Graduate students in the Biology PhD Option come with very diverse undergraduate preparation—majors in physics, chemistry, mathematics, or psychology, as well as in biology and its various branches. The aims of the graduate program are to provide, for each student, individual depth of experience and competence in a particular chosen major specialty; perception of the nature and logic of biology as a whole; sufficient strength in basic science to allow continued self-education after formal training has been completed and thus to keep in the forefront of changing fields; and the motivation to serve his or her field productively through a long career.
In accordance with these aims, the graduate study program in biology includes the following parts:
a) The major program, which is to provide the student with early and intense original research experience in a self-selected subject of biology, supplemented with advanced course work and independent study in this subject;
b) A program of course work designed to provide well-rounded and integrated training in biology and the appropriate basic sciences, which is adjusted to special interests and needs. An individual program will be recommended to each student in a meeting with the student’s advisory committee.
The Biology division graduate program trains students for the degree of doctor of philosophy; students are not admitted to study for the master's degree.
Application for the Biology PhD Option is through the Caltech Graduate Studies Office.