Main Navigation

University Resources

Home Graduate Students

Graduate Students


Biology Graduate Programs


The School of Biological Sciences comprises research groups that span the broad spectrum of the life sciences. Reflecting this diversity, graduate training is provided through two focused graduate programs. Each program features its own research emphases, journal clubs, and requirements for advanced degrees. Multiple faculty members participate in more than one graduate program.

Many of our faculty members also participate in the interdepartmental programs in Molecular Biology, Biological Chemistry, and Neuroscience. These programs have their own admissions processes that are independent from the School of Biological Sciences. Please see the websites of these programs for details about their specific admissions requirements and application processes.

Message from the Graduate Program Director


We are excited that you have chosen or are considering the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah to pursue your graduate studies in biology!

Our school provides an inclusive environment for you to purse your passion for science. Our faculty comprises nearly 50 members whose research interests are diverse, and who serve as mentors for ~90 graduate students from around the world. Complementing outstanding faculty, staff and facilities, the school’s graduate program is highly interactive.

In performing your graduate studies in the program, you will be exposed to a wide range of biological investigation, from molecular structures and cells, to genetics, to organisms and ecosystems and their interactions. The school’s collegial environment, with many opportunities for interactions among research groups, has been a long-standing strength, and continues to be so today. Graduate school is a time to make lifelong friendships and connections as you grow as a scientist and mature as a person. It is a challenging and exciting time, one filled with opportunities to make new discoveries as you acquire important skills and disciplined logical thinking that will serve you for the rest of your career. Pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree can be a life changing and rewarding experience. Our lives were shaped and enriched by our times in graduate school, and we hope that your time in the School of Biological Sciences will be similarly influential in your life.

We wish you the best for your scientific explorations as you move through your graduate studies!

Kent Golic
Graduate Program Director

Frederick Adler
SBS Director

Graduate Student Coordinator


SBS Graduate Students are encouraged to meet early and often with the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Shannon Nielsen

(she/her/hers)

shannon.nielsen@bioscience.utah.edu

(801) 581-5636

South Biology Building

257 South 1400 East, Rm. 223

Contact

Rotation Advisor for MCEB Students


Michael Werner

Assistant Professor

(801) 585-0471

Contact

Graduate Student Research Programs


Reflecting research diversity at the School, graduate training is provided through two focused graduate programs. Each features its own research emphases, journal clubs, and requirements for advanced degrees. Multiple faculty members participate in more than one graduate research program.

Molecular, Cellular & Evolutionary Biology Program

MCEB

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Program

EEOB

Research at
SBS

Research

Dedicated to All Axes of Diversity


The  Diversity Fellows Program is an on-site, one-day workshop for students with a strong interest in research in all areas of biology who wish to enter graduate school within the next 1-3 years.

2023 Applications will be available Fall Semester

Graduate Diversity Office


Inclusiveness of students from communities underrepresented in higher education, particularly racial and ethnic communities, creates a better academic environment for all students and is a goal we are committed to reaching.

Graduate School Diversity Office 

Latest News


Desert shrubs cranked up water use efficiency to survive a megadrought

It may not be enough. Shrubs in the desert Southwest have increased their water use efficiency at some of the highest rates ever observed to cope with a decades-long megadrought. That’s the finding of a new study from University of Utah researchers, who found that although the shrubs’ efficiency increases are unprecedented and heroic, they […]

Read More

Nerd with a passion for the outdoors

Growing up on a hobby farm in the Pacific Northwest, Shelley Reich developed a keen interest in biology, especially genetics and animal behavior. She fondly recalls the imprinted ducklings that followed her around the farm, litters of Australian shepherd puppies her family raised, and the acrobatics of newborn calves not even 24-hours old. In addition […]

Read More

Elaine Tan

The difference between the flora and fauna of Malaysia and that of the Great Basin and Wasatch Mountains could not be more different. And yet it was the latter where SBS graduate student Elaine Tan (they/them), whose family is from the former, decided to do their graduate work in ecology and the evolution of social […]

Read More

Anna Vickrey, PhD’20

Anna Vickrey Anna Vickrey who graduated from the School of Biological Sciences with a PhD in 2020 has always been fascinated with domestication, both the process and the “products” which include the plants and animals important to our lives and history as humans. “I became really interested in the morphological diversity present both in domestic […]

Read More

Nematode proteins shed light on infertility

  We have two copies of each chromosome in every cell in our bodies except...

