Jump to main content

Join a Pioneering Program for Biology Educators and Researchers

Recent graduates of UNC’s Biological Education Ph.D. program have a high job placement rate. Our program helps you stand out in the market by providing comprehensive training for positions in academia, government and the private and nonprofit sectors. In addition to offering strong opportunities for biological field and laboratory research and publication, our Ph.D. program provides extraordinary training in STEM education. You’ll graduate with an in-demand skill set that integrates research expertise with outstanding teaching ability and experience.

Established in the early 1990s, this pioneering program was among the first in the nation to emphasize the teaching of biology. You’ll get extensive hands-on experience as a teaching assistant and classroom leader, culminating in the opportunity to develop and teach your own college course. University biology and other employers place high value on this training. Many of our Ph.D. candidates have multiple job offers waiting for them at graduation.

Degree Details

Credits Required:




Cost Estimator

Degree Option

Ph.D. in Biological Education

UNC’s Ph.D. in Biological Education offers options you won’t find in most doctoral programs. Focus your dissertation studies on biological research or on the teaching and learning of biology, and enrich your education by working side-by-side with UNC's biology faculty who excel in both types of research.

Take the next step! Explore courses, costs and admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

Learn more about the Ph.D. Program

"The biology graduate program at UNC was a great fit for me. The PhD program provides a nice blend of science and science education. My skills as both a biologist and an educator were strengthened through my experiences. That doesn't happen in all graduate programs. I think that having a solid background in biology as well as a track record of successful teaching really helped me to stand out in the job application process. I feel I was well prepared for my immediate future as an Assistant Professor of Biology at a liberal arts college."

– Bill

Your Future in Biological Education

Because of its inclusion of training in Biological Education, UNC’s Ph.D. program equips you to contribute to the future of STEM education. A broad national consensus on the need to improve outcomes in STEM education creates a broad range of employment opportunities in colleges and universities, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.

Consider a Ph.D. in Biological Education if you:

  • Are committed to biological research
  • Love to teach
  • Seek to further the goals of national STEM education policy
  • Have an interest in expanding the frontiers of biological research

You’ll learn:

  • Research methods in the area of your choice
  • How to design and teach a college biology course
  • Scientific writing and publishing

Sample courses:

  • Advanced Genetics
  • Immunology and Disease
  • Conservation Biology
  • College Biology Course Development
  • Species & Speciation

Beyond the Classroom

Our Ph.D. candidates work as teaching assistants and all eventually design and teach an original course. In addition, many of our Ph.D. candidates gain experience as research assistants, working in fields as diverse as molecular biology, evolutionary biology, human health and biomedical science, biological pedagogy and other sub-disciplines.

Where can your degree take you?

  • Tenure-track faculty position in a university biology department
  • Conservation nonprofit or government agency
  • Educational policy think tank
  • Medical research institute
  • Postdoctoral positions
  • Biotechnology careers

Ready for what's next? Here's what you need to know.

If there's anything else we can do, be sure to connect with us. We're only a shout away.

Still not completely sold? We understand. Here's more information on costs and funding and how to apply.

Klawz signature on paper application

Apply now

Look at you go! We're excited to meet you.

Flying envelope illustration

Request information

We'll send you some more details.

Visit shuttle illustration

Plan a visit

There's nothing quite like walking on our turf. Take a virtual tour.