Programs by Campus


Biochemistry, Interdisciplinary

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Medical Sciences, Optometry, Psychological and Brain Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences

Departmental E-mail: bchem [at] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL: 

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Master of Science in Biotechnology

Special Program Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate coursework must include two semesters of organic chemistry and one semester of biochemistry. Though not required, one semester of molecular biology and two semesters of biology are recommended. One semester of (bio) physical chemistry is strongly recommended. Deficiencies in required courses must be removed during the first year of graduate study. Students seeking admission should apply directly to the Interdisciplinary Biochemistry Graduate Program. Applications must include a complete entrance form, letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts, and scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test. (While it is not required that applicants also submit scores on the Subject Test in Biochemistry, it is recommended that they do so.)

Master of Science in Biochemistry

Course Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours, of which 12 credit hours must be in biochemistry graduate coursework other than B880 and B600. Students are required to rotate (B580) in two laboratories in the fall semester and to participate in the biochemistry research club during their second year of the program. The graduate advisor must approve all coursework.



Final Examination

Oral, covering thesis and major. 

Master of Science in Biotechnology

The department offers a program leading to a master’s degree in Biotechnology for students who are interested in careers in the life science industry. This is a non-thesis, one-year program designed to give students advanced training in the underlying scientific principles of biotechnology and hands-on experience in many of the techniques used in the biotechnology sector.

Course Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours are required including a common core program consisting of the following courses: T500 (8 cr.), T501 (2 cr.), T502 (2 cr.), T508 (3 cr.), T515 (3 cr.), B501 (3 cr.), T521 (2 cr.), T680 Biotechnology Writing (1 cr.).  (Additional courses are pending approval--see the Director of Graduate Studies for information.)  The remaining credit hours can be selected from an approved list of courses in Biology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Business, Chemistry, Law, Statistics, or Medical Sciences.


No thesis is required.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Course Requirements

A total of 90 credit hours, of which 22.5-23 are satisfied by the core courses (B501, B502, B506, B530, B531, B540, B541, and two semesters of B580), Grant Writing (B680), Research Ethics (B680 or G601), and two semesters of B600. Six additional elective hours are required in either the major or minor field. Students must also give two departmental seminars, generally in their 4th and 5th years of graduate study. In addition, students must complete an internal minor, or meet the minor requirements of a suitable outside program. The sequence of courses comprising the minor must be ap­proved by the student’s advisory committee.

At the end of the first year, each student selects a research advisor and laboratory. Together with the advisor, the student also selects an advisory committee of three or four faculty members appropriate to the student’s intended degree including one from the prospective minor field (see below). This advisory committee guides and monitors the student’s subsequent independent work and guides the student’s selection of advanced courses. The biochemistry graduate program requires that each student meet with the advisory committee at least once per year.


The doctoral student in biochemistry may minor in any appropriate discipline or in a specialized track within the Biochemistry Program. For an internal minor, the minor shall consist of 6 credit hours of the courses listed in either track below.

(1) Cellular and Medical Biochemistry


  • B507 Biophysical Analysis of Macromolecules
  • B511 Duplicating and Expressing the Genome
  • B601 Adv Nucleic Acid and Biochemistry
  • B602 Advanced Protein Biosynthesis and Processing
  • B605 Structure and Function of Membranes
  • B680 Special Topics: Biological Light and Electron Microscopy
  • B680 Special Topics: Structural Bioinformatics
  • B680 Special Topics: Molecular Virology and Public Health


  • L585 Molecular Genetics
  • L586 Molecular Analysis of Cell Biology

Medical Sciences:

  • B801 Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
  • B802 Metabolism and Signal Transduction

(2) Chemical and Structural Biology


  • B507 Biophysical Anallysis of Macromolecules
  • B511 Duplicating and Expressing the Genome
  • B603 Advanced Macromolecular Structure and Interactions
  • B604 Structural Methods
  • B605 Structure and Function of Membranes
  • B680 Special Topics: Drug Design
  • B680 Special Topics: Electron Microscopy
  • B680 Special Topics: NMR
  • B680 Special Topics: Structural Bioinformatics


  • L586 Molecular Analysis of Cell Biology


  • C540 Organic Reactions Mechanisms
  • C612 Mass Spectrometry


Every student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2 in order to remain in good standing. Courses to be counted toward the Ph.D. degree must be passed with a grade of B– (2.7) or better.

Qualifying Examinations

In the fifth semester, students meet with their examination committee to review past performance and to evaluate plans for completing the Ph.D. Includes written, oral, and research components. All full-time Ph.D. students must take the qualify­ing examination by the end of the fifth semester.

Satisfactory Progress toward a Degree

After passing the preliminary examination, for a student to remain in “good standing” requires that sufficient progress be made toward completing a thesis. If the research advisory com­mittee judges progress to be unsatisfactory, probation may be recommended. At the end of the probationary period (usually a semester), probation will be lifted if the advisory committee judges the student’s progress to be satisfactory. If the advisory committee judges the student’s progress to remain unsatisfac­tory, then the student will be required to leave the program.

Final Examination

Oral, covering dissertation, major, and minor. The final require­ment is a Ph.D. thesis, which must be defended in a public research seminar and in a meeting of the research advisory committee.

Other Provisions

All students enrolled in the Ph.D. program will be required to serve as associate instructors for at least one semester, regard­less of their source of support; they must complete formal instruction in teaching methods in order to enhance their teaching skills. It is the conviction of the program that teaching experience is a vital aspect of graduate education, whether or not the student intends to pursue a teaching career after at­tainment of the desired degree.

Ph.D. Minor in Biochemistry

Students from other programs who wish to minor in biochem­istry must complete at least 6 credit hours of graduate course­work in biochemistry, excluding B502, B580, and B600, with an average of B (3.0) or above.

Ph.D. Minor in Biotechnology

Students who wish to minor in biotechnology must complete at least 6 credit hours from the following list below of graduate coursework in biotechnology, with an average of B (3.0) or above.

  • T501 Topics in Biotechnology I: Biochemical Instrumentation (2 cr.)
  • T502 Topics in Biotechnology II: Mammalian Tissue Culture (2 cr.)
  • T508 Theory and Application of Biotechnology Lecture (3 cr.)
  • T515 Theory and Application of Biotechnology Lab (3 cr.)
  • T521 Research Design and Ethics (2 cr.)T525 Protein, Expression, Purification, and Expression Lab (3 cr.)
  • T540 Structure and Function of Biomolecules (3 cr.)
  • T680 Special Topics: Writing in Biotechnology (1 cr.)
  • T680 Special Topics: Entrepreneurship and Research (2 cr.)

Academic Bulletins

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