Evolutionary Biology, PhD

Evolutionary Biology is an interdisciplinary graduate degree program that provides PhD-level training in the historical, conceptual, empirical and quantitative aspects of biological evolution.

Evolution is a fundamental scientific concept underlying all aspects of modern biological, environmental and health-related research. It cuts across the biological sciences in ways that few other foci do. It also informs the theoretical foundations of subfields — ranging from population genetics to systematics to ecosystem ecology. 

We focus on understanding the patterns and processes that shape life on Earth. And, we are training the next generation of scientists to use this knowledge to meet both present and future challenges to the biosphere and human health.

Our program is linked to several research institutes and center including:

Contact: Program chairs Melissa Wilson Sayres and Anne Stone

84 credit hours, a written prospectus and its defense (these also serve as the written and oral comprehensive exams), and a dissertation.

Core courses

  • EVO 601 Principles of Evolution
  • EVO 610 Research Areas of Evolution (both fall and spring, year 1)
  • BIO 614 Biometry or approved alternate quantitative analysis course

Program electives
Nine hours from approved courses in:

  • life sciences
  • mathematics
  • anthropology or other appropriate fields

Other Courses, Research, or Seminars

54 hours


12 hours 

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted Oct. 1 - Dec. 15, with a preference date of Dec. 1.
The Evolutionary Biology PhD program admits one group of students annually to start their program the following August. 

There is no guarantee that applications received after Dec. 15 will be reviewed. In January, the top applicants will be invited to a recruitment event scheduled in mid- to late-February. 

Before applying, we encourage you to read our Tips for Applying.

We will notify you of your admissions status by April 15. 

Desired qualifications:

  • Research experience 
  • Undergraduate GPA minimum 3.0 (on 4.0 scale)
  • GRE scores: 50% Verbal and 70% Quantitative 
  • International students: TOEFL score of 100, or IELTS score of 6.5

Note: Your application is evaluated based on your entire application package.

To apply, follow the How and When to Apply link below.

 You will be asked to:

  1. Review the university standards, degree program timelines and application requirements
  2. Complete the graduate admission application
  3. Send official transcripts, general GRE scores and language tests (international students only) to graduate admissions services
  4. Fill out the academic record form and upload it 
  5. Submit a non-refundable application fee 

Degree Offered

Evolutionary Biology, PhD
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Deadlines

Applications for Fall 2019 accepted:  Oct. 1-Dec. 15, 2018
Priority deadline:  Dec. 1, 2018

Financial Support for Graduate Education

More information on financial support through the School of Life Sciences.

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