Master's in Biochemistry

Master's Program

The Department of Biological Chemistry offers one-year Masters Programs designed to broadly train tomorrow’s leaders in biomedical sciences.   Our trainees are well prepared for employment in industry, or matriculation into elite graduate or medical programs.  Two tracks of study are offered, depending upon the goals and interests of the students.

Masters in Biochemistry-Research Track:  This one-year program of didactic coursework in biochemistry includes an intensive research experience and a written thesis.   This program is intended for individuals seeking to increase their skills and research experience for employment opportunities, or for application to highly competitive Ph.D. or medical professional degree programs.

The intensive research experience is a key feature of the research-track.  Our faculty members conduct research at the cutting edge of modern biochemistry and molecular biology.  Current areas of research include structural biology, protein biochemistry, enzyme reaction mechanisms, molecular genetics, signal transduction, neurobiology, cell and developmental biology, and bioinformatics. Students match with faculty research advisors by mutual consent, either before arrival on campus or immediately thereafter. The capstone of the research experience is the thesis dissertation.

Masters in Biochemistry-Coursework Track:  This one-year program of didactic coursework in biochemistry and related fields is designed for students who plan to attend medical, dental, veterinary, law, or other professional programs.  Students on this track take two semesters of rigorous, graduate-level, coursework.  In addition, students will conduct a mentored literature review in a selected area of interest, working one-on-one with a research faculty, and culminating in a short review article.  Students on this track are exposed to an impressive array of modern research through seminar programs, a critical analysis course, and interactions with our faculty, and are well prepared to succeed in professional programs.

Explore our website and apply for the Masters in Biochemistry.  Applications for the class of Fall 2018 open September 8th, 2017 and close April 21st, 2018.  Contact our program administrator Beth Goodwin (egoodwin@umich.edu) or our MS Program Director Dr. Alex Ninfa (aninfa@umich.edu) if you have additional questions.

Curriculum

Coursework in both tracks consists of required and elective components. To maintain academic standing, advance to the second semester of the program, and to be awarded the M.S. degree, a B- or better is required in all coursework.

Admission and Application

Prerequisites

Completion of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university (before matriculation into the Master’s program)
GPA of 3.0 (minimum)
GREs are optional

Financial Aid and Support

Students in the master’s program self-fund the costs associated with this program, including tuition, fees and health insurance. Information about the cost of attendance is available from the Financial Aid Department.  Information about fellowship opportunities for master’s students is available from the Rackham Graduate School.

How To Apply

Applicants should submit the Rackham online application. In addition to the online application itself, college transcripts and 3 letters of recommendation are required. GREs are optional. International applicants, whose native language is not English, are required to submit official TOEFL scores directly from ETS. Deadline for application is April 21, 2018, for admission in the Fall semester, but earlier application is advised starting in December or January.

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Master's Graduate Curriculum - Research Track

A. Biological Chemistry Required Course (choose one of the following):
         BIOLCHEM 660* Molecules of Life: Protein Structure, Function & Dynamics (2 Cr, F)
         *For students with advanced standing in biochemistry (e.g. biochemistry UG degree)
         BIOLCHEM 501 Chemical Biology (3 Cr, F) 

B. Biological Chemistry Advanced Electives (2 Credits minimum):
         Fall
         BIOLCHEM 650 Eukaryotic Gene Transcription (2 Cr, F)
         BIOLCHEM 690 Biochemical Regulatory Mechanisms (2 Cr, F)
         Winter
         BIOLCHEM 640 Regulatory RNA and Control of Gene Expression (2 Cr, W)
         BIOLCHEM 528 Biology and Chemistry of Enzymes (2 Cr, W)
         BIOLCHEM 673 Enzyme Kinetics (2 Cr, W)
         BIOLCHEM 602 Protein Crystallography (3 Cr, W) 

C. Additional required courses:
         BIOLCHEM 597 Critical Analysis (2 Cr, W)
         BIOLCHEM 712 Biological Chemistry Seminar Series (1 Cr F/ 1 Cr W)
         BIOLCHEM 711 Graduate Seminar (1 Cr F/ 1 Cr W)
         BIOLCHEM 600 Independent Research (6-8 Cr F/ 6-8 Cr W)
         PIBS 503 Research Responsibility & Ethics (1 Cr, F) 

