College of Arts & Sciences Biology

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The Department of Biology is one of the largest departments in the College of Arts & Sciences and consists of full-time tenured (or tenure-track) faculty. The research interests of the faculty encompass the areas of ecology, physiology, neuroscience, cell biology, and evolution. Our particular strengths are conservation biology, environmental stress physiology, neuroscience, and population and evolutionary biology. Our faculty collaborates with biologists in USD's School of Medicine and at South Dakota State University as well as with colleagues at other institutions nationally and internationally.


The M.S. and M.A. programs are recommended for students with professional goals in biology, such as working for a federal or state agency, securing employment in industry, in higher education or for those planning to continue their education in a Ph.D. or other graduate program. The Ph.D. in Biological Sciences is intended for students that are interested in careers in research and/or academia. 


Visit our Graduate School website for more information on how to apply and requirements.  The application deadline is February 15.

  • Applicants are subject to faculty approval, those who do not meet all of the criteria may be admitted on a provisional basis.
  • You must specify when taking the GRE test that you would like the results sent to the University of South Dakota. Official results must be received directly from ETS.  We cannot accept student copies of these results as official. 

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are available for students entering the M.S. or the Ph.D. program in Biology. The Teaching Assistantships are $12,500 for M.S. students and $13,500 for Ph.D. students, with a 2/3 tuition waiver.  These are frequently supplemented with summer salary from faculty research grants. Research assistantships are competitively offered by the department and by individual Faculty Members (please see faculty websites).