Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Graduate Study

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is administered jointly by the colleges of Natural Science, Human Medicine, and Osteopathic Medicine.  Study for the Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in biochemistry and molecular biology may be administered by any one of the three colleges referenced above. Study for the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in biochemistry and molecular biology—environmental toxicology is administered by the College of Natural Science. In addition, students may pursue dual majors with the Departments of Chemistry, Computer Science and Engineering, or Physics and Astronomy. Most students enter the graduate program through the Biomolecular Sciences umbrella program.

Areas of active research in the department are extensive and diverse. Such areas include protein structure, molecular biophysics, computational biology, plant biochemistry, gene expression, metalloenzymology, eukaryotic and prokaryotic molecular biology, metabolic regulation, and membrane biochemistry. Opportunities are also available for joint programs or research in genetics, cell biology, neuroscience, toxicology, biotechnology, microbial ecology, and plant sciences.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Master of Science

The major objectives of the graduate programs in biochemistry are to help students to develop their creative potential and to prepare them for careers in research and teaching in the biochemical sciences. Students' programs of study are designed to develop independent thought as well as broad knowledge and technical skills, through formal and informal courses, laboratory experience, seminars, individual study, and, foremost, through original research that forms the basis for the student's thesis or dissertation.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, Human Medicine, or Osteopathic Medicine, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Persons with bachelor's degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, or any of several biological, physical, medical, or agricultural sciences are invited to apply for admission. Undergraduate preparation should include courses in general, organic, analytical, and physical chemistry, and in physics, general biology, basic biochemistry, and mathematics through calculus. Minor deficiencies may be rectified by taking appropriate undergraduate courses concurrently with graduate courses.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

A total of 30 credits is required for the degree under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).  Most students earn the degree under Plan A.  A student may pursue Plan B only with the approval of the department's Director of Graduate Studies and chairperson.  Such approval is granted only in exceptional cases. The program of study is planned by the student and the major professor.  Specific courses in biochemistry, as well as courses in other areas considered relevant to the student's interests and chosen research area, are included in the program.

 


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, Human Medicine, or Osteopathic Medicine, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Persons with a bachelor's or master's degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or any of several biological, physical, medical, or agricultural sciences are invited to apply for admission. Undergraduate preparation should include courses in general, organic, analytical, and physical chemistry, and in physics, general biology, basic biochemistry, and mathematics through calculus. Minor deficiencies may be rectified by taking appropriate undergraduate collateral courses concurrently with graduate courses.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The program of study is planned by the student in consultation with the major professor and a guidance committee. Specific courses in biochemistry, as well as courses in other areas considered relevant to the student's interests and chosen research area, are included in the program.

It is expected that the dissertation will show original treatment of an important research problem, will give evidence of independent thought, and will be clearly, logically, and carefully written. It is also expected that the research on which the dissertation is based will be published in the scientific literature.

 


BioMolecular Science Gateway - First Year

Students are encouraged to apply for admission to the Ph.D. program through the BioMolecular Science Gateway – First Year, where students choose a doctoral major from any of six Ph.D. programs: biochemistry and molecular biology, cell and molecular biology, genetics, microbiology and molecular genetics, pharmacology and toxicology, or physiology. For additional information refer to the College of Natural Science section of this catalog.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-Environmental Toxicology - Doctor of Philosophy

For information about the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in biochemistry and molecular biology—environmental toxicology, refer to the statement on Doctoral Program in Environmental and Integrative Toxicological Sciences in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.