Christmas trees and climate change

Small choices can make a big impact this holiday season, starting with your Christmas tree!...

PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR AWARD

Associate Professor of biology Sophie Caron is a 2023 awardee. The University of Utah Presidential...

OUR DNA 2023

Read the full issue of OUR DNA 2023, the magazine of the School of Biological...

MECHANISMS OF PLANT MICROBES

'Plants do have immune systems or immune responses, and a lot of people don’t realize...

Nadkarni named NatGeo Explorer at Large

NADKARNI NAMED NATGEO EXPLORER AT LARGE   The National Geographic Society has appointed famed University...

Epiphytes Face Growing Threats

Orchids, mosses, ferns—or epiphytes, defined as nonparasitic plants that grow on other plants—are crucial for...

Fall's Flamboyance

FALL'S FLAMBOYANCE   To many, Utah’s fall leaves are a dazzling display of nature’s beauty....

Thliveris

ANDY THLIVERIS: 'REMEMBER THE UNDERGRADS'   In December 2022, Andrew Thliveris BS’83 made a special...

Rowntree Right Whales

DOING RIGHT BY RIGHT WHALES   More than 50 years ago, Victoria Rowntree, research professor...

CLENCHED FISTS AND FULL BEARDS

CLENCHED FISTS AND FULL BEARDS Humans have not evolved to do any one thing. We...

Spider mite toxin evolution

HOW SPIDER MITES QUICKLY EVOLVE RESISTANCE TO TOXINS Although mites are arthropod-like insects, they have...

MATHEMATICAL BIOLOGY ADDS UP

MATHEMATICAL BIOLOGY ADDS UP The intersection between biology and math may seem like a large...

Stark Message from Maui

A STARK MESSAGE FROM MAUI Earth’s rapidly changing climate is taking an increasingly heavy toll...

Tree-top Barbie Nadkarni

WHAT THE INSPIRATION FOR ‘TREETOP BARBIE’ THOUGHT OF THE ‘BARBIE’ MOVIE The canopy scientist (a.k.a....

Shared Resistance in Breast Cancer

“Cancer cells are often thought of as maverick cells that break the rules and by...

Zundel Admin

HERE COMES TROUBLE SHOOTING That portion of the foliage of trees forming the uppermost layer...

Nadkarni-Bright Red Arrow

WHEN THE ‘BRIGHT RED ARROW” TURNS EARTHWARD “[P]retty much all my adult life I’ve been...

Nature for Everyone

BRINGING NATURE TO EVERYONE A walk in the woods, in the desert, or even a...

GADUSOL: A MORE “E-FISH-ENT” SUNSCREEN

As temperatures rise, and outside activities become more popular, many people are thinking about protecting...

Nobel Winner Capecchi Discovers New Brain Mechanism

The pandemic and its aftermath have raised anxiety to new levels. But the roots of...

Lissy Coley National Academy

“I first stepped foot in a tropical rainforest in 1975 and have been back every...

Jon Wang

Vulnerable forests and the carbon budget   Jon Wang is an Earth systems scientist and...

Rog Undergrad Mentor Award

2023 OUTSTANDING UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH MENTORS The Office of Undergraduate Research has created a faculty award to honor...

Anderegg Allergy Article

If you’ve been itchy, congested, and sneezy for months, you’re not alone. This year’s spring allergy...

Jesus Aguayo

Jesus Eduardo Aguayo's  interest in Biology was fueled during his high school experience. He recalls...

Humans @ the U: Jessica Venegas

“I was born prematurely at the University of Utah Hospital. My parents would tell me...

Bailey Young

“A lot of people assume that pigeons are garbage birds and look at them with...

Seeing the forest for the trees

SBS's "Highly-Cited" researchers spur collaboration in forest science Banner Photo Credit: Rob DeGraff via Flickr...

Remembering K. Gordon Lark

SBS gathered December 15, 2022 to remember the life and legacy of the late K....

Anatomy Education Relies on Body Donor Program

I sat down in a fluorescent plastic chair in an ice cold, windowless room. I...

Paying it Forward: Clarissa Henry

It's generally not a good idea (or even allowed) to take biochemistry as your first...

A Serendipitous Path to Pharmacology

A RETROSPECTIVE VIEW by Baldomero Olivera I have no formal academic training in pharmacology. It's...