Rensselaer's Biological Sciences department offers the following graduate-level degree programs:

Biology Ph.D.

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

Candidates for the Ph.D. must satisfy the requirements of the graduate program #committee (GPC) as stated in the Graduate Program in Biology handbook. In brief, students must pass the year-long Biology Core Course (with a B or better) in the first year. The Core Course also serves as a qualifying exam. By the end of the second year, the student must pass the candidacy exam, which consists of a written research plan and an oral presentation. To graduate with a PhD, the degree candidate must submit a dissertation based on an original research project. The GPC requires a high level of performance in courses and research, and the progress of all students is evaluated yearly. Additionally, all doctoral candidates are required to participate in teaching for at least one academic year under the supervision of a faculty member. The student thus gains experience teaching should he or she select an academic career.

Biochemistry and Biophysics Ph.D.

Being interdisciplinary in nature, the Biochemistry & Biophysics (BCBP) graduate program includes a broad grounding in the mathematical, chemical, physical, and biological sciences.

In addition to satisfying Institute requirements for the Ph.D. degree, entering students must either complete the Molecular Biochemistry I course (BCBP 4760), or have had the equivalent as part of their previous education. Students must complete graduate versions of three of the Molecular Biophysics Module courses. Additional courses may be chosen relevant to the area of specialization of each student's research.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in BCBP requires a dissertation based on an original research project. Entering students must undertake two research rotations during the first year of study. These research rotations must be carried out with faculty members selected from the list of participating faculty. The two faculty members selected to direct these research rotations must be based in two different departments. After completing two research rotations, a thesis adviser must be chosen from the list of participating faculty by the end of the second semester. A seminar must be presented, and a candidacy exam completed, by the end of the second year of study.

Biology, M.S. and Biochemistry & Biophysics, M.S.

The master's degree programs in Biology and Biochemistry & Biophysics primarily prepare students for jobs in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and other related industry sectors. It is also well suited to students wishing to upgrade their skills while employed in industry, or to obtain additional training prior to proceeding to professional study in medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, law, business, etc. Those with a B.S. degree in a field not closely related to modern biological science may also benefit from the program.



College Suites at City Station is a housing community built exclusively for Rensselaer graduate students and graduate-level affiliates.

Developed to make locating and entering housing at Rensselaer a hassle-free process, it is within walking distance of the campus, enjoys Rensselaer services such as the Rensselaer Red Hawk Shuttle, and is, at the same time, an off-campus private community in itself.

City Station South offers an atmosphere where residents with families can sit back and live, learn, and relax. College Suites provides the convenience and quality of life you need to focus on balancing your academic and home life.

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Program Highlights

  Immediate immersion in laboratory research rotations

  Specialized core course covering topics in emerging fields of the life sciences and technology

  Use of cutting-edge technologies to address important questions in biology

  Low student-faculty ratio with faculty mentors across departments

  Development of independent scientific thinking and creativity

  Integrated career mentoring for professional development

  Vibrant geographical region with connections between academia and industry