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PhD Program

Graduate students in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington receive a commitment from the entire department to support their education and research.  Our students make excellent use of the many opportunities available to them, as evidenced by the extraordinary number of fellowships and awards received, the successful publication of high impact papers, and their regular contributions at national and international meetings.  Our students receive additional training by participating in departmental governance, curriculum development, faculty recruitment and other activities. Together these factors combine to promote an unusual degree of professionalism and community spirit.

General Statistics

(All numbers are approximations, exact figures differ annually)

Number of applicants:  greater than 300

Number of students invited for interview weekend:  40

Number of offers extended:  approx. 25 (about 9% of applicants)

Number of offers accepted: 15

Time to completion:  6 year average

Teaching Assistant Requirement:  Minimum 2 quarters TAing

Funding:  Our department provides funding for the first five years of your program through a variety of teaching and research assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships.  Students are frequently able to find funding for the duration of their research program through these means as well.

Member of the Team

By joining the Biology Department at the University of Washington, you will become a part of a world-class research institution.  Here, graduate students are treated as colleagues by a committed faculty who work to mentor students, to provide opportunities to develop research interests, to network both on and off campus, and to publish and present their own research.

You will find a collaborative environment at the University of Washington, with faculty engaging in research with the lab next door, researchers across campus, and teams halfway across the world.  Our graduate students are encouraged to collaborate similarly, seeking additional mentors and colleagues throughout the world who compliment their research interests.

Timeline to Completion


Autumn Quarter

Winter Quarter

Spring Quarter

Summer Quarter

Year 1

Begin program, lab rotation #1

Lab rotation #2

Lab rotation #3, choose advisor/permanent lab

Select Supervisory Committee; first year conversation

Year 2

Wrap up Prescription Letter Requirements

General Exam by end of Spring Quarter

Supervisory Committee Annual Meeting

Year 3

Conduct research and begin writing; work to publish/present research; Supervisory Committee Annual Meeting

Year 4

Conduct research and continue writing; work to publish/present research; Supervisory Committee Annual meeting

Year 5

Publish/present a chapter of your dissertation; select Reading Committee

Schedule Final Exam



If you would like to make an appointment with our Graduate Program Manager, Andrea Pardo - please consult their calendar linked here!



Date last changed Jun 12th, 2024 @ 14:55:08 PDT