StudyQA — PhD: Biology — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute



Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 68.8k / Academic year(s) Deadline: Jan 2, 2022
501–600 place StudyQA ranking:778 Duration:5 years

Photos of university / #rpiunion

Our doctoral program in biology prepares students for research-oriented careers in academia, government, and the private sector. 

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to demonstrate:

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge in a variety of sub-disciplines within the broader field of biology.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a specialized field of biology and be able to address challenging questions in that field.
  • Analyze and interpret the scientific literature and scientific presentations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, execute and interpret experiments, and will use appropriate research techniques.
  • Express their scientific research and findings in a variety of written and oral formats.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills.
  • Discuss issues related to scientific ethics and scientific misconduct.

Candidates for the Ph.D. must satisfy the requirements of the Graduate Program Committee (GPC) pass the first year Core Course, which serves as a qualifying exam with a grade of B or better, and pass a candidacy exam. The latter consists of a written and an oral portion, and must be taken by the end of the second year of full-time study. A degree candidate also must submit a dissertation based on an original research project, present their findings in a public seminar, and defend their work in an oral examination.  Additionally, all doctoral candidates are required to participate in teaching for at least one semester under the supervision of a faculty member. Seventy-two credit hours are required for the Ph.D.


  1. Nonrefundable application processing fee of $75.
  2. Statement of Background and Goals
  3. Resume or curriculum vitae.
  4. Two letters of recommendation.
  5. Writing samples, if required by department.
  6. IT Background Evaluation form (IT only).
  7. Copies of official test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE)
  8. Copies of official transcripts and evidence of degrees earned, in English and in the native language, of all post-secondary education (including transcript keys)
  9. Copy of your passport (international students only)
  10. TOEFL score of 230 CBT/88 iBT/570 PBT (IELTS 6.5 or PTE 60)


Teaching Assistants

Students assist Rensselaer faculty in their classroom and laboratory activities, gaining valuable experience as researchers, scholars, and teachers. Departments provide stipends and full-tuition waivers. Master’s students may spend a maximum of one year with internal support; doctoral students may spend a maximum of two years with internal support. Continued support can then be provided by means of research assistantships.

Research Assistants

Students work with the faculty in research-related tasks that further the student’s own graduate career and development as a researcher, scholar, and professional. Research assistants are paid a stipend and are given a full waiver of tuition.

Graduate Fellowships

Outstanding students may be awarded a university-supported Rensselaer Graduate Fellowship Award, which carries a full-tuition and fees scholarship and a minimum stipend of $21,500 per academic year. Students are nominated by their departments for Rensselaer Graduate Fellowship consideration.

Graduate Education Program (Russia)

Selected GEP Scholarship students are eligible for a renewable scholarship in the amount of 1,38 mln. rubles per year. Students in science and engineering fields are eligible for GEP funding. For application details and deadlines, please visit Applicants must be admitted to Rensselaer prior to finalizing the application for the GEP program.

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