Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Biology

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The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Molecular Biology is offered through a cooperative program of the Federation of North Texas Area Universities that includes Texas Woman’s University and the University of North Texas. Within this degree option, courses are available in molecular biology and neurobiology.

The Federation doctoral program provides opportunities for formal course work, seminars, independent study, participation in regional and national conferences, and dissertation research. The program also includes Federation-sponsored seminars featuring outstanding nationally and internationally recognized educators.

Graduate students enrolled at either UNT or TWU take courses at both universities, thus benefiting from the combined faculties of each school. Students graduating from a Federation program will be granted the Ph.D. from the university through which they entered the program.

Total Semester Credit Hours Required

A minimum of 90 semester credit hours including those at the master’s level and 6 semester credit hours for dissertation.

To be fulfilled by every Ph.D. student as early as possible in the program:
BIOL 6513Molecular Biology3
BIOL 6334Advanced Cell Biology4
BIOL 6734Advanced Genetics4
CHEM 5613Advanced Biochemistry I3
CHEM 5623Advanced Biochemistry II3
BIOL 5611Readings in Biology (taken 3 times)3
BIOL 5681Seminar (taken 3 times)3
Research Tool 16
Research Tool 26
To complete the program:6-18
Dissertation (may take twice)
Dissertation (may take 4 times)
Total Semester Credit Hours41-53

Research Tools

Proficiency in two Research Tools is required in categories such as Bioinformatics, Grant Writing, Molecular Techniques, Statistics, Computer Science, or Foreign Languages.

Research Tool 1: "Techniques" courses from a selection of skill courses such as Electron Microscopy, Plasmid Techniques, and Specific Molecular Techniques. 

BACT 6534 and BACT 6544 together may be counted as one of the two required Research Tools.

Research Tool 2: Students may choose from any of the categories listed above.

Residence Requirement

A Ph.D. candidate must spend one academic year in residence on the Denton campus.


6 to 18 dissertation hours

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination consists of two parts: a written research proposal; and an oral examination covering the contents of the proposal as well as the fields of cell and molecular biology. The student’s advisory/research committee administers the examination.

Final Examination

An open seminar in which the student discusses research results and an oral examination by the dissertation committee are required.