Graduate Program in Biology
Application to the program
The online application is on the Graduate Student Services website: http://www.wesleyan.edu/grad/apply.html
All graduate students in good academic standing receive a full stipend ($23,934 for 2011-2012), tuition remission, basic health insurance, and a dependency allowance, when applicable. All graduate students are teaching assistants (about 12 hours/week) for three semesters. They are supported as research or teaching assistants for the remainder of their stay in the program.
Laboratory research practica
Graduate students start their research experience with two or more semester-long practica in laboratories. These are designed to provide complementing experiences to prepare students for their thesis research. Research projects are available in the following areas:
- Aaron Lab - Epilepsy, the hippocampus and the cortex
- Bodznick Lab - Neuroethology
- Burke Lab - Development and Evolution
- Chernoff Lab - Conservation, evolution and genetics of fishes
- Cohan Lab - Evolutionary genetics and speciation of bacteria
- Devoto Lab - Muscle Development In Zebrafish
- Grabel Lab - Embryonic stem cell neurogenesis
- Johnson Lab - Regulation of cell movement during development
- Kirn Lab - Developmental neurobiology of vocal learning in songbirds
- Naegele Lab - Development of GABAergic interneurons and neural stem cell therapy
- Singer Lab - Evolution and ecology of plant-animal interactions
- Sultan Lab - Evolutionary ecology of phenotypic plasticity in plants
- Weir Lab - Molecular Genetics; bioinformatics
Coursework and journal clubs
Working with the First Year Advisory committee, graduate students design their own program of courses to complement and strengthen their previous background knowledge.
Each student participates in one of the journal clubs in which recent journal articles are presented and discussed. Three journal clubs meet weekly over lunch:1. Ecology/Evolution
Towards the end of their second year, students prepare for and sit a qualifying exam. Passing of this exam permits students to formally become Ph.D. candidates. The exam includes the writing of a research proposal and an oral examination.
Students are advised by the First Year Advisory committee, their first year faculty mentor, and their lab practica mentors. After passing their qualifying examination, students set up a thesis committee of four faculty members which meets annually to discuss research progress and provide advice.
All graduate students present their research in bi-weekly seminars attended by all members of the department, to encourage students to become fluent and comfortable with their presentation skills.