2023 Best Online PhD in Biology [Doctorate Guide]

Home » 2023 Best Online PhD in Biology [Doctorate Guide]

If you’re interested in the sciences of living things, pursuing your PhD in Biology might be a strategic next step on your educational path.

Best Online PhD in Biology

The biological sciences help us learn more about how our world operates, and this fascinating field has many specialties to choose from. Whether you want to focus on the human body or explore the living world around us, there are many options for you to consider.

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Let’s take a look at how earning a doctorate degree in biology might further your educational and professional goals.

PhD in Biology Online Programs

Two biologists getting PhD degree online

Biology is the study of living things, and there are many specific areas in biology in which doctoral students can concentrate.

Some of these biological concentrations include:

Biological studies can range from the microscopic world of the cell to understanding how our existence can impact our future.

Those who have earned their Ph.D. in Biology are able to examine our world on a very different level to understand the “how” and “why” of life as we know it. Those who earn their doctorate degree in biology may continue their careers in research, analytics, or field work. Many PhD graduates even go on to become educators for the next generation of biology students.

The field of biology is expansive, so you’ll often take a certain number of core classes, electives, and courses that are specific to your concentration. Many schools offer several areas of focus to help you further define your path.

Pursuing a doctorate degree in biology can provide you with an opportunity to hone your research and analytical skills while selecting a focus for your studies and potential career path.

Biology Careers and Salaries

PhD in Biology Careers and Salaries

The variety of degree programs in biology can help open the doors to a range of professions in related fields. Your career path will likely depend on your area of concentration, field work, and skill sets, among other factors.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , here are some professions related to the field of biology, along with their median salaries.

Many biology doctoral students focus on scientific research in a variety of specialties. For instance, some may aim to develop cutting-edge medical intervention, while others want to connect with wildlife and our environment on a cellular level.

Students who pursue a PhD in Biology are often encouraged to gain experience in the field as part of their curriculum. This could help you narrow down the field and concentration of your studies and potential career path.

Biology Doctorate Curriculum & Courses

Biologist & Biochemists working in the Lab

Since there are so many areas of study within a doctorate degree in biology, you’ll often take courses that apply to your specific concentration.

While coursework can vary between PhD programs in biology, here are a few courses you may encounter:

Your courses can also help you develop research skill sets for the dissertation component of your program.

Online PhD in Biology Admissions Requirements

Woman preparing application for Online PhD in Biology

PhD programs in biology can have different admissions requirements. You can visit a school’s website or call their admissions office to verify the specific criteria for their application process.

For many schools, doctoral applicants are asked to provide the following:

As part of the application process, you may also be asked to complete an application, attend interviews with those in the department, and present prior thesis work.

Online Biology PhD Programs Accreditation

University offering Online Biology PhD Programs

When reviewing various schools that offer a doctorate degree in biology, you may wish to only pay attention to institutions that hold regional accreditation. Programs that have earned accreditation have been examined for their educational excellence. This means the courses and instructors have earned a positive reputation for their impact on students.

Qualification for future professional memberships and licenses may be tied to participation in an accredited program. Additionally, many employers indicate that a degree from an accredited school is necessary for employment. This could also impact the publishing of your studies. To verify a school’s accreditation status, you can visit the website of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) .

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid for Biology PhD

If you’re interested in financial assistance for your doctoral degree, there are various options available for students who qualify.

To see if you’re eligible for government assistance, you can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. This federal program provides need-based financial aid to students across the country. Student loans are the most common form of federal aid. Additionally, you may wish to check with your prospective school regarding scholarships or grants available to students who are pursuing biological studies.

There may be opportunities for assistance based on your concentration or prior academic work. Some employers also provide tuition assistance or reimbursement to workers who are pursuing higher education.

What Can You Do with a Doctorate in Biology?

Man completing his Biology PhD degree online

Earning a doctorate degree in biology can help you advance your professional qualifications and skill sets in your chosen area of concentration.

Biological sciences impact much of the world around us. For instance, some graduates choose to go into the field and research various species directly, while others work in a lab, concentrating on genetic development or microbiology. After graduation, some professionals choose to continue their research or pursue a role as an educator and mentor. Others go on to become biochemists, biophysicists, or medical scientists.

Biologists are employed in a variety of sectors, and your chosen doctoral track will impact your qualifications for various career paths.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Biology?

The length of time it takes to complete a PhD in Biology can depend on several factors, including any field work or dissertation work that is part of the program.

Generally speaking, a doctorate degree in biology takes between 3 years and 5 years to complete with full-time study. This also depends on the number of credit hours required by the program. Part-time enrollment will often extend your time to completion.

A program that does not ask students to complete a dissertation can potentially be completed in 3 years with full-time study.

