Graduate Program

Gradute student in Biochemistry
Graduate student Betsy Thomas.

The Biological Chemistry Graduate Program provides state-of-the-art training in biochemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, and molecular biology to prepare students to make significant research contributions at this interface of chemistry and biology.

Faculty within the Program are actively engaged in research focused on a wide range of topics including enzymology, RNA-mediated cellular processes, hormone receptors, metabolism, small molecule control of cellular function, and synthetic organic chemistry.

All students who have performed satisfactorily in the first-year curriculum are qualified to enter the Biological Chemistry Program. The program is broken into two training tracks. Requirements within each track are similar:

Financial support for selected students is available through the Sara and Frank McKnight Fund for Biochemical Research.

For both tracks, didactic coursework is typically completed in the first two years. In subsequent years students are enrolled for research, seminars, or journal clubs totaling full-time enrollment equivalency.

Required courses

3 Units: Physical Biochemistry I and II, required of all students
3 Units: Chosen from among any class registered under Biological Chemistry
3 Units: Any class offered by the Division of Basic Science

Works-In-Progress Seminars

Each student presents a seminar on his/her own research annually, and is required to attend this works-in-progress seminar series on a weekly basis.

Journal Clubs

All students are required to participate in a weekly faculty-mentored Journal Club that covers a broad range of topics in Biochemistry and related fields. 

Dissertation Committees

Students are expected to meet on a regular basis with their dissertation committee to discuss their progression toward degree.

Qualifying Exam

Students are expected to pass their qualifying cxam by May of their first year in the program (their second year in the Division of Basic Science).