Biological Sciences

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.S.; Ph.D.


A specialization is a well-defined area of study that will appear on your transcript with your degree and major. Specializations are optional in most UNL programs.

  • Bioinformatics
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
  • Genetics, Cell, and Molecular Biology
  • Plant Pathology
Areas of Study
  • Ecology Evolution
  • Animal Behavior
  • Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics
  • Plant Biology
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology
Promo image for Biological Sciences

Contacts for Biological Sciences

Department Chair

Dr. John Osterman


Graduate Chair

Dr. Deborah Brown


Graduate Secretary

Mindy Peck


Campus Address

402 Manter Hall

Lincoln NE 68588-0118

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Biological Sciences in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 565, Internet TOEFL 85, IELTS 6.5
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Statement of purpose

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Biological Sciences
Fall: December 15


The School of Biological Sciences (SBS) is the major unit in Nebraska responsible for comprehensive instruction in the basic biological sciences. Students are encouraged to develop personalized programs of study and research in the areas of ecology and evolution, behavior, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, parasitology, plant systems biology, and plant pathology. Specialized research infrastructures include animal facilities and the Nebraska Center for Virology.

The School of Biological Sciences also benefits from other core facilities administered by the Center for Biotechnology. In Western Nebraska, the Cedar Point Biological Field Station offers field courses and research opportunities. Individuals in the program may also utilize the resources of the Nebraska State Museum, including the Manter Parasitology Laboratory. In addition,the Center for Plant Sciences Innovation houses the Plant Sciences Program and offers a unique opportunity to study basic and applied aspects of plant biology.

Courses and More

Students in Biological Sciences are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

Peter Angeletti
DNA Replication and Maintenance of Particular HPVs
Audrey Atkin
Molecular Mechanism of mRNA Decay
Zoya Avramova
Chromatin Structure and Gene Function
Gwen Bachman
Influence of Energy Supply and Demand on Animal Behavior
Alexandra Basolo
Evolutionary, Behavioral, and Ecological Processes
Paul Blum
Hyperthermophilic Archaea; Pathogenic Enteric Bacteria
Chad Brassil
Mathematical Modeling of Ecological Interactions
Deborah Brown
Host Immune Response to Viral Infections
Heriberto Cerutti
Regulation Gene Expression; Genomics; RNA Interference; Algal Biotechnology; Renewable Biofuels
Catherine Chia
Membrane-Cytoskeleta Interaction; Membrane Protein Interactions
Alan Christensen
Plant Mitochondrial Genetics
Brian Couch
Biology Education Research
John DeLong
Ecological and Evolutionary Energetics; Human Population Ecology; Body Size Evolution; Predator-Prey Ecology
Scott Gardner
Neotropical Rodents, Marsupials, and Parasites
Robert Gibson
Animal Behavior; Ecology; Evolutionary Biology
Lawrence Harshman
Genetic and Physiological Factors of Drosophila Melanogaster
Eileen Hebets
Evolution and Diversification of Animal Communication Systems
Johannes Knops
Plant and Ecosystem Ecology
Qingsheng Li
HIV; Transmission; Vaccine; Prevention
Colin Meiklejohn
Genetic Basis of Speciation, Regulatory Evolution and Co-Evolution between Nuclear and Mitochondrial Genomes
Kristi Montooth
Evolutionary Genetics of Physiological Adaptation; Population & Comparative Genomics; Evolution & Development of Metabolism; Mitochondrial Evolution
Etsuko Moriyama
Bioinformatics; Molecular Evolution; Molecular Population Genetics
Hideaki Moriyama
Mechanisms of Biological Adaptation; Atomic Description of Biological Macromolecules
Kenneth Nickerson
Fungal Dimorphism; Quorum Sensing in Fungi; Bacterial Detergent Resistance; Microbial Insecticides
John Osterman
Gene Structure and Function in Plants
Diana Pilson
Natural Selection; Genetic Basis of Ecologically Important Traits
Wayne Riekhof
Lipid Metabolism, Transport, and Storage; Algal Biology; Fungal Biology; Metabolic Regulation; Biochemical Genetics; High-Throughput Screening
Sabrina E. Russo
Plant Community Ecology
Daizaburo Shizuka
Elucidating the Mechanisms of Parent-Offspring Recognition; How this Mechanism Affects the Process of Coevolution between Avian Brood Parasites and their Hosts.
Jay Storz
Evolutionary Genetics; Genomes; Phsyiology
Brigitte Tenhumberg
Population Ecology; Behavior and Life History Theory; Mathematical Modeling
William Wagner
Evolution of Animal Communication Systems
Eric Weaver
Vaccinology, Virology and Molecular Biology
Karrie A. Weber
Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Physiology
Charles Wood
Molecular Biology of HIV and Human Herpesviruses
Bin Yu
Mall RNA Metabolism and Function
Anthony Zera
Physiological, Biochemical, Molecular, and Endocrine Bases of Adaptation
Chi Zhang
Computational Systems Biology; Bioinformatics; Plant Cell and Pathogens Interaction; Gene Protein Interaction Network
Luwen Zhang
Functions and Regulations of IRF-7 in EBV Transformation; Interaction Between EBV and HHV8; Human Cancers

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