Is Getting a PhD in Biology Worth It?

Natural Sciences Manager working in the lab

Yes, getting a PhD in Biology is worth it for many professionals. Those with a PhD in Biology have unique insight into how our lives are impacted by our own genetics, parasites, environmental factors, and more. This may be why careers in biological fields are on the rise.

Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 8% job growth for life, physical, and social science occupations over the next ten years. A PhD can also help you qualify for positions in research and academia. Selecting a career path in biological sciences can allow greater insight into why our world is the way it is.

Universities Offering Online Doctorate in Biology Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

George Mason University

George Mason University’s PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program is available 100% online. Students are required to complete 72 total credits. Class options include Systems Biology, Biological Data Analysis, Biological Sequence and Genome Analysis, Research Ethics, Numerical Methods for Bioinformatics, and more. Courses are delivered synchronously.

George Mason University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Nova Southeastern University campus

Nova Southeastern University offers a PhD in Marine Biology and Oceanography. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for fall, spring, and summer terms. The degree can be earned on campus or online. Students are usually able to finish within 5 years. Graduates have gone on to careers in the government and academia.

Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Texas A & M University - Commerce campus

Texas A&M University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences. The program includes 4 tracks: Physiology and Developmental Biology, Infection, Immunity, and Epidemiology, Diagnostics and Therapeutics, and Biomedical Genomics and Bioinformatics. Each track can be tailored to specific research interests.

Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Texas Tech University campus

Texas Tech University offers a hybrid program for a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (Track in STEM) that requires the completion of 63 credit hours. Much of the coursework is completed online, but in the summer, students take on-campus intensive courses. Prospective students must have a master’s degree to apply.

Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Florida campus

The University of Florida offers a PhD in Anatomical Science Education. Students must complete at least 90 credit hours to graduate. Coursework includes Medical Human Embryology, Science Curriculum Development, Medical Histology, Medical Cell Biology, Essential Human Anatomy, and more. Students must also successfully defend a dissertation.

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Mississippi campus

The University of Mississippi offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Biology. This program is intended for students with at least 2 years of professional teaching experience. The full degree is only available at the main campus, but select courses are available online or at regional campuses.

The University of Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Earning Your Doctoral Degree in Biology Online

Woman getting her Doctoral Degree in Biology Online

If you have a significant interest in the biological sciences, earning your doctorate degree in biology online can allow you to develop your expertise in the specialty of your choosing.

A PhD program will also enable you to contribute research to the field. Many doctoral students go on to pursue positions in research and academia, while others pursue advanced roles in the field. A number of accredited universities now offer both masters degree in biology online programs as well as doctoral programs online, catering to working professionals.

If you’re ready to get started on the next steps in your education and career, you can check out available biology doctoral programs offered online by accredited schools.

biology phd online program

Contact Schools Directly - Compare 7 Online PhD Programs in Biology 2023

7 Online PhD Programs in Biology 2023

Learning more about the biological aspects of the human body can be the basis for further study in pharmacology or in medical school. For those who want to teach science, a biology education can be combined with training to earn a teaching credential.

A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is the highest level of formalized education that you can achieve in a particular field. Pursuing a PhD demonstrates commitment to advanced knowledge in one’s chosen field, a mastery of research and writing skills, and the ability to think critically about scholarly topics. It usually takes three to four years to complete, depending on the field of study.

Related fields of study

Miller School of Medicine QA

 Executive Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Application process.

The Executive Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is targeted toward full-time professionals working in industry or other research laboratories who are involved in research at their workplace but do not have a Ph.D. These individuals do not need to give up their jobs to enroll in this Ph.D. program.

Research performed at the industrial site will serve as the dissertation research topic. The required courses will be done through distance learning technology. This program is available to professionals who are working in the areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and medicine. It is intended to help individuals who are seeking to either move ahead in their field or switch careers altogether. It also fulfills the lifelong learning desire of industrial professionals who wish to further their education at the doctoral level.

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Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute

biology phd online program

2023 Best Online PhD in Biology Programs [Doctorate Guide]

Home » 2023 Best Online PhD in Biology Programs [Doctorate Guide]

If you are passionate about studying biological sciences but need a flexible program that is well-suited to your life, you might consider earning an online PhD in Biology.

Best Online PhD in Biology Programs

Online programs allow you to complete work from anywhere with internet access, and biology PhD programs also offer various specializations within biology.

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Most programs are research focused, allowing you to gain in-depth knowledge and acquire specialized research skills according to your interests. One benefit of an online PhD in Biology is the flexibility in tailoring a program to your needs.

Online PhD in Biology Programs

Online PhD in Biology Programs

PhDs can be beneficial for a multitude of careers. Since biology is the study of life, this encompasses many areas for exploration.

