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University of California, San Diego

Division of Biological Sciences

La Jolla , CA


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University of California, San Diego


Ph.D. in Biology Is Offered by UC San Diego and Salk Institute for Biological Studies

The University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), Division of Biological Sciences, in association with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, offers a program of graduate studies leading to the Ph.D. degree in biology. The program provides an extraordinary setting for highly motivated students interested in training with distinguished faculty members. The major areas of faculty research are biochemistry and biophysics; bioinformatics; cell and developmental biology; ecology, behavior, and evolution; genetics; immunology, virology, and cancer biology; molecular biology; neurobiology; plant molecular biology; plant systems biology; quantitative and systems biology; signal transduction.

Over 100 Fully Equipped, Modern Research Laboratories Are Available to Students in the Division of Biological Sciences

Students have access to more than 100 modern and fully equipped research laboratories in the Division of Biological Sciences and the Salk Institute. The division is also associated with three organized research groups: the Center for Molecular Genetics, the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, and the San Diego Center for Molecular Agriculture. Campus research facilities and tools include the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the Biomedical Genomics Microarray Center, the Protein Sequencing Facility, the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry Facility, a DNA sequencer, and confocal, electron, and photon microscopes. Located on campus near the Salk Institute, the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine is a collaborative effort dedicated to stem cell research which brings together researchers under a single roof in a world-class facility.

Part of a World-class Scientific and Research Community, UC San Diego Overlooks the Pacific along the San Diego Coast

UC San Diego and the Salk Institute are located on the Torrey Pines Mesa, along the San Diego coast, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The campus is also an easy drive from several mountain and desert locales. Along with San Diego's dry, temperate climate, UC San Diego is ideally situated to offer its students year-round outdoor recreational opportunities. The area also shares a rich heritage with its neighbor, Mexico, and supports many cultural events.

The Torrey Pines Mesa is the setting of a world-class scientific and research community as well. This community includes the UC San Diego School of Medicine, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Scripps Research Institute, the Neurosciences Institute, the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, and hundreds of biotechnology research firms.

Widely Acknowledged UC San Diego Is Renowned for Its Collaborative, Diverse, and Cross-disciplinary Ethos

UC San Diego is one of the nation's most accomplished research universities, widely acknowledged for its local impact, national influence, and global reach. A leader in climate science research, UC San Diego is one of the greenest universities in the U.S. and works with communities, governments, businesses, and organizations to promote sustainability solutions throughout the region and the world.

With a majestic view of the Pacific Ocean, this distinctively beautiful campus is both a magnet and a catalyst for acclaimed institutes and Nobel laureates. The University's award-winning scholars are experts at the forefront of their fields, with an impressive track record for achieving scientific, medical, and technological breakthroughs. Renowned for its collaborative, diverse, and cross-disciplinary ethos that transcends traditional boundaries in science, arts, and the humanities, UC San Diego attracts like-minded faculty and staff members and stellar students.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Bioinformatics
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Interdisciplinary environmental research
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Anthropogeny
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Multi-scale biology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Biology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Quantitative biology

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 86
Doctoral Degrees 24

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Thesis Required
Doctoral Degrees Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required
3 quarters of teaching assistantship


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
Application Fee - International
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline June 7th Not reported No

Entrance Requirements

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Types of financial support available Fellowships
Research Assistantships
Teaching Assistantships
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 9.84%
Black or African American 1.33%
White or Caucasian 30%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.27%
Asian 24.2%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 6.65%
Unknown 1.6%


Male (48%)
Female (51%)


Focus of faculty research: Biochemistry; Biophysics; Bioinformatics; Cancer Biology; Cell Biology; Conservation Biology; Developmental Biology; Ecology, Behavior and Evolution; Genetics; Immunology; Microbiology; Molecular Biology; Neurobiology; Plant Molecular Biology; Plant Systems Biology; Quantitative Biology; Signal Transduction; Virology
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA  92093-0348
United States
Contact Andrew Chisholm
Phone: 858-534-7783