Graduate programs in biological sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a broad choice of courses, research programs and teaching opportunities. Each student follows an individualized program with a focus on original research, publication and presentation at meetings. Graduates of our program have accepted faculty positions, launched companies, gone into government service and hold research and teaching positions all over the world.

Wayne State University is a comprehensive, nationally ranked research institution that offers state of the art facilities. These include molecular, microscopy and proteomic core facilities at the School of Medicine and the Lumigen Instrument Center in the Department of Chemistry. The Department of Biological Sciences is well equipped for molecular genetics, imaging, microbiology, ecology and neurobiology.

For more information about admissions into the biological sciences graduate program visit graduate admissions



Financial aid

Our Ph.D. students are admitted with funding that includes tuition, health, vision and dental benefits for five years of study. On-campus housing is available, and many graduate students live in apartments near campus. Funding for M.S. and M.S. biotechnology students is frequently offered when available.

Research opportunities

Our department has strong research programs across the whole range of biological sciences. We invite you to visit our faculty research areas to explore your options for research in our department.

Our students also find rich opportunities outside of the lab and classroom. You will be able to explore a broad range of career paths through the Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program. The ReBUILD Detroit program develops teaching strength to serve our diverse community, and T-RUST trains STEM graduate students to work in local urban communities. These programs offer our students the opportunity to develop skills and explore careers while completing their graduate training.

Laboratories and facilities

The seven-story Biological Sciences building is located at the south end of Wayne State University's main campus and contains 31 research laboratories, totaling 30,648 square feet. Seminar rooms, conference rooms and classrooms are located within the building, and informal meeting areas are found on each floor. Common facilities include darkrooms, cold rooms, rooftop greenhouses, glassware washing and autoclave facilities.

The biological imaging facility houses a Leica TCS SP2 spectral photometer laser- scanning confocal microscope for digital, high-resolution imaging of fluorescently labeled cells and tissues. Additional shared equipment includes refrigerated, high-speed and ultracentrifuges; scintillation counters; UV-Vis spectrophotometers; real-time, quantitative PCR cycling machines; a Typhoon imaging system; UV and white light image processor and documenter; and an X-ray film developer. The basement houses mouse, rat and Drosophila breeding and maintenance facilities.

These departmental facilities are complemented by newly renovated space in the Wayne State University School of Medicine, which offers core facilities that support molecular and genomic research. This includes services such as study design, nucleic acid isolation, genotyping, expression analysis and sequencing with major equipment like the Affymetrix microarray systems and the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platforms.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences maintains several facilities that support our research programs. The science storeroom stocks an extensive inventory of chemicals, laboratory consumables, small equipment items, biochemical and molecular biological reagents, and related supplies for rapid on-site purchase. The electronics and computer shop provides services for the design and repair of electronic equipment as well as diagnosis and repair of malfunctioning computers.

The college also supports a central instrumentation facility, which houses mass spectrometers, rapid-scanning and CD/ORD spectrophotometers, X-ray crystallography and electron paramagnetic resonance instrumentation. In addition, biological nuclear magnetic resonance experiments can be carried out using 300, 400 and 500 MHz spectrometers.