Biological Sciences

Program Description

Lehigh’s Ph.D. program in biology is offered in a highly collaborative, research-oriented department that successfully trains students in the investigation, exploration, and deep understanding of the biological sciences in diverse areas of research strength. Our graduate students will enter an academically rigorous and supportive environment for advanced research and training, enjoying collaborative work in state-of-the-art laboratories, research centers and classrooms. 

The biology department places particular emphasis on developing students’ ability to investigate, explore and understand the biological sciences through the design and execution of authentic research projects.

Students may complete a concentration in one of the following areas:

  • Biochemistry
  • Evolution and behavior
  • Neuroscience
  • Cell and molecular biology

Ph.D. students generally complete the program in 5-6 years, engaging in lab rotations, research, and teaching, culminating in the dissertation defense. 


Ph.D. graduates have secured research positions at prestigious academic institutions including MIT, Baylor, Yale, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, and University of North Carolina. Many have continued in academia and currently hold tenure-track positions at colleges and universities. Others are employed at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Johnson and Johnson, and Aventis. 


Graduate students are a part of a research team, which includes the faculty adviser, research scientists, post-docs, and undergraduate students, as well as collaborators from other institutions in the United States and abroad. Students are encouraged to rotate among different labs in order to gain firsthand lab experience, training in specific techniques, and one-on-one interactions with faculty. Our students are often first authors of publications and have their findings published in top scientific journals.

M.S. in Molecular Biology (distance only)

The biology department also offers a master’s of science degree in molecular biology, conducted exclusively via online distance education. The 30-credit program (10+ courses) is a highly focused, research-oriented online program designed specifically for part-time students who have an interest in the biotechnology industry. Students pursuing the M.S. degree typically complete the program in two to six years. 

Application Requirements 

Ph.D., Biology

  • Completed online application
  • Official transcript
  • 3 letters of recommendation 
  • If applicable, English language proficiency test scores - Review full policy here
  • GRE general test scores are no longer required

M.S., Molecular Biology, Distance

  • Completed online application
  • Official transcript
  • 2 letters of recommendation 
  • If applicable, English language proficiency test scores - Review full policy here

Non-Degree, Biology Department, Distance

  • A bachelor’s degree from an approved institution with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0.  Applicants with undergraduate GPAs below 3.0 may be admitted with the approval of the department in which they wish to take courses.
  • Non-degree students may take no more than 12 hours of graduate study at Lehigh. Any transcript or other record from the University will clearly indicate the student status as non-degree.  Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for financial assistance.

Financial Aid

  • Teaching Assistantships / Research Assistantships / Fellowships - includes stipend plus tuition
  • Scholarships - tuition remission

Department Contact

Gregory Lang, Graduate Director

Department website