Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Programs

Pursue an exciting and rewarding career in STEM.




PhD & Master's Thesis Programs





Our department consists of 40 outstanding faculty members conducting research in a wide spectrum of areas within the field of biological sciences, ranging from the molecular to the community level. Given this, our faculty utilize laboratory to field-based empirical and analytical approaches in their pursuits of addressing important and timely questions that oftentimes contribute to both basic scientific knowledge as well as real-world applications.

In AU DBS, we have four core areas of research emphasis: 1) Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation, 2) Evolutionary Genetics and Systematics, 3) Physiological Adaptation and Functional Genomics, and 4) Host-Microbial Interactions. Additionally, graduate students can pursue a degree in Biology Education Research, part of the Discipline-Based Education Research Program in COSAM.

Notably, many of our faculty are multidisciplinary in their research, spanning two or more of these core areas. Thus, it should not be surprising that the over 120 Ph.D. (65%) and Master’s (35%) students in our Graduate Program receive a cutting-edge interdisciplinary experience as part of their training. Furthermore, graduate students in AU DBS can expand their research skillset through other opportunities, including earning our Graduate Certificate in Computational Biology – an area of phenomenal growth in research and with high employment potential.

Along with this, AU DBS graduate students routinely win research and teaching awards at local, national and international levels. For example, we typically have several students who have successfully competed for prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships in each cohort. We feel that this is a strong testimonial to the caliber of individual that receives their education and training at Auburn University in general and AU DBS in particular.

Many graduate students in DBS are supported either on teaching assistantships (GTAs) or research assistantships (GRAs). GTAs provide 4 semesters of support for Master’s students and 10 semesters of support for Ph.D. students. Tuition waivers from the Graduate School are provided to all GTAs holding at least a 25%-time assistantship as well as to the majority of students on GRAs in the form of Graduate Research Fellowships. All GTAs and GRAs are competitive and support is subject to economic conditions.

DBS has numerous research and educational facilities, ranging from collections housing numerous plant and animal specimens to state-of-the-art common-use laboratories for genetic/genomic analyses and microscopy. All of this is facilitated by an extensive and highly dedicated staff to support our research, education, and outreach missions. We hope you find an interest in our graduate degree programs and look forward to you applying and joining Auburn University’s Department of Biological Sciences in the near future! 


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Department of Biological Sciences

Department of Biological Sciences