Biology (Complex Adaptive Systems Science), PHD

At a Glance: program details

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Biology (Complex Adaptive Systems Science)

The PhD program in biology with a concentration in complex adaptive systems science trains the next generation of scientists in advanced concepts and methods needed for approaching diverse phenomena in the social and life sciences.

The program is tightly integrated with diverse, ongoing university-wide research at Arizona State University on complex adaptive system science. It emphasizes the value of a complex adaptive perspective to give students better insight and a more active role in seeking solutions to a broad array of critical issues facing society today. Students become fluent in the common language of complexity while also receiving a solid foundation in the domain knowledge of existing academic disciplines.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Student doctoral dissertations should include the application of complex adaptive systems concepts and methods in their field of study, and candidates typically have a member of the complex adaptive systems science graduate faculty as a member of the doctoral supervisory committee.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit the following:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Only students admitted to participating doctoral programs may apply for a complex adaptive systems concentration. A letter of application from the student must be sent to the chair of the complex adaptive systems science graduate faculty. The application is reviewed by members of the graduate faculty who make final admission recommendations to the Graduate College.

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Career Opportunities

A doctorate in biology with a concentration in complex adaptive systems science provides strong preparation for academic careers at every level, from community colleges to research universities. The skills and knowledge graduates obtained in this program are also valuable in government careers with federal and state agencies responsible for wildlife management and conservation and for careers in industry and nongovernmental organizations.

Career examples include:

  • food, agriculture and health care scientists in academic, private and industrial labs
  • principal investigators in government labs and nonprofit organizations
  • professors or instructors in universities and colleges
  • science teachers in elementary and high schools
  • wildlife, animal and conservation scientists

Program Contact Information

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