VCU Bulletins

Biochemistry, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Kordula, Dr. Tomasz
Graduate Program Director
tkordula@vcu.edu
(804) 828-0771

Admission requirements summary

Biochemistry, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree:

Ph.D.
Semester(s)
of entry:

Fall preferred
Deadline
dates:

Applications received prior to Dec 17 given priority consideration
Test
requirements:

GRE, MCAT or DAT
Special requirements:
MCAT or DAT acceptable in lieu of GRE for combined professional/academic degree programs

The Ph.D. program in biochemistry prepares students for research-oriented careers as independent scientists in academia, government and biotechnology. The core of this degree program is an original independent research project under the supervision of a faculty adviser. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has research efforts of international stature in several areas, including cellular and molecular signaling, tumor biology, structural biology, eukaryotic molecular biology, lipid and membrane biochemistry, and molecular genetics, using state-of-the-art approaches in enzymology, genomics, proteomics and lipidomics. While emphasizing independent research in biochemistry and molecular biology and training in the responsible conduct of research, the program also provides a background of courses designed to match the needs and interests of each student. An example of a schedule of courses is shown below. Ph.D. students are expected to enroll as full-time graduate students. During the first year, students pursue research rotations, take formal course work and become familiar with current research topics through seminars, discussion groups and lectures by distinguished scientists. By the end of the first year, students choose a faculty adviser and begin dissertation research. Following completion of the research project and defense of the doctoral dissertation, graduates are equipped to participate in virtually any area of current biomedical research in the most prestigious laboratories. For more detailed information on the program, please visit www.biochemistry.vcu.edu/education/phd/default.htm.

Applications for the program should be submitted to the Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Portal – School of Medicine-PhD selected from the drop-down menu of programs on the VCU online application form.

Student learning outcomes

Curriculum

The following graduate courses are required:
BIOC 690 Biochemistry Seminar (taken each semester)
BIOC 690 Biochemistry Seminar (student seminar section, taken each semester during the second through fourth year in the program)
BIOC 691 Special Topics in Biochemistry (student journal club; taken each semester during the second through fourth year in the program)
BIOC 691 Special Topics in Biochemistry (critical thinking) or IBMS 630 Critical Thinking (taken in the first year)
IBMS 600 Laboratory Safety (taken in the first year)
IBMS 610 Laboratory Opportunities (taken in the first year)
IBMS 620 Laboratory Rotations (taken in the first year, arranged through the BSDP admissions portal)
IBMS 680 Proposal Preparation (taken in the first year)

The following graduate courses are recommended:
ANAT 615 Techniques in Neuroscience and Cell Biology
BIOC/MICR 503-504 Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology (typically taken in the first year)
BIOC 601 Membranes and Lipids
BIOC 602 Physical Properties of Macromolecules (one to four modules; typically taken in the first year)
BIOC 604 Enzymology (one to three modules; typically taken in the second year)*
BIOC 605 Molecular Biology (typically taken in the second year)
BIOC 606 Biochemical Control Processes
BIOC 697 Directed Research in Biochemistry (taken each semester)
HGEN 501/BIOL 530 Human Genetics
MICR 505 Immunobiology
MICR 605 Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics
MICR 607 Techniques in Molecular Biology and Genetics (typically taken in the second year)
MICR/BNFO 653 Advanced Molecular Genetics: Bioinformatics
OVPR 601 Scientific Integrity (typically taken in the second year)
PHTX 691 Special Topics in Pharmacology [research design analysis (statistics)]

Students select courses from this panel, with guidance from their advisers and committees. While there is no minimum credit requirement for graduation, Ph.D. students must enroll full time (minimum 9 credits) to be eligible for a stipend. Some graduate courses listed above may be taken after the comprehensive examination. Most of this course work should be taken during the first two years of the program. Students are encouraged to take additional courses that relate to their personal research project.

A typical course plan for the full-time student is described below.

  Credits
First fall semester  
BIOC/MICR 503 Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology 5
BIOC 690 Biochemistry Seminar 1
BIOC 691 Special Topics in Biochemistry (critical scientific thinking) 1
IBMS 600 Laboratory Safety 1
IBMS 610 Laboratory Opportunities 0.5
IBMS 620 Laboratory Rotations 2
   
First spring semester  
ANAT 691 Special Topics in Anatomy (scientific writing) 2
BIOC/MICR 504 Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology 5
BIOC 506 Experimental Biochemistry (laboratory rotation) 2
BIOC 602 Physical Properties of Macromolecules
Students will select modules from 602 and 604 to get four credits (at least one from each)
1-4
BIOC 690 Biochemistry Seminar 1
BIOC 691 Special Topics in Biochemistry (critical scientific thinking) 1
   
Second fall semester  
BIOC 604 Enzymology
Students will select modules from 602 and 604 to get four credits (at least one from each)
1-3
BIOC 605 Molecular Biology 3
BIOC 690 Biochemistry Seminar 1
BIOC 691 Special Topics in Biochemistry (student seminar) 1
BIOC 697 Directed Research in Biochemistry variable
MICR 607 Techniques in Molecular Biology and Genetics 2
OVPR 601 Scientific Integrity 1
   
Second spring semester  
BIOC 690 Biochemistry Seminar 1
BIOC 691 Special Topics in Biochemistry (student seminar) 1
BIOC 697 Directed Research in Biochemistry variable

 

 

Comments/feedback about this site   |   Bulletin (catalog) archives/printer-friendly bulletins   |   About these bulletins

Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia
Contact us: bulletin@vcu.edu

Last update: 9/11/2013

Created by VCU University Relations