Integrative Biology

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Biological phenomena occur at various levels of structural organization, ranging from molecules to organisms, and from populations to the global ecosystem. Integrative Biology takes a whole-organism approach, extending from the genome and proteome through organismal traits (phenotypes), to communities and ecosystems. Through the coordinated study of multiple levels of biological organization over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, Integrative Biology offers a unique approach to understanding fundamental questions concerning the evolution and maintenance of biological diversity, including organismal form and function, and ecological and ecosystem processes. This multidimensional approach underpins our graduate program, where students combine observational, experimental, and comparative approaches with the development of theory; and apply concepts and techniques from the biological sciences and other disciplines.

Integrative Biology admits students to the PhD program only.

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Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the Program

The online Graduate Application for Admission, Fellowship and Financial Aid will be available in early September on the Graduate Division's website and will include the current deadline to apply to the program. The completed application must be submitted online and fee paid by the deadline. Be sure to allow sufficient time for your letters of recommendation and test scores to arrive by the deadline. The department reviews application for admission to our graduate program once a year. We accept applications for fall only.

Admissions Criteria

Initiating contact with faculty members; coursework; GRE general scores; letters of recommendation; degree of preparedness for graduate school; and your statement of purpose are all important factors in our review of your application.

Contact IB Faculty

It is required that you list on your application at least one faculty member in our department whose research is of interest to you. It is highly recommended that you contact them to discuss your interest in working with them. This contact is the first step in broadly defining areas of potential research focus and should be elaborated on in your statement of purpose.

Bachelor's Degree

Students admitted to the program typically have a bachelor's degree in one of the life sciences or physical sciences. However, promising students with other academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply if they have a undergraduate grounding in biology.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Upper division or graduate GPA of 3.4 or higher is preferred. A minimum GPA of 3.0 (courses taken after the first two years) is required by the Graduate Division.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and TOEFL

All applicants must take the GRE general test; GRE subject test in biology or subject tests in other relevant disciplines highly recommended, but not required. No minimum GRE scores required for consideration. We will accept GRE scores taken within the last ten years. Older scores will be considered on a case by case basis. GRE Institution Code: 4833; Department Code: 0203.

For international students from countries in which the official language is not English, results of the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) are required. TOEFL exams taken before June 1, 2011 will not be accepted even if your score was reported to Berkeley.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation from faculty or other persons who have known you in an academic or research capacity. 

Statement of Purpose

Describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in your area of specialization, including your preparation for this field of study, your academic plans or research interests in your chosen area of study, and your future career goals. Please be specific about why UC Berkeley would be a good intellectual fit for you.

The statement should reflect serious intent, focus, maturity, motivation, and the ability to organize and articulate your thoughts on complex subjects.

There is no page limit restrictions although statements are typically one to two pages in length.

Personal History Statement

Please note that the personal history statement should not duplicate the statement of purpose.

Describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include information on how you have overcome barriers to access opportunities in higher education, evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others, evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality, or evidence of your leadership among such groups.

Research Experience

Research experience is preferred. It helps to define interest and focus, and proven success with research is a positive indicator for success in the program.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Normative Time Requirements

  • An advanced course in evolutionary biology is the only specific course required of all graduate students. It must be taken for a letter grade during the graduate program if it was not completed during the student's undergraduate education. A student's supervisory committee may suggest courses as well.
  • Four semesters of residency as required by the Graduate Division. This means you must be registered for a minimum of four semesters. There are no departmental unit requirements for the PhD program.
  • Students are required to be a graduate student instructor (GSI) for at least two semesters and must complete INTEGBI 375.
  • A student in the PhD program must take a three hour oral qualifying examination (QE) on fields specified by their QE committee.
  • PhD candidates are required to write a dissertation based on original and independent research carried out by the student.
  • You are encouraged (but not required) to enroll in seminars in your field of specialization and present topics. Effective participation in seminars is a useful introduction to your field of specialization and may give you valuable direction for advanced study, particularly if you have not begun research activities.​

Curriculum

Courses Required
One advanced course in evolutionary biology (INTEGBI 160 or committee-approved alternative)
INTEGBI 375Teaching Colloquium: Graduate Student Instructor Training2
INTEGBI Electives in specialized study list - seminars and student presentations strongly advised

Courses

Integrative Biology

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

David D. Ackerly, Professor. California biodiversity, climate change, adaptation.
Research Profile

Doris Bachtrog, Associate Professor. Evolution of sex and recombination, Y degeneration, dosage compensation, sexually antagonistic variation.
Research Profile

Bruce G. Baldwin, Professor. Biology, systematics and evolution of vascular plants, floristics, conservation biology, evolutionary processes, historical biogeography, evolutionary ecology.
Research Profile

Anthony D. Barnosky, Professor. Conservation biology, ecology, climate change, paleontology, paleobiology, paleoecology, evolution, macroecology, global change, mammals, extinction, biogeography.
Research Profile

George Bentley, Associate Professor. Hormones and behavior, neuroendocrinology of reproduction.
Research Profile

Jeffrey L. Boore, Adjunct Professor. Molecular biology, genetics, biology, conservation biology, genomics, evolution, genomes, DNA sequencing, systematics, population genetics, phylogeny.
Research Profile

Michael Robert John Boots, Professor.