Generally, PhD programs in biology are separated into three main subfields:

An online PhD in Biology can also help you qualify for teaching or research positions at the university level. Depending on their experience and area of specialty, professionals with a Doctor of Biology may pursue the following career paths:

A terminal degree program can also encompass a variety of different topics. Here are some subjects that may be included in an online PhD in Biology program:

PhD programs can help you advance your professional qualifications as you complete specialized research in topics that matter to you.

Online biology PhD programs can also help you develop research and scientific writing skills that are necessary to work in research settings, such as government-funded research labs. Most universities also require professors to hold a PhD.

Biology Careers & Salaries

PhD in Biology Careers & Salaries

Professionals with a PhD in Biology can work in a variety of positions and fields, depending on their area of specialty.

Some qualify for senior or leadership positions in the field. Natural science managers often supervise the work of biologists and other scientists. Biophysicists study biological processes using the principles of physics, while microbiologists study microorganisms and often help research disease prevention.

Medical scientists investigate diseases in humans and work on prevention efforts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , here’s a range of careers related to the field of biology.

There is a wide range of salaries for different specialties across the biological sciences. Life scientists study the physiology and anatomy of plants, animals, and humans as well as their environmental interactions.

Zoologists specifically study various animal species and their interactions with the environment. Wildlife biologists are similar to zoologists and research animal behavior, habitats, and biology. A PhD in Biology can also help you qualify for positions in academia. Postsecondary teachers in the field of biology often work at the college or university level, teaching biology courses and conducting research.

Biology PhD Curriculum & Courses

Biology PhD Curriculum

If you are considering a PhD in Biology, you may wonder what type of courses you’ll take. The study of biology involves studying the cellular makeup of living organisms and plants. You can also learn about the composition of molecules, germs, and bacteria.

In biology doctoral courses, you’ll often learn how to write scientifically and acquire skills to do laboratory research. Here are some standard courses associated with a PhD in Biology:

The courses you take for a doctoral degree in biology can vary according to your academic institution and program specialization.

Ph.D. in Biology Admissions Requirements

Ph.D. in Biology Requirements

Each biology PhD program will have different admissions requirements, but there are some commonalities. Here are some typical admission requirements for a PhD in Biology:

Letters of recommendation are often a crucial part of the admissions process. These can help the admissions team get to know your professional strengths and accomplishments through the lens of other professionals. Other requirements for admissions could include an interview and an application fee, depending on your program.

Biology Doctorate Programs Accreditation

Ph.D. in Biology Accreditation

When looking for an online degree program, it’s crucial to consider the school’s accreditation status. Accrediting bodies such as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) help keep schools and programs accountable for meeting high-quality educational standards.

Regional accreditation is a mark of a high-quality school, and employers are more likely to recognize a degree that’s accredited. Accreditation can be a precondition for certain forms of financial aid as well. Attending an accredited school can give you the confidence that your time and effort is being invested in a credible degree.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Ph.D. in Biology Financial Aid

If you are considering getting a PhD in Biology, you may wonder what options are available to help you pay for school.

To apply for federal student aid, you can submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) . Many students qualify for student loans. Other forms of aid for PhD programs in biology might include state aid, scholarships, and employer programs. You may even be able to find scholarships specific to your area of specialization.

Your program may also offer teaching or research stipends to help with tuition. If you need help figuring out your financial aid options, you can talk with your financial aid office or academic advisor.

What Can You Do with a PhD in Biology?

Ph.D. in Biology Careers

Earning a PhD in Biology can help you qualify for career opportunities in multiple sectors. Some professionals with a PhD in Biology work in universities, government jobs, or non-profit sectors. Some choose to focus heavily on research relevant to the natural sciences, while others focus on biological research at the cellular level.

Biology positions that typically require a PhD or doctorate include medical scientist, biochemist, and biophysicist. Biology experts may also pursue management or C-suite roles. What you can do with your PhD in Biology is primarily based on your prior experience and specialty area.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Biology Online?    

A PhD program generally takes anywhere from 3 years to 5 years to complete. The time it takes to obtain your degree may be dependent on:

If your doctoral program does not require a dissertation, you can often complete it in as little as 3 years if you are a full-time student and enroll year-round. If you attend part-time, it will often take longer for you to complete your program.

Is a PhD in Biology Worth It?

PhD in Biology

Yes, a PhD in Biology is worth it for many students. Biological research is often useful for the general population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in the life, physical, and social sciences are projected to grow 8% over the next ten years.

