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 on a variety of topics 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 may take courses at both universities, thus benefiting from the combined faculties of each school. Students graduating from a Federation program will be granted a Ph.D. from the university through which they entered the program.
Students in the Ph.D. program at TWU complete the required coursework, a written proposal (the prospectus) outlining their research plans, and then conduct original research under the guidance of a faculty mentor and an advisory committee. The results of the research are prepared as a written dissertation and presented in a public seminar. The student must pass an oral examination (dissertation defense) administered by the advisory committee following the public seminar in order to earn the doctoral degree. Students who complete this program are well-prepared for careers in academia, industry, or the government sector.
Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."
- Demonstrate critical thinking by using logic and reasoning to interpret scientific results, evaluate primary literature, and identify alternative explanations for given results.
- Conceive, design, and perform properly controlled experiments for testing a hypothesis using modern scientific instruments and methods.
- Work collaboratively as part of a team to perform, analyze, and present scientific results and research outcomes.
- Demonstrate leadership on scientific projects and the ability to supervise others in coordinated group efforts.
- Understand research regulations and comply with all laboratory safety guidelines.
All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.
This academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.
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 6513||Molecular Biology||3|
|BIOL 6334||Advanced Cell Biology||4|
|BIOL 6734||Advanced Genetics||4|
|CHEM 5613||Advanced Biochemistry I||3|
|BIOL 5611||Readings in Biology (taken 3 times)||3|
|BIOL 5681||Seminar (taken 3 times)||3|
|Research Tools 1||6-8|
|Research Tools 2||6|
|To complete the program||6-18|
|Dissertation (may take twice)|
|Dissertation (may take 4 times)|
Students much show proficiency in two Research Tools and may select from categories such as Research Methods, Scientific Communication, or Statistics. Other options, such as Bioinformatics, Business, or Grant writing, may be available with approval from the Graduate Advisor and advisory committee.
|Plasmids as Vectors for Recombinant DNA|
|Viruses as Vectors for Recombinant DNA|
|Advanced Scientific Communication|
|Seminar (Oral Communication)|
|Readings in Biology (Primary Literature, Written and Oral Communication)|
|Independent Study (Written Communication)|
or BIOL 5801
|Statistical Methods I|
|Statistical Methods II|
In addition to the required courses, students may choose elective courses which may include, but are not limited to:
|BIOL 5033||Advanced Science in the Secondary Classroom||3|
|BIOL 5293||Advanced Scientific Communication||3|
|BIOL 5333||Advanced Pathophysiology||3|
|BIOL 5503||Research Methods||3|
|BIOL 5611||Readings in Biology||1|
|BIOL 5613||Readings in Biology||3|
|BIOL 5801||Biological Research||1|
|BIOL 5803||Biological Research||3|
|BIOL 5881||Biological Research||1|
|BIOL 5883||Biological Research||3|
|BIOL 5901||Special Topics (*)||1|
|BIOL 5903||Special Topics (*)||3|
|BIOL 5911||Independent Study||1|
|BIOL 5913||Independent Study||3|
|BIOL 5973||Professional Paper||3|
|BIOL 6843||Health Care Genetics||3|
|BIOL 6821||Research in Molecular Biology||1|
|BIOL 6823||Research in Molecular Biology||3|
|BIOL 6831||Research in Molecular Biology||1|
|BIOL 6833||Research in Molecular Biology||3|
|BIOL 6911||Independent Study||1|
|BIOL 6913||Independent Study||3|
|CHEM 5623||Advanced Biochemistry II||3|
*Special Topics courses cover emerging issues or specialized content not represented in the main curriculum. Past special topics have included: Bioinformatics, Cancer Biology, Electron Microscopy, Genetics, Genome Editing, Immunology, Neuroscience, and Signal Transduction.
6 to 18 dissertation hours
The qualifying examination consists of two parts: a written research proposal (the Prospectus); and an oral examination covering the contents of the proposal as well as general knowledge in the fields of molecular biology. The student must complete all required coursework and research tools prior to the Qualifying examination. The student’s advisory committee administers the examination.
A public seminar in which the student shares the research results followed by an oral examination by the advisory committee are required.