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Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics

A minimum of 72 credit hours of instruction is required for the MBB Ph.D. Students should consult the section "Transfer Credits" in the Graduate Bulletin for rules on how many credit hours may be transferred from another institution. Completion of an M.S. degree is not normally required for admission to the Ph.D. program. Students must complete the 21 credit hours of core courses and at least five additional courses from the list of electives.

Each graduate student must take and pass the written Ph.D. qualifying examination in order to enter into candidacy for the doctorate. Each student, in addition, will be required to pass a comprehensive examination (which serves partly as an oral defense of the thesis proposal) taken prior to performing the major portion of the dissertation research, and in any event, prior to the sixth semester of study and at least one year before oral defense of the thesis. The final examination for the Ph.D. degree consists of an oral presentation and defense of the dissertation.

The Ph.D. program is tailored to fit the student's background and goals and is subject to approval at the time of filing of the program of study (Form 401). The program of study must include at least 36 credit hours in formal courses (exclusive of BIOL 691).

Program Requirements 

Required Courses

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
BIOL 504 Biochemistry 3
BIOL 512 Advanced Biochemistry 3
BIOL 515 Molecular Biology 3
BIOL 544 Molecular Biology of Cells 3
BIOL 555 Macromolecular Structure 3
BIOL 595 Biology Colloquium (4 times) 4
PHYS 410 Molecular Biophysics 3
  Total 22

Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics students, in consultation with their academic adviser, choose the remainder of their formal coursework from the following list of elective courses:

Elective Courses

Select elective courses totaling 14 to 26 credit hours.

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
BIOL 410 Medical Microbiology 3
BIOL 415 Advanced Human Genetics 3
BIOL 426 Concepts of Cancer Biology 3
BIOL 430 Human Physiology 3
BIOL 440 Neurobiology 3
BIOL 597 Special Problems* 1-3
CHEM 538 Physical Biochemistry 3
  Any 500-level biology course 3
Ph.D. Research    
BIOL 691 Research and Thesis Ph.D. 24-36

Minimum degree credit hours required: 72

* Student may be approved for special problems as appropriate

Other courses may be prescribed by the adviser/thesis committee according to the student's individual needs for the program of study. All research for the dissertation must be carried out under the direct supervision of a faculty research adviser who will also act as the candidate's academic adviser.

For more information, please contact:

Program Director
Tanya Bekyarova, Ph.D.
Associate Chair, Department of Biology
Program Director of M.S. and Ph.D. Programs, Department of Biology (excluding Pre-health and Applied Life Sciences programs)