The University of Chicago | Graduate Admissions

Integrative Biology - PhD

Division: Biological Sciences
Degree Type: PhD

Program Description

The graduate program in Integrative Biology (IB) is housed within the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy. The student curriculum for this program permits students to develop their own research focus and PhD project while also building a strong foundation in integrative biology under the active mentorship of our diverse faculty. Students in IB take a variety of core and elective courses in which they are introduced to both to faculty research and to approaches to integrative research in organismal biology. Our students have the opportunity to utilize the diversity of expertise at the University of Chicago and affiliated institutions, including the Field Museum of Natural History and Argonne National Laboratory, and to take courses across the sciences and beyond. In addition to our thriving departmental academic community, there are numerous weekly seminar series exemplifying diverse aspects of the biological sciences (e.g., evolution, ecology, behavior, integrative biology, development, genetics and molecular biology, neurobiology and computational neuroscience) that bring in researchers from around the world.


Application Method

Applications should be initiated through the online application. Paper applications are not accepted.


Deadline for admissions and financial aid: December 1

The Integrative Biology program admits applicants once a year for the following Autumn Quarter. Applications received after the deadline cannot be considered.

Degree Objective

The Integrative Biology program admits applicants only for the PhD degree. 

Application Requirements

  1. Online Application Form
  2. Non-refundable application fee
  3. 3 Letters of Recommendation
  4. GRE and TOEFL Scores
  5. Transcripts from all institutions attended after high school should be uploaded with the application.


Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions are emailed in early March. Direct all questions about your application directly to the admissions office.

Program Requirements

The Department requires that you take ORGB 40000: Introduction to Organismal Biology in Autumn Quarter and ORGB 40001: Topics in Organismal Biology in Winter Quarter. These two courses are required of all first and second year OBA students. The Division requires that you take the Ethics course (BSDG 5500: Scientific Integrity/Ethical Conduct) offered in Spring Quarter. We strongly recommend that you also take EVOL 40100: Grants, Publications, and Professional Issues in Autumn Quarter.

Students complete classes in four out of six required research areas during their first two years of study. These areas include: (1) Development, (2) Neurobiology and Behavior, (3) Genetics, (4) Biomechanics and Functional Biology, (5) Paleontology and Morphology, and (6) Systematics/Evolutionary History.

The Written Preliminary Exam is administered at the beginning of the second year.  The exam consists of two broad, synthetic questions to be answered within one week. At the end of the second year, students formally submit and defend a dissertation proposal.

Costs & Financial Aid

The Division of Biological Sciences offers academically qualified applicants complete and equitable support. Students in good academic standing are guaranteed an initial five years of support, which includes full tuition, health insurance, and a living stipend. The graduate stipend is competitive with awards offered at comparable institutions, is established at a level affording a reasonable local standard of living, and is adjusted annually to keep pace with increases in the cost of living.

OBA encourages all its eligible students to apply to receive NSF pre-doctoral funding.