Graduate Programs

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Why choose BYU?

The Department of Biology at Brigham Young University welcomes applications from highly motivated students to join our MS or PhD program in the Fall of 2014.  The department consists of a large and dynamic faculty spanning a diverse array of research areas including informal and collaborative research groups in Ecology, Evolutionary Ecology, Molecular Systematics, Bioinformatics, Conservation Biology, and Biological Science Education.

The Ecology and Evolutionary Ecology group is a diverse set of faculty working on plants, animals, and microbes in the areas of evolutionary ecology, conservation biology, biogeography, phylogeography, population and community ecology, biogeochemistry, evolutionary and ecological stoichiometry, and ecosystem ecology.  There is a focus on integrating modeling, theory, and experimentation.

The Molecular Systematics group features faculty working in both model and non-model systems in experimental laboratory and field applications.  Specific areas of research include genomics (experimental and computational), molecular evolution, population genetics, quantitative genetics, biogeography, phylogeography, and the evolution of genetic and infectious diseases.

Faculty in the Bioinformatics group maintain research programs in the genetics of human disease, systems biology, molecular evolution, and computational biology, including solutions for next generation sequencing applications.

The Biological Science Education group involves research at all levels of education, focusing on inquiry teaching, learning theory, and assessment of science pedagogy.  Faculty in this focal group also use this platform for various outreach activities, including K-12 collaborative projects with the State Office of Education.

Each of the focal groups in our department maintain strong collaborative ties with each other, as well as other departments on campus, including Plant and Wildlife Sciences, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Statistics, Computer Science, and the McKay School of Education.

Exceptional facilities and resources for carrying out research are available through the following:
Monte L. Bean Museum (
Lytle Preserve (
DNA Sequencing Center (
Research Instrumentation Core Facility (
Fulton Supercomputing Lab ( 

We will be moving into a new Life Sciences building in 2014 (  

BYU is located in Provo, Utah. Provo is a college town with a predominately young population. Cushioned between the Wasatch Mountains and Utah Lake, Provo is full of outdoor activities, including world-class skiing, fly-fishing, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, camping, cycling, rock climbing, and many other outdoor recreational activities which are less than 20 minutes from the lab. There are several festivals during the year in different areas of the county and Provo is home to a vibrant music scene. Also, Salt Lake City is only 45 minutes away!

BYU is a private institution run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Students are required to uphold to a standard of personal conduct. For more information on this standard, please visit the Honor Code Office website ( The university provides devotionals and forums, where invited guests address students every Tuesday. In the past, the university has hosted Mark Zuckerberg, Paul Rusesabagina, Condoleezza Rice, Sandra Day O'Connor, Senator Joe Lieberman, and many church officials. 


The Biology Department offers three graduate programs. Each program integrates the knowledge in biology with research. Students work with their adviser to complete coursework, for example, writing and presenting a thesis and an oral exam. Students are given the opportunity to do many of the same things that occupy the time of professional scientists.


MS Biological Science Education
MS Biology
PHD Biology

Admissions information:

Admission & Entry
Financial Assistance

Other Resources:

Biology Department Graduate Handbook

Graduate Catalog

Graduate Schools Database

Current Job Openings