+ Rauri C. K. Bowie, Associate Professor.

George A. Brooks, Professor. Exercise and environmental physiology, metabolism, lactate shuttle, crossover concept, lactate, lactic acidosis, traumatic brain injury, obesity, diabetes, the Warburg Effect in cancer, aging biology, isotope tracer technology, arterial-venous difference measurements, clamp technology, muscle biopsies, cell culture, mitochondrial biogenesis, energy substrate partitioning, carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism, fatty acid reesterification, menopause.
Research Profile

Todd Dawson, Professor. Physiological plant ecology, evolutionary plant ecology, ecosystem processes, adaptations of plants, carbon, water, nitrogen.
Research Profile

Robert Dudley, Professor. Metabolism, biomechanics, butterflies, energetics, flight, gliding, hummingbirds, insects, paleophysiology.
Research Profile

Ivo Duijnstee, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Michael B. Eisen, Professor. Genomics, genome sequencing, bioinformatics, animal development.
Research Profile

Paul V. A. Fine, Associate Professor. Speciation, plant ecology, plant evolutionary biology, floristics and phytogeography.
Research Profile

Seth Finnegan, Assistant Professor.

+ Robert J. Full, Professor. Energetics, comparative biomechanics, arthropod, adhesion, comparative physiology, locomotion, neuromechanics, biomimicry, biological inspiration, reptile, gecko, amphibian, robots, artificial muscles.
Research Profile

Oskar Hallatschek, Assistant Professor.

+ Tyrone Hayes, Professor. Genetics, amphibians, developmental endocrinology, steroid hormones, metamorphosis, sex differentiation, hormonal differentiation, African clawed frog, Japnanes Kajika, Pine Barrens treefrog.
Research Profile

Leslea Hlusko, Associate Professor. Primate evolution, paleontology, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, mammalian evolution, quantitative genetics, dental evolution, tooth development.
Research Profile

John P. Huelsenbeck, Professor. Computational biology, evolutionary biology, phylogenetics.
Research Profile

Daniela Kaufer, Associate Professor. Neuroscience, stress, neural stem cells, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, blood brain barrier, prosocial behavior.
Research Profile

Mimi A. R. Koehl, Professor. Biomechanics, insects, invertebrate functional morphology, fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, marine animals, filtration, gliding vertebrates.
Research Profile

Britt Koskella, Assistant Professor.

+ Eileen A. Lacey, Associate Professor. Evolutionary biology, population, mammals, behavioral ecology, vertebrates, molecular genetics, subterranean rodents, Argentina, Chile.
Research Profile

Cindy Looy, Assistant Professor. Paleoecology, paleobotany, palynology.
Research Profile

Charles Marshall, Professor.

Jimmy Mcguire, Associate Professor. Historical biogeography, evolutionary biology, Southeast Asia, population genetics, hummingbirds, functional morphology, vertebrate systematics, phylogenetic analysis, life history evolution, Bayesian methods, Southeast Asian flying lizards.
Research Profile

Brent D. Mishler, Professor. Evolutionary biology, development, ecology, systematics, phylogeny, comparative genomics, green plants, bryophytes, mosses, reproductive biology, phylogenetics, chloroplast DNA, classification, species concepts, biodiversity, Darwin.
Research Profile

Michael Nachman, Professor. Population genetics, evolution, genomics, mammalian evolution.
Research Profile

Rasmus Nielsen, Professor. Statistical and computational aspects of evolutionary theory and genetics.
Research Profile

Kevin Padian, Professor. Evolutionary biology, paleontology, systematics, functional morphology, Mesozoic vertebrate paleontology, terrestrial vertebrate fauna, pterosaurs, Mesozoic era, bones of extinct reptiles.
Research Profile

Nipam Patel, Professor. Genetics, evolution, crustaceans, insects, arthropods, homeotic (Hox) genes, segmentation, embryonic pattern formation, neural patterning.
Research Profile

Mary E. Power, Professor. Freshwater ecology, food webs, trophic dynamics, northern California rivers, watersheds.
Research Profile

Carl Rothfels, Assistant Professor.

Michael Shapira, Assistant Professor in Residence. Molecular biology, aging, host-pathogen interactions.
Research Profile

Ellen L. Simms, Professor. Evolution, plant ecology, microbial ecology, ecological genetics, symbiosis, herbivores, pathogens, mutualists.
Research Profile

Wayne Sousa, Professor. Community ecology, estuarine host-parasite interactions, canopy gaps, Caribbean coast of Panama.
Research Profile

Chelsea Specht, Associate Professor. Molecular evolution, adaptation, plant systematics, evolution of development (evo-devo), evolution of form and function, plant morphology, comparative phylogenetics, floral developmental evolution, diversification rates.
Research Profile

Jonathon Stillman, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Marine environmental physiology, global change biology, functional genomics.
Research Profile

Tim White, Professor. Anthropology, Africa, paleontology, paleoanthropology, human evolution, human osteology, taphonomy, zooarchaeology, cannibalism, American Southwest, Ethiopia.
Research Profile

Caroline Margaret Williams, Assistant Professor. Evolution, physiology, ecophysiology, metabolism, insect, winter, adaptation, thermal biology.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Kelly Agnew, Lecturer.