Common biology career paths include medical scientist, natural sciences manager, biophysicist, biological scientist, and microbiologist. A PhD can also help you qualify for university teaching or research positions. Employment for postsecondary teachers is expected to grow 12% over the next ten years, which is faster than average growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Universities Offering Online PhD in Biology Degree Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

George Mason University

George Mason University offers an online program for a PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. It requires 72 total credits, with no campus visits required. Coursework includes Numerical Methods for Bioinformatics, Research Ethics, Biological Sequence and Genome Analysis, Protein Structure Analysis, and more. Students are also required to complete a dissertation.

George Mason University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University offers a PhD in Oceanography and Marine Biology. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and students may begin coursework in the fall, winter, or summer terms. Coursework is available both on campus and online, and the curriculum is customizable to each student’s research interests and career goals.

NSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (Track in STEM). The program is available mostly online, with face-to-face intensives during the summer. Students must complete 63 credit hours of coursework, and new students may start in the fall. Applicants must have at least 3 years of teaching experience.

Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Florida

The University of Florida offers a PhD in Anatomical Science Education. Some courses are taken in the College of Education and others in the College of Medicine. Coursework includes Medical Human Embryology, Anatomy of the Peripheral Nervous System, Science Curriculum Development, and more.

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi’s College of Education offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Education with an emphasis in Secondary Education with a specialization in Science (Biology). Some courses are available online or at campus locations other than the main campus. Applicants must have at least 2 years of teaching experience to qualify.

The University of Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your PhD in Biology Online

Ph.D. in Biology Degree Online

Much like an online master’s in biology  or an online masters in biotechnology , getting your PhD in Biology online is a flexible way to further your education and advance your expertise in the field. An online doctoral program in biology offers flexibility in the method of study to better suit your life and personalized education needs.

Through a terminal degree in biology, you can study your chosen specialization in depth. By the end of an online doctorate degree in biology, you have the opportunity to contribute new research to this field of study.

If you are considering a doctorate in biology, there are plenty of biology degree online options available from accredited universities. So why wait? You can start exploring your options for a PhD in Biology today.

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University of Northern Colorado

Doctorate of Biological Education

Contact: Dr. Lauryn Benedict, 970-351-3364 (telephone), [email protected] (e-mail).

University catalogs:   http://unco.smartcatalogiq.com/

Make new discoveries and participate in the creation of novel information with leading educators and scientists at the School of Biological Sciences at UNC!  This unique program leads to a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Biological Education.  Become a multifaceted scholar and educator with a solid background in biology and teaching of biology by working closely with our faculty to develop and advance your skills in teaching and research.  This degree program is offered at the main UNC campus in Greeley, Colorado.

How does this degree program work?

The degree program specializes in training biologists to be experts in their disciplines and outstanding college biology teachers. This is accomplished through the completion of course work, a dissertation research project, and a supervised teaching experience. Before beginning this program, you should identify a potential faculty research mentor (or mentors) from among the doctora research faculty in the School of Biological Sciences.  Together with your research mentor, you will develop a program of research that focuses on your interests and complements the expertise of the faculty, culminating in the production of the PhD dissertation. All dissertations represent rigorous research in biology or biology education.

In the Ph.D. degree program, you will develop expertise in the concepts, reasoning, and skills of doing science and you will develop expertise in the principles and methods of teaching biology (e.g., pedagogy).  Your training will give you a well-rounded skill-set and the expertise to seek a career as an independent scientist, a college biology teacher, or both!  For this reason, our Ph.D. degree is awarded in the area of Biological Education.  The graduates of our doctoral program have found employment in teaching and research positions.  Many of our students have multiple job offers even before they graduate, and we can do the same for you!

Who is this degree program for?

This degree is appropriate for inquisitive and motivated students who already possess a Bachelor's and/or Master's degree in the sciences and who want the requisite training appropriate for a professional career in teaching, basic and applied research, advocacy, government, biotechnology or other advanced scientific positions. After completing their Ph.D.s, many of our graduates have accepted postdoctoral positions in related fields, academic positions in higher education, and advanced positions in government and private industries. 

Degree requirements

This degree requires completion of 64 credits of study, including both scheduled classes and one-on-one courses tailored to individual needs and programs.  The UNC catalogs contain the official descriptions and requirements of all programs at the University of Northern Colorado. In addition, Ph.D. students are required to develop and teach a full semester course under the supervision of our faculty. The degree culminates with the presentation of the student’s research in a public defense of the dissertation. Chapter(s) from the student’s dissertation are expected to be published in peer-reviewed journals.

Applying to the program

Deadlines, program requirements, and application instructions

In addition to information about yourself and your academic history, applicants are asked to provide letters of recommendation, a CV or resume, and a letter of intent. The following sections offer advice on how to maximize the impact of those documents.

Reference letters

Letters of recommendation (also called letters of reference) are extremely important to your application. Choose the people that you ask to write these letters thoughtfully. Letter writers should be able to comment on your potential for successful graduate work from a position of experience. Typically, they will be academic faculty or work supervisors that have knowledge of your academic or scholarly performance and other attributes relevant to success in graduate school.

