Biochemistry: Philosophy/Division Overview

The Division of Biochemistry offers a master's (MS) and doctoral (PhD) degree with a major in biochemistry. All recipients of these degrees acquire a thorough knowledge of normal biochemical processes that take place in the human organism, leading to the development of knowledge and skills of potential benefit to health care delivery. The doctoral degree is awarded following the successful defense of a research dissertation, which demonstrates the ability of the student to perform and present original scientific work. Prior to this, the student must have completed all course requirements with a minimum average grade of B (3.0/4.0) and passed the PhD Preliminary Examination. The Division also offers concurrent MD/PhD and MD/MS degrees.

The goals of the graduate program in the Division of Biochemistry are to provide high quality education, practical training, and research opportunities to students interested in practicing basic and applied medical biochemistry at molecular and cellular levels. The term “medical biochemistry” has often been applied to describe the Division's scholarly direction. The Division thus endeavors to develop those professionals who, through their research activities, will substantially improve health care delivery to the public. The program trains students in the application of chemical, physical and molecular biological methods and principles to the solution of biological problems, especially those of biomedical importance. A graduate of the biochemistry program should have the knowledge, skills, perspectives and understanding to produce quality, self-directed scientific work. Since it is a time of enormous and rapid advances in biochemistry and molecular biology, the knowledge and skills taught in the program are soon replaced or augmented. Thus, the Division of Biochemistry endeavors to train the student to recognize and utilize the interaction between observation, experiment and theory. Most importantly, the candidate should also demonstrate that oral, written and visual communication skills have been acquired.

More Information

For more information about research in the Department of Biochemistry please see our website at For more details about our graduate programs please see the “Policies and Procedures” document listed under the “Current Students” tab on our website.