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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


(801) 581-5636

South Biology Building

257 South 1400 East, Rm. 223


Rotation Advisor for MCEB Students

Ofer Rog (he/they)

Assistant Professor

(801) 581-3352


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


Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Program


Research at


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

Jordan Herman

Few encounter a fer-de-lance snake and walk away unscathed. While working in Costa Rica recent School of Biological Sciences (SBS) graduate Jordan Herman (PhD’20) moved closer to observe a toucan dismembering the green iguana it was having for lunch. When the bird took off and dropped half of it, Herman picked up the iguana’s tail […]

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Kyle Kittelberger

For graduate students, getting research published in a peer-reviewed journal is arguably the gold standard and the kind of academic cachet that can help propel a budding academic and researcher into the stratosphere. Even one publication is impressive. For Kyle Kittelberger, “pubs” are turning into a regular affair. In this year alone (2021) he’s seen […]

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Tracking Wildlife During the Pandemic

March 30, 2021 -For scientists, especially graduate students, who conduct fieldwork, every day is precious. Researchers meticulously prepare their equipment, procedures and timelines to make sure they get the data they need to do good science. So you can imagine the collective anxiety that fell across academia in spring 2020 when COVID-19 struck and many […]

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Synthetic insect-bacterial symbiosis

A new paper in Current Biology authored by Crystal Su (Dale lab) and other collaborators in SBS describes the development of a novel, synthetic insect-bacterial symbiosis that is sustained through many insect generations by transovarial bacterial transmission. ^ Banner photo: Crystal Su in the lab The symbiotic bacteria express a red fluorescent protein that is […]

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