Graduate Program

The New Biology graduate program is designed to teach students diverse core technologies and effective integration of the diverse technologies for convergence biological science, as well as communication skills, which are essential to a distinguished career as an independent scientist. A majority of New Biology graduates will advance to careers in universities, research institutions, or the biotech industry, and they can also launch successful careers in consulting, science writing, technology transfer, and patent law.

Broadening Participation
The Department of New Biology is strongly committed to promoting diversity and inclusion as the most important core mission. We welcome and encourage talented individuals to participate in a highly collaborative research environment in which the ideas across research areas and academic disciplines were actively exchanged to achieve the department’s research goals. We seek increased diversity at every level: all participants (undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members), as well as a broad spectrum of academic disciplines (physics, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, computer and material science, mechanical and chemical engineering). Our department values teaching and mentoring and is focused on providing a supportive environment for all of its members, regardless of their background. The department has put a number of programs in place to broaden participation and encourage boundary-less thinking and challenges in the research. In addition to department level efforts, DGIST has a number of dedicated offices and student organizations, as well as substantial infrastructure, to support and serve a diverse student population with a spectrum of needs.

Program Structure
The New Biology graduate program is structured for students with widely diverse academic and research experience. During the first year, students acquire a deep foundation in the principles of core technologies and modern biology, and exposure to contemporary thinking in a wide range of fields through coursework and lab rotations. Beginning in the second year, students focus almost entirely on research and contribute to many of the significant scientific accomplishments of the department. The students are expected to complete their thesis within four years. Tuesday afternoons throughout the academic year, the New Biology Colloquium hosts distinguished researchers in many areas of biology, medicine, and related fields. Graduate students are encouraged to invite and host some of the colloquium speakers each year.

Review graduate program requirements for more information on the structure of the program.

Education Tracks
The Department of New Biology offers the following tracks for graduate students.

  • Interdisciplinary New Biology (INB) Track — places graduate students at the forefront of fundamental convergence biological research and provides access to New Biology’s cutting-edge core science and technology and modern biology laboratories.
  • Translational New Biology (TNB) Track — places graduate students at the forefront of application of convergence biological research to biological, biotechnical, and medical fields and provides access to New Biology’s collaboration partners (e.g. hospitals and biotechs).

PhD Requirements
To earn a PhD, New Biology students must

  • complete the first-year program
  • complete the Responsible Conduct in Research course
  • pass a qualifying examination
  • pass a research presentation to students and faculty
  • defend a thesis of original research

Review doctoral program requirements at DGIST. (click to open)

1. Required Credits for degree award

  • Masters & Ph. D. : Curriculum Credits 36, Research Credits 24 (60 Credits Total)
  • Ph.D. : Curriculum Credits 36, Research Credits 36 (72 Credits Total)

2. Academic and Thesis Advisor

  1. Academic Advisor

  • Academic advisor helps students in major selection and career guidance, and provides mentoring.
  • Operations and details are directed by the Curriculum Committee.

  2. Thesis Advisor

  • A thesis advisor and a thesis co-advisor will advise in crafting student’s thesis.
  • The co-advisor could be full time faculty, part-time faculty, full-time researchers at DGIST, or an external expert from a qualified academic institution.
  • Students should have their thesis advisor prior to beginning of third semester, and their co-advisor prior to submission of thesis proposal. Advisor selection by each student requires an approval by the Curriculum Committee.

3. Qualifying Exam

  • candidates must take the QE within their first two semesters after admissions and will be given a second chance in six months if unable to pass.
  • If the candidate has a grade lower than a C+ in a required course, the candidate is not eligible for taking the QE.

[Details of Qualifying Examination]

Exam Format Exam Contents Other Details
Oral Presentation Presentation of plan for thesis research – Research project presentation in PPT format.

– Presentation time: 1 hour total (30 min. presentation / 30 min. Q&A)

– Presentation language: Presenter may choose either English or Korean.

– Examiners: 3 members of the thesis committee

– Verdict will depend on: GPA and an assessment of mathematics skills, the advisor’s recommendations along with the thesis committee’s assessment of the oral presentation.

– Assessment Basis: Research ethics, Research methods, Academic Excellence, Vision towards the future.

4. Thesis proposal

  • A thesis proposal must be written up within two semesters of passing the QE and must be approved by the thesis committee members.
  • The thesis committee is comprised of five members that must be selected within one semester of the QE.
    One of the above-mentioned members must be from outside the Department and the thesis committee must be approved by the Curriculum Committee.
    ※ Selecting a thesis committee member from outside the Department of New Biology
    – Within DGIST: Faculty from other departments and researchers at DGIST could be the outside committee member. Co-advisor is not eligible for a committee member from outside.
    – Outside DGIST: A full time university professor, researcher or corporate researcher could be the outside committee member (Doctoral degree holders or higher).
  • The thesis committee must meet at least once a year (with at least three members in attendance) in order to discuss and review the progress of students.

5. Graduate School Seminar

  • Graduate students should attend seminars (1 credit) a total of six times (at least 6 times over the course of one semester); if unable to attend due to an emergency, the student must receive the approval of the Curriculum Committee.
  • Two of the above-mentioned credits must be a graduate research seminar that is publically presented.

6. Internship

  • Candidate must have an internship for at least 1 credit during the enrollment period.

7. Journal Papers

  • Publication of thesis work by Ph. D. candidate is one of the requirements for graduation. The thesis advisor and the Curriculum Committee will determine whether the candidate has met the requirement based on the publication and future career path of the candidate.

8. Thesis Defense

  • The thesis committee consists of five members, including the thesis advisor, co-advisor, outside committee member. One of the members should be the committee chair and administrates the progress of the thesis defense.
  • Details of thesis defense
    (1) Dissertation examination
    (2) Adequate credit acquisition according to the school regulations, publication record, course-related knowledge, English skills, potential as a world leader in the field of study, problem identification and solving skills, thesis writing skills, and seminar attendance will all be taken into account regarding a candidate’s eligibility for graduation.

9. Master’s Degree Requirements

  • A candidate’s graduation with a Master’s degree may depend on their own drive to graduate or with a recommendation from the Curriculum Committee.
  • Master’s degree candidates must have at least 21 curriculum credits and 12 research credits (33 credits total) and must pass the thesis committee’s Master’s thesis examination.

New Biology graduate students pursue their research in one of more than 60 faculty research laboratories at DGIST—labs headed by world-renowned scientists, including national scholar, members for creative research initiatives, and DGIST fellows.

Learn more about the research in New Biology at DGIST.