Graduate Program

Training PhD students is a primary goal of our program.  Early career students are prepared for careers in research through laboratory and classroom training.  In addition to individualized training by faculty in the E2G2 program, students interact extensively with faculty and peers in the cell, molecular, and developmental biology program as well as research laboratories at the University of Rochester’s Medical Center. For more general information about graduate work at the University of Rochester, you can visit the University’s graduate studies page.

Work in the lab begins during a student’s first year, during which rotations are completed in three different labs (two labs in the case of students with a masters degree).  The rotation system provides students with a breadth of research opportunities, all tailored to suit the student’s individual interests and objectives.  Students may arrange to rotate in any of the Biology Department’s laboratories (including those focused on cell, molecular, and developmental biology) and a range of affiliated laboratories on the University of Rochester’s Medical Center.

Classroom training is centered around a two year, four part topics course attended by first and second year graduate students.  During this course, each of our core faculty provides a module on the topics they consider the most important in evolutionary biology.  The topics course is supplemented by semester-long courses in topics like statistics, applied genomics (BIO457, Larracuente), computational biology (BIO453, Fay), and classical population genetics (BIO592, Orr).

Students are active participants in the E2G2 program’s weekly Friday afternoon seminar series.  After the first year, students present their research in this seminar series annually.  During these seminars students gain valuable experience in presenting their research, and receive feedback on their progress from the entire group.

At the end of the second year, students are given a comprehensive qualifying exam, during which their progress is evaluated in two areas: (1) a thesis proposal, and (2) general knowledge of ecology and evolutionary biology. By the end of the third year, students are expected to meet with their thesis committees and outline the progress and future direction of their work.  All thesis committees include an external member, who brings perspective and expertise from other institutions.

Benefits and Expectations
All students in our program are offered a competitive stipend, complete waiver of tuition and fees, and benefits (i.e., health insurance).  Students are required to serve as teaching assistants for a minimum of two semesters, usually during the spring of the first year and the fall of the second year.

International Students
We welcome applications from international students. International applicants will be reviewed without prejudice and are eligible for the same internal funding opportunities as US citizens. The University of Rochester’s International Services Office will assist accepted students with obtaining the appropriate immigration documentation.


Nuestro programa acepta postulantes internacionales y en este momento incluye representantes de Australia, India, China, Argentina y Sudán. Los postulantes internacionales son evaluados sin prejuicios y cuentan con las mismas oportunidades de financiamiento que los ciudadanos norteamericanos.  La Oficina de Servicios Internacionales de la Universidad de Rochester ayudará a los estudiantes aceptados con el proceso de inmigración.

نرحب بطلاب من جميع أنحاء العالم أن يقدموا لمرحلة الدكتوراة فى برنامجنا. من ضمن طلابنا أفراد من أستراليا, الهند, الصين, الأرجنتين, و السودان. يتم اختيار الطلاب العالميين بنمفس المعايير التي تستعمل لقبول الطلاب المحليين, و لهم نفس فرص التمويل أيضاً. مكتب الخدمات العالمية بجامعة روتشستر يتولى جميع أغراب البيانات اللتي سيحتاجها الطلاب اللذين تم قبولهم في البرنامج لاتمام اجرأت السفر.


How to Apply
Applications to our PhD program are accepted annually with a December 1st due date.  Applying to our program is free. More details on the application process are provided at the Department of Biology’s pages.   Students are encouraged to contact faculty individually prior to applying.  Because all applications will be evaluated as a group in early January, applications submitted close to the deadline will be given the same consideration as those submitted earlier.

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