Thomas J. Carlson, Lecturer SOE. Molecular biology, ethnobotany, Africa, North America, ecology, medicine, systematics, evolution of human disease, ethnoecology, ethnoepidemiology, Asia, Pacific Islands, South America, nutritional ethnobotany, pharmacology, ecosystem management.
Research Profile

Christopher Hobbs, Lecturer.

Stephen Lew, Lecturer.

Stefania Mambelli, Lecturer.

Lisa A. Margerum, Lecturer.

Tim Markowitz, Lecturer.

Michael S. Park, Lecturer.

Helian Joel Ratsirarson, Lecturer.

Andrew C. Rush, Lecturer.

Christopher Schmitt, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Roy L. Caldwell, Professor Emeritus. Ecology, evolution, Invertebrates, animal behavior, behavioral ecology, marine biology, stomatopods, crustaceans, cephalopods, octopus, mating systems, communication, sensory ecology, aggressive behavior, coral reef restoration.
Research Profile

William A. Clemens, Professor Emeritus. Evolution of mesozoic, cenozoic terrestrial biotas, mesozoic mammals, phylogenetic interrelationships, locomotor evolution, evolutionary diversification.
Research Profile

+ Marian C. Diamond, Professor Emeritus. Environment, neuroanatomy, immune functions, hormones, mammalian forebrain structures, Cambodian orphanage, cerebral neocortex.
Research Profile

Carole S. Hickman, Professor Emeritus. Systematics, evolutionary paleobiology, morphology, molluscs, macroevolutionary trends and patterns, Cenozoic Era, fossil record, evolutionary history and structure.
Research Profile

Steven L. Lehman, Professor Emeritus. Motor control, stroke patients, cells, muscles, muscle fatigue, repetitive motion disorders.
Research Profile

Paul Licht, Professor Emeritus. Steroid hormones, comparative endocrinology, endocrine system, steroidal metabolism of tissues, thyroid, vitamin D, binding proteins.
Research Profile

William Z. Lidicker, Professor Emeritus. Conservation biology, ecology, mammalogy.
Research Profile

David R. Lindberg, Professor Emeritus. Developmental biology, evolutionary biology, ecology, comparative morphology, phylogenetic studies, molecular techniques, patellogastropoda, evolution in patellacean faunas, California land snail taxa, gastropoda.
Research Profile

Jere Lipps, Professor Emeritus. Ecology, paleontology, molecular phylogenetics, evolution of marine biotas, paleoenvironments, coral reef, Antarctic habitats, seismic histories, astrobiology, Charles Darwin.
Research Profile

Charles S. Nicoll, Professor Emeritus. Cancer, mammals, hormones, growth regulation, diabetic subjects, insulin, reproductive cycles of women, non-human primates.
Research Profile

+ James L. Patton, Professor Emeritus. Evolutionary biology, North America, biogeography, South America, morphology, mammalogy, phylogenesis, speciation, populations, genome structure, molecular divergence, gopher population dynamics.
Research Profile

Thomas M. (Zack) Powell, Professor Emeritus. Aquatic ecology, fish, Invertebrates, oceanography, lakes, estuaries, ocean, planktonic ecosystems, climate, remote sensing.
Research Profile

Thelma Rowell, Professor Emeritus.

Rudolf Schmid, Professor Emeritus. Botany, plant science.
Research Profile

Montgomery Slatkin, Professor Emeritus. Evolutionary theory, genetic evolution, natural populations of plants and animals populations, human populations, natural selection structure genomes.
Research Profile

Glenys Thomson, Professor Emeritus.

James Valentine, Professor Emeritus.

David Wake, Professor Emeritus. Evolutionary and conservation biology.
Research Profile

Marvalee H. Wake, Professor Emeritus. Development, evolution, systematics, amphibians, reproductive biology, vertebrate evolutionary morphology, fishes, reptiles, comparative analysis, biodiversity issues.
Research Profile

Donald P. Weston, Professor Emeritus. Pesticides, invertebrate ecology, ecotoxicology, pollutant exposure, bioaccumulation, management of contaminated sediments, environmental effects of antibiotics, deposit-feeding invertebrates.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Integrative Biology

3060 Valley Life Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-5024

Fax: 510-643-6264

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Robert Dudley, PhD

5018 Valley Life Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-1555

wings@berkeley.edu

IB Graduate Student Services Advisor

Korshid Tarin

299 Life Science Annex

Phone: 510-643-7330

ktarin@berkeley.edu

Graduate Affairs Office

299 Life Sciences Addition

Phone: 510-643-7330

ibgradsao@berkeley.edu

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