Biology Logo 

    Evolutionary Biology
   at San Diego State University

  SDSU Logo 
College of Sciences Logo

PhD Program Home

  Prospective Students
      Program Overview
      Admissions Information
      Application Procedures

  Current Students
      Committee Information
      Curriculum and Exams
      JDP Forms
      Travel Information
      Student Directory

  Contact Information

     SDSU Faculty
   U.C. Riverside Faculty
     Affiliated Faculty


Evolutionary Biology PhD Program

  Program Overview

Course requirements
Students will take graduate level courses from SDSU and UCR in evolution, population biology, systematics and a choice of electives. 

Qualifying examination/ Dissertation defense
A committee composed of both SDSU and UCR faculty will oversee the qualifying examination, dissertation proposal, and dissertation defense. 

Financial support
Annual stipends are provided for all joint Ph.D. students, and the full cost of tuition is waived. Students also receive a complete health benefits package. All students are responsible for paying the mandatory campus fee of
$1,274 per semester .

Research Facilities
The Evolutionary Biology Program area maintains a computer lab (LS 249A), used in teaching and available for use by graduate students. Extensive computer labs and shared laboratory facilities are also maintained by the Department of Biology. SDSU is a member of the regional CRAY Supercomputer Consortium and is the supercomputer gateway to the California State University (CSU) System.

Evolutionary Biology also maintains a Visionary Digital Imaging System, used to acquire light images at very high resolution and great depth of focus. This is available for faculty and students, after training.

The College of Sciences maintains the Microchemical Core Facility (for protein/DNA/RNA analysis, including DNA sequencing) and the SDSU Electron Microscope Facility (for ultrastructural analyses).

Several university Field Stations are available for research. These include the Santa Margarita Field Station, a 2800-acre site about one hour from campus near Temecula, California, Sky Oaks Field Station,occupying 3500 acres adjacent to the Cleveland National Forest and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Fortuna Mountain Research Preserve, an 850 hectare site located within 10 miles of campus, and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Preserve. Both the Santa Margarita and Sky Oaks Field Stations have living quarters that may be used by faculty and student, for classes and research projects.

In addition, some research on vertebrates is possible at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park and the Institute for Conservation Research. Research on marine biota at the SDSU Coastal Marine Institute. SDSU faculty and students also collaborate with researchers at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

For information about the computational, core instrumentation, field research, and other facilities at UCR available to graduate students, please visit UCR College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences: Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology..

Student Body
It is anticipated that the Joint Ph.D. program in Evolutionary Biology will enroll 3-4 students in the program each year with a “steady state” of 15-18 students in five years. Approximately 25 graduate students are enrolled in the MS Evolutionary Biology degree program. In addition more than 100 graduate students are enrolled in other degree programs in Biology (i.e. MS and joint PhD programs in Cell and Molecular Biology and Ecology).

The University
More than 33,000 students and 1,900 faculty members make SDSU one of the largest of 23 institutions within the CSU system, which is itself the largest public university system in the U.S. SDSU is unique within the CSU system in offering a number of Joint-Ph.D. programs. SDSU is rated among the top 200 U.S. higher education institutions through its classification as "Research University - High Research Activity" by the Carnegie Foundation. SDSU was ranked the number one small research university in the nation, according to the faculty scholarly productivity index of Academic Analytics.

The Community
SDSU is located 12 miles east of downtown San Diego and the Pacific Ocean. San Diego enjoys a reputation for easy living and a highly desirable climate. Major attractions include a variety of music and dance clubs, outdoor theme parks including the world-famous San Diego Zoo, theater, opera, popular and classical music concerts and a rich art scene. Spectator sports enthusiasts can enjoy both college and professional sports teams.  The nearby ocean, mountains and deserts allow an unusually wide variety of year-round outdoor activities.  UCR is in Riverside, located in inland southern California, approximately 90 minutes from San Diego and 60 minutes from Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

For information regarding the Evolutionary Biology Joint Doctoral Application process, please go to the Application Procedures page.

Correspondence and information about the joint-doctoral program: 
Evolutionary Biology Joint Doctoral Program Coordinator 
Biology Department 
San Diego State University 
San Diego, CA 92182-4614

E-mail: Katherine Zumstein:

Information about participating faculty members and their research interests: 
SDSU Faculty   UCR Faculty