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Biological Sciences, Ph.D.

Biological Sciences, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences PhD

The study of biological sciences is integral to the betterment of humankind. With a more thorough understanding of human processes and the organisms, ecosystems, plants, and animals around us, the development of medical and environmental technologies to improve the lives of people and the habitats of the world becomes possible.

Offering four specializations—biotechnology, cell and molecular biology, ecology, and marine biology—the university’s location close to the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian River Lagoon, and other natural resources provide an ideal learning environment for studying the biological sciences. Students in the PhD in biology program tackle ecological issues facing the environment, perform molecular research to detect, prevent and cure disease, research bioinformatics, and do cancer research.

World-Class Faculty

Guided by a faculty with extensive experience in the field, students earning a PhD in biology at Florida Tech study in an intimate learning environment where class sizes are small and research is hands-on. Professors are involved in research, are engaged in the field, and participate in conferences around the world. With hundreds of published research papers, books, and over 10,000 citations, professors at Florida Tech are nationally recognized researchers providing major contributions to the field of biology.

Hands-On Doctoral Program

Unlike other PhD in biology graduate programs, Florida Tech’s offers boundless opportunities for hands-on research in nearby natural laboratories. Florida Tech is surrounded by a vast array of ecosystems that offer students to pursue their research in living laboratories. Combined with the university’s high-tech biological facilities, doctoral students in biology develop subject matter expertise and research methods they will use throughout their career.

Research Opportunities

As a national research university, Florida Tech provides the tools and skills necessary for students to conduct cutting-edge research. With a goal of developing graduates who become leaders in their field, the Biological Sciences department considers research experience and methodologies a core educational foundation, particularly for individuals seeking a PhD in biology. Students work closely with professors to identify research topics that match their particular interests. Degree candidates are encouraged to engage in studies that make a contribution at the local, regional, state, or national level on relevant issues in biology, including sustainability, coastal management, bacterial genetics, climate change, detecting and curing diseases, pharmaceutical development, restoration of ecosystems, and more.

High-Tech Laboratory Facilities

Students in the PhD in biology program have access to state-of-the-art facilities in the F. W. Olin Physical Sciences Center (and Instrumentation Center) and the F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building. These facilities offer innovative laboratories and instrumentation as well as laboratories for photochemistry and computation chemistry. The Harris Center for Science and Engineering serves the research needs of an aquaculture and fish biology program. Other facilities PhD in biology students unique to Florida Tech are:

  • Vero Beach Marine Laboratory—An off-campus facility on the Atlantic Ocean providing ready-access to field sites. It also houses a two-story laboratory equipped with seawater tables and flow-through seawater for research on aquaculture, ecology, and toxicology of marine animals.
  • Center for High-Resolution Microscopy and Imaging—Light and fluorescence microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, and X-ray microanalysis of natural and artificial materials.

Nearby natural resources, such as the estuarine habitats of the Indian River Lagoon (the most diverse estuary in North America), and the Atlantic Ocean marine ecosystem, are ideal for biological research. Central Florida’s year-round warm weather means research and outdoor activity is available 365 days a year.


Career opportunities for students in the PhD in biology program can be very diverse, with jobs available in environmental protection, conservation, wildlife management, cancer research, wetland science, diagnostics, nanotechnology, genomics, Alzheimer’s disease research, tissue engineering, and so much more. Biologists work in consulting and engineering firms, research centers, nature centers, state parks, federal agencies, health systems, and academia.

Florida Tech graduates have secured positions with research and technology companies including OSD Innovations, Max-Planck Institute, Biogen Idec, Genetics Associates, Moffitt Cancer Center, and others.