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Welcome From the Dean

RGGS Flynn

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to the Richard Gilder Graduate School.


Many of you know the American Museum of Natural History from its outstanding exhibitions, cutting edge research, and worldwide expeditions, but a deep commitment to public education and academic training has also been an important part of the Museum’s mission for more than 100 years. The Richard Gilder Graduate School builds on that commitment by serving as the first Ph.D. degree-granting program for any museum in the Western Hemisphere, offering students a rigorous, focused, and interdisciplinary learning environment unlike any other in the nation. 

Even though recent advances in genetics and environmental science have made the interconnectedness of different life forms more apparent than ever, most biology research still focuses on a single species, cell type, or molecular system. At the Richard Gilder Graduate School, we believe that many important scientific questions only can be fully addressed with a comparative approach focusing on interactions among species, within and between biotas, and across time and space. We constructed the curriculum to address those important questions, and the unparalleled resources of the American Museum of Natural History allow our students to answer them. By exploring our world-renowned collections, studying with our distinguished faculty, and participating in globe-spanning expeditions, students at the Gilder School acquire the skills needed to tackle biology’s most vexing problems. And in addition to scientific classes, students also get a chance to participate in the Museum’s public education mission through unique training opportunities in exhibitions and K-12 education.

The exceptional support provided for the Richard Gilder Graduate School, from graduate fellowships to a newly renovated home for the school within our landmark buildings, enables us to serve a talented and forward-thinking student body from around the world. Graduates of the Ph.D. program in Comparative Biology leave the school prepared to assume positions as leaders in academia, government, and the private sector. If you have drive, focus, and a passion for biology, then the Richard Gilder Graduate School may be the right Ph.D. program for you. Please explore this website for details on the entire range of the American Museum’s postsecondary educational opportunities, and feel free to contact us at if you have additional questions. 

Most sincerely, 


John J. Flynn
Dean, Richard Gilder Graduate School

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am-5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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