As a student in WPI’s PhD in Biology and Biotechnology program, you will benefit from close mentorship by dynamic faculty who encourage creativity and inquisitiveness.
Enabled by a world-class research infrastructure, students in our competitive program explore their passion for discovery while driving cutting-edge, hypothesis-driven research. You will work alongside interdisciplinary teams of WPI faculty, peers, and industry partners to make an impact in your field and explore topics that matter to you, from cancer biology and immunology research to studies of brain plasticity and pollinator decline.
Please note: Applications are closed for the Fall 2023 Semester for the both the On Campus MS and PhD programs in Biology & Biotechnology. Applications will reopen for Spring 2024.
Applications are still being accepted for the MS in Biotechnology Online, as well as BSMS and certificate programs.
Through our well-rounded PhD in Biology and Biotechnology, you will delve into immersive research in biology and biotechnology while also sharpening your professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills. You will take core courses covering professional ethics, grant writing, and experimental design, and hone your communication skills by participating in department-wide research presentations. You may also take part in supervised teaching experiences and discuss interdisciplinary research initiatives in our Journal Clubs.
Students complete a qualifying exam by the end of the second year of study and round out required coursework with electives. Completion of PhD studies concludes with the preparation of a written thesis and successful oral defense.
WPI's Department of Biology and Biotechnology is home to a diverse and dynamic faculty body that employs cutting-edge research to explore and understand research topics at the intersection of biology and technology. You will work alongside them as you make your own discoveries in these research areas:
- cancer cell biology
- cognition and behavior
- cytoskeletal dynamics
- drug resistance
- epigenetics and gene regulation
- infectious diseases
- neuronal migration and degeneration
- regenerative medicine
- signal transduction mechanisms
PhD candidates are encouraged to review the department's faculty pages to identify potential advisors.
You will have access to state-of-the-art equipment in WPI’s Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, a research complex where an open-plan lab and presence of biotech companies encourage interdisciplinary collaborations. Facilities include an analytical instrumentation core equipped for NMR, Mass Spec, X-Ray Crystal, and qPCR analysis; imaging core with advanced microscopes for point-scanning confocal, spinning disk confocal, and TIRF microscopy; and AAALAC-accredited vivarium.
Earn a Master’s Degree in Biology & Biotechnology First
Are you interested in making advanced discoveries about living organisms in a robust community of like-minded researchers, but need your master’s to get there? Consider earning a master’s in biology and biotechnology where you’ll participate in cutting-edge laboratory training and gain professional training in areas like experimental design, ethics, and more. Do you prefer advancing a career in the biotech industry from making cross-functional decisions to gaining expertise in bio-production? Our online master’s in biotechnology is a skills-focused program perfect for students who are working professionals looking to study part-time. Maybe you have a strong foundation in computer science and statistics? Consider earning a master’s in bioinformatics and computational biology which dives into leveraging biological data to improve health care.
Get Started with a BS in Biology & Biotechnology or a Minor in a Related Field
If you’re interested in the field but need your initial degree, a bachelor’s in biology & biotechnology is the first step. This degree introduces you to how the theory of biology is put into practice with biotechnology. If your interest lies in gaining enough information to use in a different discipline or practice, WPI has minors that will deliver the skills and knowledge you seek. A minor in biology is an excellent addition to your academic program and will be relevant in many industries including biomechanics, big data, or personalized medicine. Or maybe you’re seeking a global perspective. WPI’s interdisciplinary minor in global public health examines biological, social, political, environmental, and economic influences on the health of diverse and varied populations.
WPI is proud to be the recipient of not one, but two National Science Foundation Research Traineeship programs. The programs provide exceptionally talented graduate students with specialized training and funding assistance to join careers at the forefront of technology and innovation. The programs are for graduate students in research-based master's and doctoral degree programs in STEM. Learn more.
The BioPoint Program for Graduate Students has been designed to complement traditional training in bioscience, digital and engineering fields. Students accepted into one of the home BioPoint programs will have the flexibility to select research advisors and take electives in other departments to broaden their skills. BioPoint curriculum is designed to be individual, interactive, project-focused and diverse, and includes innovative courses, seminars, journal clubs and industrial-based projects. Learn more.