PhD Programs in Biology in California

There is no shortage of PhD in Biology programs in the state of California that provide further study in an array of areas within the field of biology. Explore some of the different California schools and their PhD programs here. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

University of California San Diego

The University of California San Diego's Division of Biological Sciences offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biology with available tracks in quantitative biology; cell, molecular, and genetics; ecology, behavior, and evolution; microbiology; multi-scale biology; bioinformatics; and anthropogeny. Students in the PhD program receive training in research, writing papers, applying for grants, and presenting lectures.

California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology has a PhD in Biology program that offers tracks in the areas of systems biology, cellular biology, developmental biology, biophysics, immunology, molecular biology and biochemistry, genetics, and microbiology. During the first year of the program, students are allowed to participate in 2 to 3 laboratory rotations to explore different areas of research and must complete a final thesis project and teaching requirements prior to graduation.

University of California Berkeley

The University of California Berkeley awards PhD's in a wide range of areas in biology, including areas like computational biology, integrative biology, molecular and cell biology, plant biology, biophysics, biostatistics, microbiology, and metabolic biology. Outside of writing, research, and teaching responsibilities, doctoral students have the unique opportunity to participate in the SMART (Student Mentoring and Research Teams) program and mentor undergraduates.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California offers PhD programs in the areas of computational biology and bioinformatics, integrative and evolutionary biology, molecular biology, and marine biology and biological oceanography. Depending on the PhD program chosen, students might need to complete individual research, gain teaching experience, and attend seminars on a wide range of subjects in the field.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University has a PhD in Ecology, PhD in Evolutionary Biology, and a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology available. All three of these doctoral programs are joint programs with various campuses of the University of California and allow students to conduct research with and learn from faculty members from both institutions while completing their coursework and dissertation.

Stanford University

PhD students in Stanford University's biosciences program can pursue a concentration in areas like structural biology, cancer biology, chemical and systems biology, biology, biochemistry, biophysics, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, and microbiology and immunology. Students in the PhD program complete laboratory rotations, a thesis, and participate in seminars.

University of California Irvine

The University of California Irvine offers a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a PhD in Mathematical, Computational, and Systems Biology, as well as a few unique interdepartmental gateway PhD programs in the areas of cellular and molecular biosciences, mathematical and computational biology, and neuroscience. These interdepartmental gateway programs provide additional areas of focus and allow students to complete lab rotations in multiple departments to find advisors for their particular areas of interest.

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University has a PhD in Biology program that requires students to take courses in areas such as ecology, organismal biology, and biological systems. PhD students are required to attend seminars, teach at least one quarter, participate in professional development opportunities, and complete a dissertation.

University of California Santa Barbara

The University of California Santa Barbara offers a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, and a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Depending on their chosen degree, doctoral students may participate in lab rotations before choosing a lab for their thesis, meet teaching requirements, attend seminars, and may participate in additional activities like retreats, journal clubs, and research seminars.

University of California Los Angeles

The University of California Los Angeles has a traditional PhD in Biology, as well as a wide range of PhD programs in areas like human genetics, microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics, molecular biology, bioinformatics, molecular, cell, and developmental biology, and physics and biology in medicine. Doctoral students must teach at least 1 term, but some programs may require multiple terms, pass qualifying exams, and complete a dissertation.

School NamePrograms OfferedAverage Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of California San DiegoPhD in Biology; tracks in multi-scale biology, quantitative biology, bioinformatics, anthropogeny, cell, molecular, and genetics, ecology, behavior, and evolution, and microbiology$11,442 in-state, $26,544 out-of-state
California Institute of TechnologyPhD in Biology; tracks in developmental biology, systems biology, cellular biology, biophysics, immunology, molecular biology and biochemistry, genetics, and microbiology$50,487
University of California BerkeleyPhD in Computational Biology, Integrative Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Plant Biology, Biophysics, Biostatistics, Microbiology, and Metabolic Biology$11,442 in-state, $26,544 out-of-state
University of Southern CaliforniaPhD in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography, Molecular Biology, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and Integrative and Evolutionary Biology$44,712
San Diego State UniversityPhD in Cell and Molecular Biology, PhD in Ecology, PhD in Evolutionary Biology$7,176 in-state, $16,680 out-of-state
Stanford UniversityPhD in Bioscience; tracks in structural biology, cancer biology, chemical and systems biology, biology, biochemistry, biophysics, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, and microbiology and immunology$50,703
University of California IrvinePhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, PhD in Mathematical, Computational, and Systems Biology
Interdepartmental PhD in Neuroscience, Mathematical and Computational Biology, and Cellular and Molecular Biosciences
$11,442 in-state, $26,544 out-of-state
Loma Linda UniversityPhD in Biology$26,080
University of California Santa BarbaraPhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology$11,442 in-state, $26,544 out-of-state
University of California Los AngelesPhD in Biology, PhD in Human Genetics, PhD in Molecular Biology, PhD in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, PhD in Bioinformatics, PhD in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, PhD in Physics and Biology in Medicine $11,442 in-state, $26,544 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

There are several different colleges throughout the state of California, including schools in cities like Los Angeles, Stanford, and San Diego, that offer PhD programs in the field of biology. Most of these programs allow students to further focus their studies in a specific area of biology, such as genetics, molecular biology, or ecology, as they conduct research and complete their degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Loma Linda University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Loma Linda
  • California Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Pasadena
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Worcester
  • West Virginia University

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Morgantown
  • Wesleyan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: Middletown
  • Weill Cornell Medical College

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: New York
  • Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Cold Spring Harbor
  • University of Tulsa

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Tulsa
  • University of Toledo

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Toledo
  • University of Southern Mississippi

    Campus Locations:

    • Mississippi: Hattiesburg