The study program:
Graduate students in the Department of Life Sciences can follow one of four different tracks, described below.
Protecting and promoting human well-being in the 21st century place the Life Sciences at the forefront of science. Basic understanding of living systems may allow us to spearhead major achievements in Medicine, Biotechnology and Agriculture. The Graduate program in Life Sciences, General Track, aims for its graduates to attain a solid grounding in cutting edge biochemical and molecular biology topics, develop critical thinking skills and experimental grounding to test their ideas.
M.Sc. candidates will take courses from three groups: Obligatory courses, limited choice courses, and elective courses. The obligatory courses include a course on laboratory methods, a course on scientific writing and presentation, and a course on bioinformatics (for those who did not take the course as a B.Sc. student). These courses will award a total of 4-7 credits. Other obligations include seminars, workshops (4 credits) and thesis writing. The list of limited choices includes 9 advanced courses addressing a variety of topics reflecting the expertise of the staff of the Department of Life Sciences. Students are required to take at least 3 of these courses to acculumulate 6-9 credits. Finally, the elective courses comprise a list of aapproved graduate courses offered by the faculty departments or by the Faculty of Health Sciences. In total, M.Sc. students are required to earn 24 credits in course work. In addition to their course work, M.Sc. students are required to carry out a 2 year research project leading to a thesis in the laboratory of their choice.
In the case of Ph.D. students, 6 credits must be earned in addition to performing original research leading to a thesis. Course selection is directed by research requirements at this level and can include courses offered outside BGU or Israel. Ph.D. candidates will be required to hold annual meetings with the internal referees of their research proposal, at the time of submission of their annual progress report.
In light of the recent acceleration of biodiversity loss, climate change and desertification, there is an urgent need to understand how complex ecological systems function. Basic understanding of ecological principles may allow us to spearhead important environmental and conservation efforts worldwide. The Ecology Track of the Graduate program in Life Sciences seeks to develop an ability for critical and original thinking in its graduates while providing them with a strong conceptual basis in major sub-disciplines, as well as instilling the analytical and experimental skills needed by a versatile ecologist.
M.Sc. students take courses from 3 categories: Obligatory courses (4-5 courses and a workshop, for a total for 14-17 credits), limited choice courses (2 of 7 courses, for a total of 5-6 credits), and elective courses for a total of 24 credits. An additional 18 credits of thesis work are also required. Students that join the program lacking a basic course in Evolution and/or Biometry will be required to complete theses successfully, for no additional credit.
Ph.D. students are required to earn 6 graduate-level credits, in addition to performing original research leading to a thesis. Course selection is directed by research requirements, and can include courses offered outside BGU or Israel. PhD candidates are required to hold annual meetings with the internal referees of their research proposal.
Increasing exploitation and rapid climate change place marine ecosystems under mounting stress and risk. Sound management of these vital and fragile systems requires highly trained personal. The Graduate program in Marine Biology and Biotechnology aims to provide future researchers and resource-managers with a broad-based understanding of the biology and physiology of marine organisms and of the ecological processes that structure marine communities. The program is based at the BGU campus in Eilat and offers both M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in marine biology.
M.Sc. candidates can choose between one of two tracks, which differ in the emphasis placed on biotechnological vs. ecological/evolutionary issues. All students are required to complete three core courses (Biostatistics, Scientific writing and presentation and Fish biology and biotechnology, totaling 8 credit points) and to participate in a weekly seminar and workshop (4 credit points). Within each track, students are required to take two additional mandatory courses (5-6 credit points) and 2-3 elective courses, leading to a total of 24 credit points. Electives can be taken at the Inter-university Institute in Eilat, and at the BGU Sde-Boker and/or Be'er-Sheva campuses. In addition to course requirements, students in this program are expected to produce a thesis based on their research in one of the affiliated laboratories.
Ph.D. candidates are required to conduct original research, leading to a thesis. In addition, they must complete 2-3 graduate-level courses, for a total of at least 6 credits points. Courses can be taken at any Israeli or foreign academic institution, and should be directly related to the student's research. Ph.D. candidates are required to hold annual meetings with the internal referees of their research proposal, coincident with the submission of their progress report.