Ph.D. Program

Program of Study

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) program of study is designed to provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge in the disciplines of biochemistry and molecular biology, while at the same time, allowing the flexibility to design a course of study to fit individual research interests. The BMB Concentration offers a wide range of courses, and in addition to these, students can select advanced courses from other disciplines. Many of these 3-hour courses have been divided into modules so that a student can take part of the course for credit.

Flexible Research & Curriculum


Students joining the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences are given maximum flexibility to pursue a wide-range of research and curriculum opportunities. The biomedical science program offers specialization in eight different concentrations of study. Students can fast-track with a mentor and declare their concentration of study at any time, or they can spend the first year exploring different concentrations and research opportunities before choosing their mentor and concentration. The program also offers students flexibility to choose or design a curriculum that best meets the goals of their PhD training.


Entering first-year students who are recruited by BMB but who plan to rotate with faculty in both BMB as well as other concentrations, will enroll in the GMS 6001 core course during the Fall semester of their first year. This will allow “undeclared students” to select either a BMB faculty mentor or a mentor in a different concentration after completing their three first-year rotation projects.


Entering first-year students who “declare” BMB as their Advanced Concentration, will have the option of taking a menu of BMB graduate courses instead of GMS 6001 during the Fall semester of their first year. This option will also apply to “declared BMB students” who are committed to work with a specific BMB faculty mentor (e.g., Fast Track students).

After the first semester, students have the freedom to select courses that meet their research interests. Students typically take 6 hours of advanced courses in the Spring of their first year and 3 hours in the Fall and Spring semesters of their second year for a total of 12 credits at the 6000 level and above to complete the BMB Concentration course requirements. Every semester, starting in the second year, students must register for the BMB Journal Club (BCH 6936) and the Biochemistry Research Discussion (BCH 6040). This coursework along with work on the research project prepares students for taking a qualifying exam for admission to candidacy for a Ph. D. degree. The qualifying exam must be completed by November of the third year. An Overview of BMB Program and Course Requirements is provided below.

A detailed outline of the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology concentration requirements can be found on the Graduate Program (BMS) in Biomedical Sciences webpage.

Areas of Research

Faculty in the BMB program work in a diverse range of research areas and actively collaborate on interdisciplinary projects. Information about the research interests of individual GPBS faculty members in the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Concentration. Please check the following GPBS faculty search page for a list of BMB faculty.

  • Bioinformatics
  • Brain structure and function
  • Cancer biology and genetics
  • Chromatin structure
  • Cytoskeleton
  • DNA replication
  • DNA damage response and repair
  • Drug development
  • Enzyme Mechanisms
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene regulation and transcription
  • Gene therapy
  • Membrane proteins and channels
  • Metabolism
  • Protein structure
  • RNA structure and function
  • Structural biology
  • Cryo-electron microscopy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • X-ray crystallography
  • Virology


UF Health Cancer Center

By leveraging all the resources of the University of Florida campus, the UF Health Cancer Center stands alone in the state in our unique ability to blend comprehensive patient care and innovative research in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment.

Emerging Pathogens Institute and Cancer Genetics Research Center.

UF Genetics Institute

Building community, facilitating collaboration and creating opportunities for intellectual exchanges among investigators working in diverse taxonomic systems but with a common set of approaches in genetics and genomics.


Center for Structural Biology

The Center for Structural Biology is a University Center in the College of Medicine with a mission to provide a framework for collaborative research among faculty addressing structural studies of significant biological problems and to foster advanced training of students in structural biology.


Powell Gene Therapy Center

The Powell Gene Therapy Center (PGTC) at the University of Florida has been instrumental in the development of newer, safer agents for the delivery of therapeutic genes to patients with genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis (CF) and alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency (AAT-D).

Powell Gene Therapy Center


Application Process

Ph.D. students are admitted through the College of Medicine’s Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences. The deadline for submitting your application is November 1st of each year. The Biomedical Sciences Program only admits students each fall semester. For detailed information on the application process please click the button below.

BMB Requirements

Research Experience

An essential factor for admission to our Ph.D. program is prior research experience. Most applicants have a year or more of undergraduate research experience. If you are studying at an institution with limited research opportunities, you should seek a summer research experience. UF has several options. Research experience is initially evaluated based on a personal statement and letters of recommendation. Although some of our admitted students have earned a Master’s degree, most students are admitted after earning their Bachelor’s degree.



The minimum requirements for graduate admission at the University of Florida include a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for all upper division (Junior/Senior) courses. Please use the “Self-Reported GPA Computation and Worksheet (PDF) for Graduate Applications” to calculate your upper division GPA. Although the university minimum GPA for admission is 3.0, the average GPA of entering classes of our program is 3.5.



Applicants must have taken general biology and chemistry including organic chemistry and biochemistry. Applicants with weak undergraduate academic performance should consider pursuing a year of postbaccalaureate studies or obtaining a master’s degree before applying. Biochemistry is core to the biomedical sciences, we usually do not consider an application if the student will not have completed undergraduate biochemistry by graduation.

Financial Support

Once you are admitted to the BMS (both domestic and international students), you will be appointed as a Graduate Research Assistant. The BMS starting stipend is currently $30,593.06 per year. In addition to the stipend, all students also receive a tuition waiver. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology covers the student fees (transportation fee, technology fee, athletic fee, activity & service fee, etc.) which are not covered by the tuition waiver. The student fees are approximately $737.64 per Fall & Spring semesters and $491.76 for the Summer semester. UF students classified as an out-of-state resident and appointed as a graduate assistant for at least 0.25 FTE (which includes all BMS students) are considered as “in-state” for tuition purposes, however, all out-of-state USA citizens and permanent residents must file for reclassification as Florida residents if they are eligible.

For more detailed information on stipends, tuition waivers, health insurance and other financial support, visit the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences website.

Program Contacts

Interested students are welcome to make an appointment to visit our outstanding facilities and meet with our faculty. In doing so, you will learn about the stimulating intellectual and educational environment that is provided by the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department.

Matthew E Merritt

Matthew E Merritt Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Coordinator BMS/BMB PhD Program
Phone: (352) 294-8397
Craig W Vander Kooi

Craig W Vander Kooi Ph.D.

Professor; Assoc. Coordinator BMS/BMB PhD Program
Phone: (352) 294-8386