D. Electives** (3 Cr minimum):
 
        Fall
         BIOINF 527 Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (4 Cr, F)
         BIOINF 528 Advanced Applications of Bioinformatics (3 Cr, F)
         BIOPHYS 520 Biophysical Chemistry I (Methods & Techniques) (3 Cr, F)
         BIOSTAT 501 Introduction to Biostatistics (4 Cr, F)
         BIOSTAT 521 Applied Biostatics (4 Cr, F) [calculus prerequisite]
         CDB 530 Cell Biology (3 Cr, F)
         CDB 581 Developmental Genetics (3 Cr, F)
         HUMGEN 541 Molecular Genetics (3 Cr, F)
         PHYSIOL 502  Human Physiology (4 Cr, F)
         Winter
         BIOINF 525 Foundations in Bioinformatics & Systems Biology (3 modules, 1 Cr each, W)
           In 2016: Foundations of Bioinformatics; Statistics in Bioinformatics; Systems Biology
         BIOPHYS 521 Biophysical Chemistry II (Theories) (3 Cr, W)
         CDB 582 Stem cells: Organogenesis to Regenerative Biology (3 Cr, W)
         CHEMBIO 502 Chemical Biology II  (3 Cr, W)
         MICRBIOL 504 Cellular Biotechnology (3 Cr, W)
         PATH 581 Tissue, Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease (4 Cr, W) 

**This is a partial list. Consult your research mentor and academic advisor if you would like to take an elective course not listed above.

E. Research:

         Fall and Winter
         BIOLCHEM 600 Independent Study (Master’s thesis research) 

THESIS REQUIREMENT - RESEARCH TRACK -

Thesis research will be done in the Fall and Winter terms and culminate in the writing of a Master’s Thesis. The thesis is expected to be a synthesis of scholarly background and discussion of the research project, in addition to an original experimental or theoretical contribution to the field. A committee composed of the research advisor and two additional graduate faculty members will evaluate the thesis. Upon their positive assessment, including any required modifications, the student will be eligible to be awarded the Master’s degree.

A typical credit load is 14-15 credits per term with a minimum of 29 credits, including 4 cognate credits, and development and completion of a written thesis.

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Master's Graduate Curriculum - Course Track

A. Biological Chemistry Required Course (choose one of the following):
         BIOLCHEM 660* Molecules of Life: Protein Structure, Function & Dynamics (2 Cr, F)
         *For students with advanced standing in biochemistry (e.g. biochemistry UG degree)
         BIOLCHEM 501 Chemical Biology (3 Cr, F) 

B. Biological Chemistry Advanced Electives (6 Credits minimum):
         Fall
         BIOLCHEM 650 Eukaryotic Gene Transcription (2 Cr, F)
         BIOLCHEM 690 Biochemical Regulatory Mechanisms (2 Cr, F)
         Winter
         BIOLCHEM 640 Regulatory RNA and Control of Gene Expression (2 Cr, W)
         BIOLCHEM 528 Biology and Chemistry of Enzymes (2 Cr, W)
         BIOLCHEM 673 Enzyme Kinetics (2 Cr, W)
         BIOLCHEM 602 Protein Crystallography (3 Cr, W) 

C. Additional required courses:
         BIOLCHEM 597 Critical Analysis (2 Cr, W)
         BIOLCHEM 712 Biological Chemistry Seminar Series (1 Cr F/ 1 Cr W)
         BIOLCHEM 711 Graduate Seminar (1 Cr, F/ 1 Cr, W)
         BIOLCHEM 601 Tools for Scientific Research (3 Cr, F)
         BIOLCHEM 603 Independent Literature Research (3 Cr, W)
         PIBS 503 Research Responsibility & Ethics (1 Cr, F) 

D. Electives** (6 Cr minimum):
 
        Fall
         BIOINF 527 Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (4 Cr, F)
         BIOINF 528 Advanced Applications of Bioinformatics (3 Cr, F)
         BIOPHYS 520 Biophysical Chemistry I (Methods & Techniques) (3 Cr, F)
         BIOSTAT 501 Introduction to Biostatistics (4 Cr, F)
         BIOSTAT 521 Applied Biostatistics (4 Cr, F) [calculus prerequisite]
         CDB 530 Cell Biology (3 Cr, F)
         CDB 581 Developmental Genetics (3 Cr, F)
         HUMGEN 541 Molecular Genetics (3 Cr, F)
         PHYSIOL 502  Human Physiology (4 Cr, F)
         Winter
         BIOINF 525 Foundations in Bioinformatics & Systems Biology (3 modules, 1 Cr each, W)
           In 2017: Bioinformatics on the Web; Introduction to Statistics; Bioinformatics & Systems Biology
         BIOPHYS 521 Biophysical Chemistry II (Theories) (3 Cr, W)
         CDB 582 Stem cells: Organogenesis to Regenerative Biology (3 Cr, W)
         CHEMBIO 502 Chemical Biology II  (3 Cr, W)
         MICRBIOL 504 Cellular Biotechnology (3 Cr, W)
         PATH 581 Tissue, Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease (4 Cr, W) 

**This is a partial list. Consult your research mentor and academic advisor if you would like to take an elective course not listed above.

A typical credit load is 14-15 credits per term with a minimum of 29 credits, including 4 cognate credits.

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Alumni

Click HERE for Biochem Alumni