Your curriculum vitae or resume

You may choose to provide either a curriculum vitae or a resume. This document should summarize your preparation and experience relevant to graduate study in biological sciences. A curriculum vitae is most appropriate for applicants with career goals in academia, while a resume might be more appropriate for currently working professionals. CVs and resumes will be reviewed equivalently and with reference to the career goals that you outline in your letter of intent. Find specific advice about what to include on a CV or resume here .

The letter of intent

At a minimum, your letter of intent should include the following:

Funding options to pay for school

There are several options available to you for obtaining living expenses and tuitionwhile pursuing your graduate education. These are:

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Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (PhD)

Program description.

Researchers in the field of bioinformatics and computational biology collect, store, analyze, and present complex biological data using high-performance computing. Through this work, critical contributions are made to disease detection, drug design, forensics, agriculture, and environmental sciences. This research-oriented program trains a new generation of computational biologists for careers in private industry, academia, and government agencies. The program provides students with interdisciplinary academic curriculum that includes fundamental bioscience courses as well as advanced courses in bioinformatics.

In general, course requirements are completed within the first two years of study. Completion of coursework, the comprehensive exam, and a successful dissertation proposal results in advancement to candidacy status. In the next phase, students conduct research guided by a faculty member. The program is concluded with the defense of PhD dissertation.

The program is structured to be accessible for full- and part-time students. The courses are offered in a hybrid or distance learning format without requiring students to travel to campus. Because the research work is computational, students may choose to earn their doctoral degree entirely remotely or in a traditional face-to-face format.

What it costs

The total cost for this program is  $793.25  per credit hour for VA state residents or  $1,681.25 per credit hour for Non-VA residents. New Student and other mandatory university and course fees may apply.

Application Deadline

For application information and deadlines, see the Admissions site .

Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Degree: PhD

College/School: College of Science

Credits: 72 total

 Who should apply?

The program is inherently interdisciplinary and consequently the students coming to the program are likely to have a background in biology, computer science, or chemistry. Students select one of the areas in bioinformatics and computational biology studied by a faculty member, who will serve as their advisor.  Thus, the students interested in studying biological problems utilizing computational methods are encouraged to apply.

Why choose George Mason?

Program requirements are subject to change; please refer to the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Requirements: 72 credits total

All the courses needed to complete the entire program are offered online. Most online courses are  delivered synchronously . Classes are scheduled 4:30 p.m. (eastern standard time) or later to accommodate students employed full-time. Offerings vary by semester.

Fundamental Biosciences Courses

Core Courses

Colloquium (3 instances)

Bioinformatics Lab Rotation (3 instances)

Dissertation Research

Electives may be graduate level coursework selected from bioinformatics, biology, biotechnology, statistics, computer science, and information systems courses. Review class schedule for latest course offerings. Contact your faculty advisor for approval of elective course selection.

Tuition (2021-2022)

Please Note : In addition to the tuition and fees described above, various course and lab fees may be assessed depending on the course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Please refer to the Students Accounts Office  website for more information on tuition and fees.

For information on loans and scholarships, visit the  Office of Student Financial Aid . For information regarding grants, tuition waivers and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department.

Career Descriptions

Because of explosive growth in life sciences, biotechnology, and drug design, there is a strong demand for bioinformatics scientists employing computational methods to advance the scientific understanding of living systems. Broadly speaking, the bioinformatics employment falls into several categories.

Researchers: Academia, government, and commercial sector are hiring employees trained in bioinformatics to support their research. People in these positions generally work in a specific area of research.

Instruction: There is a robust demand for teaching bioinformatics and computational biology. Some PhD level bioinformaticians will pursue an academic career developing their own research agenda and teach at universities. To this end, they typically receive an additional post-doctoral training in one of research labs for few years. Many institutions are also seeking dedicated instructors to teach bioinformatics.

Support of core facilities: Universities or government institutes tend to establish central resources for their labs referred to as core facilities. The personnel supporting such core facilities often require research experience and PhD level degrees.

Software developers: Many companies within the Greater Washington area and nationally are interested in developing and deploying computational algorithms and tools. Such jobs often require research experience and advanced skills only provided at PhD level.

Students are strongly encouraged to check online postings for job opportunities in bioinformatics and computational biology. As a Mason student, you may also contact  Mason Career Services  for more career information and counseling.

All applicants should review School of Systems Biology Application Information . For international applicants, see guidelines for  International Graduate Requirements.


Application Materials

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact COS Graduate Admissions at [email protected] or (703) 993-3430.

Ready to apply?

Already enrolled, interested in learning more.

