Biochemistry M.S.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree


The objective of this program is to provide students both a theoretical and practical knowledge of fundamental biochemical concepts while preparing students for careers in research (academic or industrial) or increasing their competitiveness for additional graduate degrees.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science

An acceptable undergraduate major in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, or a related field. Satisfactory scores on the general (aptitude) Graduate Record Examination must be presented. Subject GRE not required, but helpful. In addition: year-long courses in organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and physics (equivalent to CHEM 141/CHEM 142 or CHEM 143CHEM 144, CHEM 162 or CHEM 165 and PHYS 051/PHYS 152); quantitative chemistry; mathematics preferably through differential and integral calculus; a year-long course in a biological science. If a physical chemistry course has not been taken previously, a student must take Physical Chemistry (CHEM 162 or CHEM 165) in their first year (for which they do not receive credit toward the M.S. degree).

Note: CHEM 162 is no longer offered, but if a student has already taken this course, it is acceptable for the Physical Chemistry requirement.

Minimum Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 credits (at least seventeen of which must be taken from graduate courses offered by the Department of Biochemistry) and successful completion of a comprehensive exam are required for completion of the master's degree in biochemistry. Students must meet all of the requirements stipulated by the UVM Graduate College for the Master's Degree.

Students must complete the following courses:

BIOC 301General Biochemistry *3
BIOC 302General Biochemistry *3
BIOC 381Seminar1

*Successful completion of BIOC 205/BIOC 206 can substitute for the BIOC 301/BIOC 302 requirement for previous UVM students only. However, these will not count towards the 30 graduate credit requirement.

Students must complete at least two upper level courses (6 credits) from the following selection of courses:

BIOC 351Proteins I: Structure&Function3
BIOC 352Protein: Nucleic Acid Interact3
BIOC 353Proteins II: Enzymology3
BIOC 370Physical Biochemistry3
BIOC 372Cancer Biology3

Remaining credits in the degree program should be selected from the following approved list.  Special topics or other graduate courses maybe acceptable by prior approval from the Chair of the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee.

BIOC 263Nutritional Biochemistry3
BIOC 325Data Analysis&Presentation I2
BIOC 326Data Analysis&Presentation II2
CHEM 223Mass Spectrometry3
CLBI 301Cell Biology3
MMG 211Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics3
MMG 232Methods in Bioinformatics3
MPBP 301Human Physiology & Pharm I4
MPBP 323Biophysical Techniques4
PHRM 201Introduction to Pharmacology3
PHRM 272Toxicology3

Thesis Track:

At least nine (and up to 13) credits of Master's Thesis Research (BIOC 391) are required.  In addition, a written thesis and defense of this thesis must occur according to the guidelines laid out by the Graduate College.

Non-Thesis Track:

At least six (and up to 9) credits of Independent Literature Research (BIOC 392) and two credits of independent  research set up as a special topics course (BIOC 395) with your mentor are required.  In addition, a manuscript in the format of a review article must be submitted to the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee and a seminar on the manuscript must be presented to the Department.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination must be taken by the end of the second semester as a matriculated graduate student. The examination will cover broad knowledge of the student's discipline. The details and format of the examination and its form (written or oral or both) are decided upon by the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee and will be discussed with the student well in advance of the exam. A single re-take is permitted for the comprehensive exam.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

Advancement to candidacy requires satisfactory completion of the comprehensive exam.