Department of Biological Sciences

Dodge Hall Rm 375
118 Library Dr
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-3550
fax: (248) 370-4225

Graduate Programs

The Department of Biological Sciences houses accomplished laboratories with advanced technologies, carrying out cutting-edge biomedical, translational, basic science, and ecological research. Our modern facilities include a computation center and aquatic field research sites, as well as collaborations with local hospitals and use of campus natural habitats. Many of our laboratories receive external funding from private foundations and national agencies including the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA. Our graduate programs promote biological discoveries within an engaging and stimulating environment. Faculty are committed to providing exceptional teaching and research experiences. Together we will help you grow a lifelong passion for the biological sciences and reach your career goals.


Admission to one of the biology department's graduate programs requires a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution and an undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or better (on a 4.00 scale). Exceptions to the GPA requirement may be made if evidence of the capacity for graduate study is provided. 

Students should have completed at least 20 credits in biology, 8 credits in mathematics, 8 credits in physics, and 15 credits in chemistry. Students with deficiencies in these areas may be conditionally admitted with the stipulation that the deficiencies will be corrected. 

Applicants must fulfill university application requirements as well as program application requirements, both outlined in the catalog entry for each program.  

Financial Assistance

A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available. These provide a stipend as well as an award to cover tuition and fees. Research assistantships also are available through faculty grants.

For more specific program information contact:
Dr. Lan Jiang, Graduate Advisor
322 Dodge Hall
(248) 370-3552

M.A. in

The Master of Arts in Biology is a non-thesis master's program that has a larger course component, but a lesser research component, than the Master of Science. The M.A. program is designed for those students who wish to teach at the secondary or community college level and for students who hold a full-time job and wish to pursue a graduate degree simultaneously. 

The admissions requirements for the M.A. are identical to those of the M.S. The total number of credits for the M.A. degree is 32, the same as for the M.S. A maximum of nine credits can be transferred from another institution.

M.A. students will earn their 4-8 credits of BIO 690 by working with one or more faculty on a research project. The student will be required to write a report on their BIO 690 research. The departmental graduate committee will determine if students have met the degree requirements for the M.A. in Biology.

For more specific program information contact:
Dr. Lan Jiang, Graduate Advisor
(248) 370-3552

M.S. in

The program leading to a Master of Science provides advanced training to students seeking employment in biological disciplines. The Master of Science in biology also prepares students for entrance into Ph.D. programs.

The M.S. program covers the breadth of biological questions ranging from the fields of biomedical research to ecology, evolution, and behavior. Some examples of biomedical research topics currently studied at Oakland University include cancer research, stem cell research, intercellular signaling in cardiovascular disease, genetics of cystic tubular organ diseases, mechanisms of gene expression, cell motility, pathology of the eye, and chemical communication between organisms. Some examples of ecology, evolution, and behavior research include the ecology of wood frogs, evolution of microbial species, evolution of transposable elements in plant genomes, evolution of parasite-host interactions, and the effect of human activity on aquatic ecosystems. Visit the Faculty Research page for more information and detailed descriptions of the faculty research interests within the Department of Biological Sciences.
For more specific program information contact:
Dr.  Lan Jiang , Graduate Advisor
322 Dodge Hall
(248) 370-3552

The College of Arts and Sciences offers doctoral degrees in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Health and Environmental Chemistry, and Medical Physics

Centered in the Department of Biological Sciences, the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program requires a strong academic background in biology including cellular and molecular biology. 

The Doctor of Philosophy in Biological and Biomedical Sciences allows the student to conduct research in any one of a variety of disciplines within biology. Areas of research include biochemistry, cell biology, cancer biology, developmental biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, immunology, microbiology, physiology, and stem cell biology. A student in the program will conduct dissertation research under the direction of a faculty member in or affiliated with the Department of Biological Sciences. More detailed information on the department's faculty research interests and activities can be found by visiting the faculty research webpage.

Doctoral Research

The Ph.D. is a research-based degree and the most significant part of one's doctoral work is their research and their research mentor. Before applying to any doctoral program, you should find out about the types of research projects available and determine if they fit your educational goals. Faculty at Oakland University in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Eye Research Institute may participate in the Ph.D. degree program, so you should review the research going on in these departments.

Helpful documents

The purpose of this program is to help prepare students for success in gaining admission to medical, dental, or veterinary school.

For more information contact:
Dr.  Lan Jiang , Graduate Advisor
322 Dodge Hall
(248) 370-3552