PhD in Biology Online Programs

A PhD in Biology Online is a research-focused, terminal degree in the biological sciences where courses are taken anywhere with internet access. Usually, programs cover key biological sciences and then give students an option to choose a specific area for in-depth study.

The areas of emphasis might include biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics or other topics favored by individual universities. A students’ chosen area then acts as an anchor for independent research and inquiry.

How to Earn Your PhD in Biology Online?

In some schools, an online PhD in biology is a custom-made program that you and your advisor team up to design around your professional and personal goals. At the same time, the format is usually planned-out to appeal to busy adults who need a flexible schedule. Sometimes, to fulfill degree requirements, students may have to visit their campus or an approved local school or laboratory. Otherwise, when you earn a biology PhD online, some of the possible features are as follows.

Also, noteworthy is that when students successfully complete their degree, the actual award does not usually include the words ‘distance-learning’ or ‘online’. So, while the experience of the virtual classroom may be non-traditional, the final document could look the same as it does for on-campus students. Contact individual programs to learn more about their online resources and format.

What are Core Courses and Topics in Online Biology PhD Programs?

Below are examples of the topics or areas you may work on as you pursue an online PhD in Biology degree. By no means is it a complete or required list. Rather, it is meant as a reference point. Your individual curriculum may vary by program or based on your area of concentration.

Read program descriptions and contact advisors for detailed course listings.

Dissertation and Research

Research also plays a hefty role in many online PhDs in Biology program. Because of this, most programs offer some type of doctoral dissertation course. This could include instruction on bioinformatics and how to write scientific proposals. The actual final dissertation project is usually defined by your university. In some cases, it could entail about 15,000 words. Also, each Doctor of Biology graduate may be encouraged to publish their research papers either online in the public domain or through professional journals and periodicals worldwide.

What are the Admission Requirements for a Biology PhD Program?

Many traditional PhD programs in biology accept applicants with a bachelors degree and thus include laboratory rotations to help students define their interests. This may not be the case with an online Doctor of Biology (PhD). Distance programs may be oriented instead to busy mid-career adults and at-work professionals. These individuals may be involved in research within their industry or workplace, but do not yet have their PhD. Because of this, applicants may be presumed to have a masters degree and several years field/life experience.

DID YOU KNOW? A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or a closely related field is needed for entry-level microbiologist jobs. A Ph.D. is needed to carry out independent research and to work in universities ( BLS ).

Biology Online Phd Programs

written by Rana Waxman

Bureau of Labor Statistics

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As the healthcare industry expands, the need for anatomy instructors is now higher than ever. Strategically prepare yourself for a career that’s in demand with a Ph.D. in Anatomy & Cell Biology degree from Liberty University.

With this degree, you will gain hundreds of hours of teaching experience in human anatomy. And you will become a classroom-ready anatomy instructor at any undergraduate, graduate, or medical school. Gain the rewarding opportunity of preparing students in the healthcare field for careers in nursing, physical therapy, and medicine.

You can also take advantage of our second-degree option, and earn an M.S. in Biomedical Sciences while completing your Ph.D. in Anatomy & Cell Biology.

The  Ph.D. in Anatomy & Cell Biology  is offered by the Department of Biology & Chemistry .

Teaching & Research for the Ph.D. in Anatomy & Cell Biology

The Ph.D. in Anatomy & Cell Biology degree program is a teaching intensive. Your coursework will include teaching practicums in areas such as cadaver dissection, cell biology, zoology, human biology, anatomy and physiology, and more.

Select your own area of emphasis in your teaching so you can influence the direction your experience takes.

As part of the program, you will also complete a research dissertation. You’ll gain research experience first through rotations with 2-3 faculty members and have ready-to-publish research results.

Most of your instruction-based coursework is completed in your first two years allowing you to focus on your own teaching as well as your research project.

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doctorate in molecular biology

The 5 Best Doctor of Molecular Biology (Phd Mol Biol) Degree Programs in 2023: Salary and Info

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Are you interested in the study of the building blocks of matter? A doctorate in Molecular Biology might be an option for you. However, Ph.D. in Molecular Biology degree programs are rarely offered in a 100% online format due to several laboratory activities that require on-campus presence.

A blend of classroom and online coursework is typical for this type of degree program. Luckily, there are very few schools that offer hybrid learning in attaining a doctorate in molecular biology.

Featured Schools

Do not be discouraged about the rarity of the completely online programs of this degree since some schools or universities can offer you a flexible and convenient way of earning your degree through a self-paced and untraditional format of learning.

Ph.D. Mol Biol graduate programs are designed to provide students the skills and knowledge they need for possible employment opportunities in agriculture, biotechnology, and healthcare.


Best Doctor of Molecular Biology

Harvard university.



