Jun 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, PhD

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Study in this program emphasizes environmental and evolutionary biology. Students enrolled in the program are expected to concentrate their dissertation work in an area of active faculty research.


To be admitted to the biology doctoral program, an applicant must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School and Department of Biology, which include:

  • 32 credit hours of undergraduate courses in biology
  • An undergraduate overall 3.0 grade-point average
  • A satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general score
  • Three supportive letters of recommendation
  • The support of a Department of Biology faculty member who is willing to serve as the dissertation advisor

Research experience, scientific conference presentations, and publications are valued highly in admission decisions.

General Requirements

  • At least 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree are required, including:
    • 48 credit hours in non-dissertation course work with an overall GPA of at least 3.0
      • 24 of the non-dissertation credit hours must be at the 500 level or above
      • 9 of the non-dissertation credit hours must be in environmental biology
      • 9 of the non-dissertation credit hours must be in evolutionary biology
      • 2 credit hours in the Graduate Seminar (BIOL 551  and BIOL 552 )
      • Not more than 6 credit hours in Advanced Problems or Special Projects (BIOL 560 BIOL 561 , or BIOL 595 )
    • 24 credit hours in dissertation research (BIOL 699 )
  • 1 credit hour of Colloquium in Biological Science (BIOL 550 ) for each semester of residence. This course does not count toward the total credit hours required for the degree.
  • Students entering the program with a master’s degree may transfer up to 24 credit hours of non-thesis master’s course work toward the doctoral degree, including up to 12 credit hours at the 500 level or above and up to 3 credit hours toward each category of environmental and evolutionary biology courses.
  • Required courses, excluding transfer credits, must be taken in residence in the doctoral program.

Disseration Committee

  • The dissertation committee must include a minimum of five doctoral-level scientists, at least three of whom are regular, non-adjunct members of the biology faculty holding appointments to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Graduate Faculty. 
  • The dissertation advisor will be a member and chair of the committee and must hold Full Membership (formerly Level II appointment) on the Graduate Faculty.
  • One dissertation committee member must be from outside the Department of Biology and may be from outside the University.

General Comprehensive Examination

The general comprehensive examination should be taken by the end of the second year of doctoral study. The examination will include an oral and a written component.


A specific research project must be completed, and a formal dissertation must be submitted to and approved by the student’s advisory committee and by an appropriate scientist from outside the University.

Final Examination

The final examination is an oral defense of the dissertation and may include related scientific topics.

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