PhD Program

Students in our program are highly valued and supported

All students receive an annually adjusted stipend, full funding of tuition costs, health insurance, and fees, and access to discounted housing within walking distance of the Morningside campus, a safe and friendly enclave within a vibrant city. Students have always been major contributors to the research enterprise here. Our priorities are to facilitate outstanding thesis research and provide holistic training, with special attention to scientific rigor, ethics, and communication. Program Directors, Administrators, and Faculty Committee members provide personal guidance for each student to help navigate research, training, and work/life conditions. Regular feedback and new ideas are sought through a Graduate Student Council and other channels to continually improve and adapt to student needs or new scientific and societal opportunities.

Outstanding research opportunities

We invite you to join in our wide range of cutting-edge fundamental research and build on our distinguished history as a birthplace of Model Organism Research, Evolutionary Genetics, and revolutionary advances in Imaging. Program faculty are eager to meet with you during the application process, present research opportunities in talks to first-year students, and host students for rotations. Research areas span the breadth of modern biology with many intersections, providing opportunities for broad, interdisciplinary training and practice.

Embracing diversity with connectivity

We have students, faculty, and research personnel from all over the world, with backgrounds ranging from mathematics and computation to chemistry, physics, and biology. Diversity of all kinds is valued and promoted through inclusion and cohesion in our Program, the whole Columbia University community, and New York City. Community is a notably strong, characteristic feature of our program. It is promoted through common meeting places and discussions, overlapping intellectual exposure in lab rotations and courses, and collaborative research.

A training program with breadth, depth, opportunity, and flexibility

A multi-tiered menu of graduate courses allows students to broaden their perspectives and delve deeply into chosen specializations. Presentation skills are further honed via a highly acclaimed writing course, short student presentations preceding a weekly social hour, annual retreats, and graduate student symposia. Teaching skills are supported and developed through program resources, a Lead-teaching fellow program, and collaboration with faculty as teaching assistants. Presentations from former students representing diverse career paths in career workshops and from invited biotechnology industry professionals provide opportunities to explore diverse biomedical careers. All rules, guidelines, and major resources for students in the Program can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.