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Molecular Evolutionary Biology Option

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Penn State has a strong reputation in the field of evolutionary genetics through both the Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics and the Intercollege Graduate Program in Genetics, many members of which belong to the Department of Biology. The Molecular Evolutionary Biology option is concerned with the study of evolution at the molecular level to understand the mechanisms of evolutionary change and to clarify the evolutionary history of organisms. It is a multidisciplinary course of study that integrates molecular biology, developmental biology, and population biology.

Requirements for the Graduate Degree in Biology with a Molecular Evolutionary Biology Option include:

    1. The student must meet the criteria for the M.S. or Ph.D. in Biology.
    2. The student's research adviser must be a member of the Biology program and/or a full member of the Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics. Other committee members may be chosen as needed providing that a majority of the committee is associated with the IMEG.
    3. In addition to the normal Biology program requirements, the student must take (for both an M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Biology):
        1. 3 credits of course work in BIOL 591 (Molecular Evolutionary Biology Colloquium).
        2. A minimum of 9 credits from among the list of approved courses (to be selected in consultation with the student's committee).
        3. Any other course work or training deemed appropriate by the student's committee, such as BIOCH 401 (General Biochemistry), BMB 450 (Microbial/Molecular Genetics), BMB 460 (Advanced Cell Biology), BMB 514 (Molecular Biology & Cell Regulation), ANTH 401 (Human Evolution: The Material Evidence), ANTH 471 (Human Evolutionary Biology), ANTH 571 (Human Population Biology I), and ENT 541 (Insect Taxonomy).

Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Courses:

    • BIOL 405 Molecular Evolution (3)
    • BIOL 410 Molecular Basis of Plant Development (3)
    • BIOL 422 Advanced Genetics (3)
    • BIOL 427 Evolution (3)
    • BIOL 428 Population Genetics (3)
    • BIOL 501 Ecological Genetics (3)
    • BIOL 505 Statistical Methods in Evolutionary Genetics (3)
    • BIOL 514 Topics in Systematics and Evolution (2)
    • BIOL 524 Seminar in Genetics (1)
    • BIOL 533 Problems in Genetics (2)
    • BIOL 542 (ENT/WFS) Systematics (3)
    • BIOL 590 Biology Colloquium (up to 3)
    • BIOL 591 Molecular Evolutionary Biology Seminar (1)
    • BMB/Bioch 514 Molecular Biology and Cellular Regulation (3)

Participating Biology Faculty in Molecular Evolutionary Genetics