Complex Biosystems

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate programs offered

Earn a Graduate Degree

  • PhD in Complex Biosystems (90 cr) with optional specialization:
    • Computational Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Evolution
    • Integrative Plant Biology
    • Microbial Interactions
    • Pathobiology and Biomedical Science
    • Systems Analysis

Online and Distance Opportunities

Some online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.

Contacts for Complex Biosystems

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Complex Biosystems

Program Chair
Dr. Jennifer Clarke

Program Coordinator
Stacey Herceg

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Application checklist and deadlines

1. Required by Graduate Studies

2. Required by Complex Biosystems

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 79, IELTS 6.5
  • CV or resume
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

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

Application Deadlines for Complex Biosystems
  • December 15 for Fall.

Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. Our academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years.


The program in Complex Biosystems is directed toward students interested in applying quantitative statistical and computational approaches to multiple areas of biology including human health, medical biochemistry, microbial metagenomics, ecology, evolution, and plant systems.

The first year of this interdisciplinary program offers students two semesters of laboratory rotations on diverse topics, and one semester of laboratory teaching experience. In the first year of study, the cohort of incoming students considers "big questions" in multiple areas of life sciences, and learns current technical and analytical approaches to address them.

In addition to various types of scientific communication skills and ethical approaches to research, students acquire a foundation in population, cellular and molecular life sciences; statistics; bioinformatics; and computational analysis. This unique graduate program is tailored to the student's specific desired outcomes, offering a flexible curriculum and broad interdisciplinary training.

Faculty and research

A complete list of participating faculty will be posted here when available. In the meantime, prospective students are encouraged to visit the Complex Biosystems website to view a preliminary list of faculty and research areas.

This summary page is maintained by Graduate Studies.
For additional details check out the dept./program website: Complex Biosystems.

Departments: Have an update for this summary? Contact Kurt Mueller.