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Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Prerequisites

In addition to the IGPBS admission requirements, the applicant should have taken mathematics through calculus, 2 semesters of organic chemistry, and have a background in the biological or physical sciences. Physical chemistry is recommended but not required.

Course Requirements

Complete the IGPBS core curriculum. Students who have not previously mastered undergraduate biochemistry strengthen any areas of weakness by taking BCHM 850 Topics in Biochemistry in the summer between the IGPBS and Year Two.

Year Two, Fall Semester. Required:   Year Two, Spring Semester. Required:  
BCHM 862 Biochemical Research-Literature Seminar 1 BCHM 862 Biochemical Research-Literature Seminar 1
BCHM 890 Master’s Research 1-5 BCHM 890 Master’s Research 1-5
Required elective (may be taken in Year Three):
BCHM 922 Advanced Molecular Genetics (3)
3 Required elective (choose one):
BCHM 808 Methods for Analyzing Biomolecules (3) or
BCHM 923 Protein Structure and Function (3)
3
Year Three, Fall Semester. Required:   Year Three, Spring Semester. Required:  
BCHM 862 Biochemical Research-Literature Seminar 1 BCHM 862 Biochemical Research-Literature Seminar 1
BCHM 990 Doctoral Research 1-5 BCHM 990 Doctoral Research 1-5
Required elective (if not taken in Year Two):
BCHM 922 Advanced Molecular Genetics (3)
3 Required elective (choose one):
BCHM 808 Methods for Analyzing Biomolecules (3) or
BCHM 923 Protein Structure and Function (3)
3

Additional electives include the following courses; they may be substituted for a required elective on a case-by-case basis.

  • BCHM 850 Topics in Biochemistry (1)
  • ANAT 868 Advanced Developmental Biology (2)
  • MICR 920 Advanced Microbial Molecular Genetics: Prokaryotes (3)
  • PATH 803 Stem Cell Biology (2)

The student must maintain at least a B average in all nonresearch and nonseminar courses. Credit in research cannot be used to earn this grade-point average. The student completes her or his curriculum by enrolling in BCHM 990 Doctoral Research, presenting a formal seminar in BCHM 802, and writing and defending a Doctoral Dissertation for BCHM 999. All graduate students on half-time assistantships are expected to enroll in at least 6 credit hours each regular semester and 3 credit hours for the summer session.

Research Skills and Responsible Research Requirement

All students in doctoral programs must meet the research skills and responsible scholarship requirement of the university.

Biochemistry Ph.D. students meet these requirements during their IGPBS year of study by taking GSMC 857 Biographics, GSMC 852/GSMC 855 Introduction to Biomedical Research I and II, and GSMC 856 Introduction to Research Ethics.

Examinations

Comprehensive written and oral examinations are administered during the Year Two spring semester. The written examination comprises an NIH-style proposal independently developed by the student. The oral examination covers aspects of biochemistry and molecular biology related to the proposal as well as the broader subject area.

Dissertation

The student must complete original research, write a dissertation that is acceptable to a dissertation committee, present the results in a formal seminar, and defend the dissertation to a doctoral committee.

Teaching Experience

Graduate students may gain teaching experience as tutors for medical biochemistry topics and as participants in departmental seminar programs.

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