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Students in the Ph.D. Program in Biology at The Graduate Center gain fundamental knowledge of current life sciences and mastery of investigative approaches in one of four specialized areas of study.

Degree Offered

Admissions Deadlines


Ph.D. in Biology
Full Time
4 subprograms

January 1 - EEB, MCD, and PS subprograms
December 1 - NS subprogram
(Fall enrollment only)

The Biology program provides its students with interdisciplinary research and training opportunities in the world-class laboratories of doctoral faculty located at CUNY campuses and affiliated institutions throughout New York City.

The program prepares doctoral candidates to become research professionals equipped to teach in university programs and for leadership positions in biotechnology and research.


Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEB)
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCD)
Neuroscience (NS)
Plant Sciences (PS)

The Best of CUNY and NYC

tops of the empire state building and surrounding buildings as seen from street level

Doctoral biology students have access to exceptional faculty and research facilities at CUNY campuses, including the Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, The City College of New York, College of Staten Island, Hunter College, Lehman College, New York City College of Technology, Queens College, CUNY School of Medicine., and York College. Students also have mentorship and research opportunities at affiliated distinguished NY institutions including the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Botanical Gardens.

Physics and Mathematics Meet Biology

microscopic image of cells

Students and faculty conduct specialized research with institutions and initiatives within and outside of The Graduate Center. A collaboration with the Initiative in Theoretical Sciences (ITS) involves faculty who study the phenomena of life using methods grounded in the traditions of theoretical physics and applied mathematics. This initiative will significantly expand research and educational opportunities for Biology Ph.D. students (as well as students from disciplines such as Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science) interested in theory and other aspects of quantitative biology.

Diversity Enhances Our Program and Is a Priority

We are proud to be part of the nation’s largest urban university, known for propelling diverse students into rewarding and meaningful careers. The Biology program benefits from attracting students of all backgrounds who hail from throughout New York City and around the world. We are devoted to creating an environment in which diverse students are supported in their work and empowered to excel as scientists and educators.

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Community Highlights

Faculty Research

“They’re like sponges in the environment, soaking up moisture quickly and releasing it slowly into the area,” Dr. Lendemer said. “Without lichens, the forest is drier and sadder.”

Read about our faculty Dr. James Lendemer, his new book and Lichens on The New York Times.

How Snails Can Save Lives: Biology Professor Mandë Holford Discusses Her Research in a TED Talk

Events and Activities


Contact Us

Biology Office

Room 4315

Phone 212-817-8100

Visit WebPage

Cathy Savage-Dunn

Executive Officer
Graduate Center
Room 4315.01

Phone 212-817-8101

Joan Reid

Assistant Program Officer
The Graduate Center
Room 4315.01

Phone 212-817-8111