Degree Requirements, Biochemistry

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Master of Arts

The Master of Arts (MA) with Thesis involves original research carried out under the supervision of a member of the Biochemistry Graduate Studies Committee. The MA option is only allowed under certain circumstances, such as the Integrated Degree Program, and requires the permission of the research supervisor and graduate advisor. Master’s degree students must complete at least 30 semester hours of coursework and must submit a thesis based on individual research. The thesis course may be counted as six of the 30 semester hours required for the degree. 

Courses required for the major in biochemistry are: Biology 391 and Biochemistry 395J or 395G. Six of the 30 hours must be in a field of study outside of biochemistry, such as chemistry, biology or business. Most students take two and one-half years to earn the Master of Arts.

Doctor of Philosophy

For admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree, a student must complete the following courses with a grade of at least B in each:  BCH 190C (any topic), BCH 290C (any topic), 395G, 395J, and Biology 391 while maintaining a GPA of 3.0. Students are also required to complete two elective courses. Electives should be graduate level science courses in biochemistry, chemistry, medicinal chemistry, microbiology, physics, or related fields. Upper-level undergraduate science courses in areas outside of biochemistry may be used as electives, if appropriate for the student's scientific development, with the approval of the graduate advisor. A qualifying examination designed to test the student’s knowledge of the basic principles of biochemistry must be completed by the spring or summer of the second year. A major part of this examination consists of a research proposal written in the form used for a National Institutes of Health grant application. Students present and defend this proposal orally and are examined in terms of their ability to do independent research.

After the requirements for admission to candidacy have been completed, the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee petitions the dean of the Graduate School to appoint a dissertation committee. A student must do dissertation research under the supervision of a member of the Graduate Studies Committee. Generally this faculty member, chosen by mutual consent of the student and the professor, serves as chair of the dissertation committee.

Integrated Degree Program (BSBCH/MA)

The graduate program in Biochemistry offers an integrated program to enable currently enrolled, highly motivated undergraduate students with strong intellectual capacities to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Master of Arts with a major in Biochemistry within a six-year period. The program requires 150 total credit hours: 120 for the BSBCH and 30 for the MA. The integrated program is designed to prepare students for competitive post-graduate programs and provide strong leadership skills and technical depth to students entering professional positions in the life sciences, medicine or the biotechnology industry.