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MS Program

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers a MS degree program that is separate from our participation in the PhD program administered through the College of Medicine (see

The MS program is designed to provide students necessary skills to obtain positions within the private and government research sectors.  Our MS program is also designed to provide the background necessary for entry into competitive PhD or other professional school (MD, DVM, DDS, etc) programs.

It is anticipated that students will complete the MS program within 6 semesters of starting the program.  Highly motivated students may complete the requirements in less time.  Please note that the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology does not provide either tuition or stipend support for students enrolled in the MS program.

Program Requirements

The MS program is a thesis-based program that requires a total of 30 credits for graduation.  These 30 credits are to be earned in two categories:

  • At least 12 credits of didactic classroom coursework. Graduate-level courses (5000 and above) can be earned from courses offered by the Department (see, other Departments within the College of Medicine, or University.  These courses must be letter-graded and students are required to earn a grade of “B” or better.
  • At least 18 credits of research-based coursework. Degree work in this category consists of required journal clubs, independent study, and thesis research.

Research Requirements

Research will be conducted in the laboratory of a faculty member of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  As part of the acceptance process to the program you will be matched with a faculty member who will act as your mentor throughout your time in the program.  Your mentor will also be responsible for providing you both laboratory space and supplies to conduct your graduate research.

The Master’s thesis project requires successful completion of an original research project approved by the student’s graduate supervisory committee, a written thesis that describes this work and adheres to the guidelines of the Graduate School, and a public defense of the thesis project for the graduate supervisory committee and other members of the Department.

Application Deadline:

Entry into the MS program only occurs in the Fall semester of the academic year. COMPLETED applications, including GRE scores, official transcripts and letters of recommendation, must be submitted by January 15 for students wishing to enter the program for the following Fall semester. We may consider late applications but only after fully reviewing those that are complete by the January 15th deadline. Competitive applicants will possess a bachelor’s degree in a relevant scientific discipline such as biology, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology or chemistry.  Recommended coursework prior to admission to the MS program includes general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and genetics.  Prior laboratory experience is desired but not strictly required for admission to the MS program.


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