical Laboratory Science Program, Biological Sciences

Professor of Practice, Biological Sciences

906-487-2254
kafay@mtu.edu
Dow 734

Brigitte Morin

Instructor, Biological Sciences

Ecology and Evolution

Nancy A. Auer

Professor, Biological Sciences

Director and Advisor, Graduate Program

906-487-2353
naauer@mtu.edu
Dow 732, GLRC 110

Erika I. Hersch-Green

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-3351
eherschg@mtu.edu
Dow 730

Casey J Huckins

Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Program Director Peace Corps Master's International Program in Biological Sciences

906-487-2475
cjhuckin@mtu.edu
Dow 716, GLRC 112

Charles Kerfoot

Professor, Biological Sciences

Director, Lake Superior Ecosystem Research Center

Adjunct Professor, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

906-487-2769
wkerfoot@mtu.edu
GLRC 305, office

Amy M. Marcarelli

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-2867
ammarcar@mtu.edu
Dow 727

Thomas Werner

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-1209
twerner@mtu.edu
Dow 523

Aquatic and Fish Biology; Peace Corp International, MS

Nancy A. Auer

Professor, Biological Sciences

Director and Advisor, Graduate Program

906-487-2353
naauer@mtu.edu
Dow 732, GLRC 110

Michael R. Gretz

Professor, Biological Sciences

Director, Biotechnology Research Center

906-487-3175
mrgretz@mtu.edu
GLRC 222

Casey J Huckins

Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Program Director Peace Corps Master's International Program in Biological Sciences

906-487-2475
cjhuckin@mtu.edu
Dow 716, GLRC 112

Charles Kerfoot

Professor, Biological Sciences

Director, Lake Superior Ecosystem Research Center

Adjunct Professor, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

906-487-2769
wkerfoot@mtu.edu
GLRC 305, office

Amy M. Marcarelli

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

906-487-2867
ammarcar@mtu.edu
Dow 727

Additional Opportunities

Faculty, scientists, and graduate students of various departments and research institutes maintain close working ties for interdisciplinary study and research. Some opportunities include work with:

  • several campus research groups, which study environmental microbiology for bioremediation and other applications;
  • the Aquatic Ecology Research Group, which includes the Fish Ecology Group and the Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Science Institute;
  • the Lake Superior Ecosystems Research Center (LaSER), which studies basic ecosystem processes within the aquatic and terrestrial portions of the Lake Superior watershed;
  • the Phototechnology Research Center, which focuses on biotechnology, physiology, pathology, and biochemistry of plants, using traditional approaches—as well as the latest advances in genetic engineering and molecular microanalysis;
  • the Environmental Engineering Center, which studies groundwater, soil and sediment systems, air emissions, pollution control, and waste treatment; and
  • the Diesel Research Group studies diesel emissions, including the effects of emission-control devices and the use of alternate fuels.

Financial Support and Funding Opportunities

With few exceptions, all graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences receive financial support in the form of graduate teaching assistantships, graduate research assistantships, fellowships, and special doctoral fellowships. Additionally, open graduate student positions are posted online.