School Highlights: Undoubtedly, Harvard University is one of the top institutions of higher education in the entire world. Its educational standards are at the zenith of quality and order, and the programs give students access to academia’s most prestigious and well-respected resources.

The Ph.D. in molecular biology is offered as a distinctive Molecules, Cells, and Organisms program. This interdisciplinary and interdepartmental degree gives students an unmatched range of research opportunities in areas such as computational biology, neurobiology, and genetics.

Its mission is to enhance the research capabilities of the biological sciences beyond current limitations. It is instructed by the globe’s most superlative scientists and researchers.

Coursework Sample:

Campus Location: Cambridge, MA


Acceptance Rate: 5% Retention Rate: 97% Graduation Rate: 97%


Massachusetts institute of technology.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1


School Highlights: Another of the country’s most exceedingly well-respected schools, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the world’s premier institution for the study and research of STEM disciplines. Its Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biology can be allied with three fascinating research areas in molecular biology, all of which can be found listed below.

However, MIT gives doctoral students the flexibility and freedom to design their own approach to their curriculum and research, and their decisions are supported by an incredibly diverse team of faculty members. Graduates from this outstanding school go on to create massive change within the field of molecular biology.

Research Opportunities:

Acceptance Rate: 7% Retention Rate: 99% Graduation Rate: 93%


Stanford university.

stanford university


School Highlights: Stanford University is yet another of the world’s most highly respected schools where students gain an immeasurable amount of notability for their education, knowledge, and skill. The Doctor of Philosophy program in Molecular and Cellular Physiology allows students to focus their coursework in an area of the discipline that best fits their career and research goals.

The overall goal of the degree is focused on an understanding of cell signaling, but some popular themes taken on by doctoral students include:

Like the two preceding educational institutions on this list, Stanford University’s excellence is clearly visible in its near-perfect graduation and retention rates.

Campus Location: Stanford, CA

Acceptance Rate: 4% Retention Rate: 99% Graduation Rate: 94%


Michigan technological university.

Michigan Technological University


School Highlights: At Michigan Technological University, doctoral students in Molecular Biology focus their degree in one of a vast number of different areas, including but not limited to:

Due to the degree’s biochemistry specialization, this program concentrates on health and medical research disciplines as such apply to the field of molecular biology. The array of coursework addresses global needs for more scientists who can solve issues in disease treatment, human health, and the environment.

Online students at MTU work with academically distinguished professors of chemistry, integrative physiology, and more!

Campus Location: Houghton, MI

Acceptance Rate: 74% Retention Rate: 84% Graduation Rate: 67%


Atlantic international university.

atlantic international university


School Highlights: Atlantic International University provides excellent distance education degree programs to students worldwide and is located in the beautiful island city of Honolulu, HI, in the United States. At this online university, Ph.D. students in Biology can specialize their degree in any number of areas, such as molecular:

The curriculum also allows ambitious students to take their degrees even further through research opportunities in numerous areas of computer science. Each student’s approach to the program is personally stylized and unique. It gives them all of the education and resources necessary to complete in-depth research projects in pursuit of their degree.

Campus Location: Honolulu, HI

Acceptance Rate: 65% Retention Rate: –% Graduation Rate: 22%


Frenquently asked questions, what is molecular biology.

phd in molecular biology

Molecular Biology is the study of the nature and structure of the molecular building blocks of matter and life. This study emphasizes the interactions between the different cells in the body, including the natures of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis.

This study of biosciences is an interaction of cell biology, biochemistry, and genetics. The discovery of genetic structures has proven to be one of the most notable developments in molecular biology.

Molecular Biology has numerous subdisciplines namely:

All these subdisciplines deal with the study of genetics, and other factors related to the building blocks of life.

What sort of accreditation should I look for in a school?

accreditation college phd molecular biology

If you already have a chosen university or school, it is wise to make sure an accrediting agency has certified it. Accreditation provides a strengthened reputation of a specific educational institution.

After all, you must make sure that you do not want to waste your time and money only to get a degree that is not taken seriously by future potential employers.

Moreover, accredited schools and universities allow you to apply for financial assistance to support your studies. Each school has a financial assistance program to finance your studies.

While there are regional accrediting agencies that schools and universities received recognition of, there are also program-specific accreditations to be considered upon enrolling in the doctorate program of molecular biology. However, it is not mandatory since the majority of these educational institutions already received regional accreditations.

If you wish to strengthen your education with a full-packed accreditation from both regional and program-specific sectors, you must consider a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) accreditation.

What type of degree do I need to pursue research or educate others in Molecular Biology?

phd molecular biology phd mol bio

Individuals who are interested in pursuing graduate studies to become professors or scientific researchers can opt for a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology.

