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The Watson School Ph.D. Program

  Advances in biology depend on multidisciplinary approaches, in which knowledge and technology from diverse areas intersect to inspire new discoveries. Today, the breadth of accumulated knowledge about biology is immense-far more extensive than any individual can assimilate. Thus, our curriculum is designed to train self-reliant students to become scholars who, under their own guidance, can acquire and assimilate the knowledge their research or career demands require.


The curriculum takes advantage of the unique and flexible environment of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and includes the following features:

• approximately four to five years from matriculation to Ph.D. degree award

• broad representation of the biological sciences

• a first year with course work and laboratory rotations in separate phases

• emphasis on the principles of scientific reasoning and logic as well as the importance of ethics and effective communication

• continued advanced course instruction throughout the graduate curriculum

• supportive two-tier mentoring and guidance