Program Requirements

Course Curriculum

The master’s degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours that include both academic course work as well as research. In addition to these courses, students must register for at least 1 elective course to be chosen in consultation with the mentor on a topic most relevant to the research. These can be biochemistry courses or other courses offered by the University. In subsequent semesters students should enroll in BCH 597 (Master’s Research).

Required Courses

  • BCH 503 Biochemical Principles, 4 credits
  • BMS 501 Cell Biology I, 4 credits
  • BCH 504 Graduate Student Seminar, 1 credit/2 semesters
  • BCH 505 Laboratory Rotation, 3 credits

Two of the following courses:

  • GGB 502 Essentials of Genetics and Genomics, 3 credits
  • BCH 507 Protein Structure and Function, 2-3 credits
  • BCH 508 Gene Expression, 2 credits
  • BCH 512 Developmental Genomics and Stem Cell Biology, 3 credits
  • BCH 519 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, 3 credits
  • BCH 603 Cellular Signaling in Health and Disease, 2 credits
  • BCH 607 DNA Replication and Repair, 2 credits
  • BCH 611 Advanced Microbial Genetics, 2 credits

Continuous enrollment in subsequent semesters:

  • BCH 504 Graduate Student Seminar, 1 credit/2 semesters
  • BCH 597 Master's Research, 1-9 credits

Laboratory Rotations

Work with up to three faculty members in our four- to five-week laboratory rotations. Our rotations give you the flexibility to work in multiple faculty laboratories before committing to a research project with one mentor.

Rotating with potential mentors will help you find a faculty member whose research interests align with yours.

You can expect to discuss research with faculty at our annual Biochemistry Poster Session for incoming students, held in late August or early September. This opportunity will allow you to decide which faculty members to approach about arranging your rotations.

During each rotation, you will spend 15 to 20 hours per week conducting research in your potential mentor’s laboratory.

If you choose the faculty member from your first rotation as your mentor, you’ll continue the collaboration for the remainder of the program. You can complete up to two more rotations if you’d like additional opportunities to collaborate with other faculty members.


One upper level elective in basic science (including computer science) or mathematics/statistics course.

Master of Arts Project

Students in the biochemistry master’s program will, with the approval of their mentor and Master’s Committee, submit a final research report as required for degree conferral.