This degree program is designed to build a strong foundation in biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology through a set of coursework and extensive seminar and develop the students’ skills and capabilities in cutting-edge research achievements.

Its goal is to equip students to become successful professionals in research institutions, academia, biotechnology industries, the federal government, and pharmaceutical industries.

A Ph.D. program in Molecular Biology accepts individuals with degrees related to biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, and other relevant fields. Graduate-level online molecular biology degree programs usually require 12-24 months to complete depending on the students’ commitment to their studies. Students interested in molecular biology have the opportunity to choose a specialization or elective course that is related to molecular biology.

Coursework under this doctorate molecular biology program includes:

What kind of career and salary can I expect with my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology?

phd molecular biology

Graduates with a doctorate in molecular biology program are qualified for a variety of professional career pathways in education, healthcare, and scientific institutions. They may also find employment opportunities in biomedical research and biotechnology research projects.

Molecular Biologists use scientific equipment to characterize, analyze, and study specimens or products. They maintain proper storage for samples, performing general laboratory processes to meet standards and qualifications. Also, they conduct research, identify and test methods to improve contents and technologies to create discoveries.

With your Ph.D. Mol Biol, there is certainly an advantage since most employers prefer candidates that have a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, bioengineering, genetics, and other related fields to the molecular biology study.

One of the duties and responsibilities of being a molecular biologist is to be able to operate different laboratory equipment or machines such as spectrometers, electron and conventional microscopes, and X-ray equipment. They must be able to troubleshoot minor breakdowns in the laboratory since most of their work is usually performed inside clinical laboratories.

Molecular Biologists are required to keep themselves up-to-date with new findings and various techniques to be able to deliver effectively and coherently. As part of their duties, some professionals are expected to attend conferences or seminars as well as visit collaborative or networking opportunities.

The majority of these employers prefer molecular biologists who are interested in lifelong studies and learning. Moreover, they provide coaching, training, and mentoring programs to new or junior molecular biologists.

The median annual wage for a molecular biologist is $58,306. The lowest yearly salary is worth $39K while the highest annual salary is $98K.

What schools offer a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology?

phd in molecular biology

There are very few online doctoral degrees in molecular biology. It is incredibly rare to find this type of program available at a distance.

However, there is a multitude of on-campus programs, and, undisputedly, the three best degrees that students can attend physically are  Harvard University  and the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology , both of which are located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Stanford University in Stanford, California.

The extremely limited number of online learning formats in this area study is offered by  Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, and Atlantic International University in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Are you amazed by the wonders of God’s creation? How did he ever come up with the millions of cells that make up every living organism on this planet? There are several reasons why a Ph.D. Mol Biol is worth it in the end just as there are several reasons why everyone is unique despite the billions of DNA imprints in our body. Discover the beauty of every living cell in our body. Enroll in a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology degree program.

Doctorate Degree in Biology

MUST's Natural Sciences School offers a Doctorate Degree with specialization in Biology , which surpasses the similar traditional programs offered by world class universities across the globe in terms of ease & flexibility, affordability, quickness and quality of education. The program is accredited by International Accreditation Organization (IAO), a world-renowned accreditation agency, ensuring global acceptance among employers.

About School of Natural Sciences

Over the years, the demand for scientists in the fields of physics, human health, environment, biology and chemistry, etc., has have increased tremendously. Given a better equivalent for these areas, our university offers diverse academic programs in environmental sciences, agricultural studies and health sciences. You can choose from a wide range of majors; astronomy to bioengineering and genetics to marine ecology.

The Department of Natural Sciences is accredited by IAO, an renowned accreditation agency, which insures that MUST graduates will be able to get rewarding and exciting jobs all over the world. Our faculty is committed to imparting quality education and makes every possible effort to provide individual and personalized attention to all our students. As our student, you too will be able to easily complete your specific program because of our easy- to- use online classrooms and 24/7 available academic advisors.

The field of Natural Sciences offers lucrative career opportunities with an ever-growing demand for new graduates in the industry. The overall success rate of our graduates is more than 75%, with majority of them enjoying a quality life because of well-paid jobs.

About Biology Major

Course offered.

You can choose following courses for your Doctorate Degree . Each course offers unique learning experience for you. Each course is prepared by highly qualified faculty from around the globe. Course content is updated so to equip the students with most relevant knowledge in the field.

“Having the opportunity to learn in an environment where students from around the world meet, MUST University was the correct answer to the question "which university to choose among others." My professors provided utmost care and attention. If I had to choose a university again for advanced learning, MUST would still be the answer.”

George Marshwell Los Angeles, USA Class of 2005

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Our programs have been built around pathways for you to discover and explore new knowledge and integrate it in a particular field of interest..

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Must university, the largest online university offers more than 850 program combinations in 16 schools of study and 71 majors..

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