Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Major: BIOC
Degree Awarded: MS
Unit: GM
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/medschool/biochemistry/

Program Information

As teachers and scientists, the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics subscribe to the following missions:

  • Provide up-to-date and high-quality classroom and laboratory instruction in the discipline of biochemistry and molecular biology to students at the University.
  • Conduct and publish research or other scholarship in areas that advance knowledge within the discipline, contribute to improving the human condition, and contribute to teaching.
  • Train students and post-doctoral fellows in biochemical research.

Application Procedure

All applications must be submitted on-line (http://louisville.edu/graduate/apply). Only complete applications will be reviewed. A complete application must have all the following

  1. Transcript of course work. A two-semester course in organic chemistry is required with a grade of B or better.
  2. Grade point average: The Department requires an overall 3.0 grade point average (4.0 system) with an average of 3.0 in science courses.
  3. The Graduate Record Examination general test official scores: a minimum combined score of 300 in the QT and VB sections.
  4. At least two letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty in biology and/or chemistry.
  5. A personal statement of interest.

Applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Director and selection for admission into the program will be approved by the Graduate Executive Committee of the Department. Final decisions for admissions will be made in April-May of each year.

MS Program Overview

The Master's Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics is a 2 - 3 year course of study designed for students interested in:

  • a terminal master’s degree leading to jobs that do not require extensive research experience or credentials, e.g. pharmaceutical representatives, medical insurance providers, scientific writing
  • preparation for professional school, medical-legal
  • combined programs to form hybrid or dual science/business or public health degrees, such as an M.S./M.B.A. or M.S./M.P.H.programs
  • gaining practical training in laboratory technique and analysis as the basis for a career in biotechnology or academic research.

Requirements for the M.S. Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

To fulfill the diverse needs of our MS students, BMG offers three MS options: Non-thesis Course-based M.S., Non-thesis Laboratory technique based M.S., and Thesis-based M.S.

All MS students must complete 30 credit hours. This requirement can be met through coursework, seminar presentation, and research, and will depend on the program option for the student. In addition, a final summative event is required; this will be either a professional paper based on literature or laboratory research or a traditional thesis that will be evaluated by the faculty.

The 30 credit hour requirement will be partially fulfilled by the required courses. The remaining credit hours will be selected based on the program option. The selection of courses to complete the credit requirements will be made in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies who serves as the advisor for all M.S. students. Students are expected to maintain B (3.0) averages in their course work. A student who fails to maintain a B average will be placed on academic probation for one semester and will be subject to dismissal from the program after a second semester with an average below 3.0.

Required Courses: BIOC 645/ 647 (Adv. Biochemistry I and II) and BIOC 668 (Molecular Biology & Genetics)

Other Requirements: BIOC 630 (Responsible Conduct of Research). All students will receive mandatory training in ethics as mandated by the NIH and the University of Louisville.

BIOC 606 (Seminar): This requires a formal departmental public presentation. The topic is to be selected by the student and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the seminar director. The student will be advised on seminar preparation. Complete a summative final event. The format of the summative event depends on the MS program option.

Thesis option

A total of 18 credit hours of coursework is required for the MS thesis degree. Completion of the required courses (BIOC 645/647 Advanced Biochemistry I and II, and BIOC 680 Molecular Biology & Genetics) will fulfill 12 credit hours of coursework. The remaining 6 credit hours of coursework requirement can be fulfilled with electives, of which 4 credit hours must be in BIOC courses and 2 credit hours of electives inside or outside of BIOC. One semester of BIOC 611 (Advanced Techniques in BMG Methods I, 4 credit hours) is required for a student entering the thesis-based option and who has no prior research experience. The remaining 12 credit hours requirement will be partially fulfilled with BIOC 606 (seminar) and BIOC 630 (1 credit hour each), and completed with either Biochemistry lab rotation (BIOC 613), or Research (BIOC 619) credit hours.

Students are expected to complete a novel piece of research within a laboratory at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. MS thesis committees shall be composed of the mentor, two other faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (at least two of the Committee members must be primary faculty in the Department), and one member outside of the Department. The role of the Thesis Committee is to help advise students on their research, evaluate research progress, and approve the final thesis. The committee may recommend changes in direction of the research should they feel such changes are necessary for timely completion of a high quality thesis. Specifically, the thesis should contain an original piece of research of high quality and contribute to a publishable paper in a peer reviewed journal. The thesis must conform to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies' Standards for Preparation of Theses and Dissertations.

Non-thesis/laboratory research based option

The 30 credit hour requirement is met by combined coursework (22 credit hours) and laboratory rotations (8 credit hours). Completion of the required courses (BIOC 645/647 Advanced Biochemistry I and II, and BIOC 680 Molecular Biology & Genetics) will fulfill 12 credit hours of coursework and completion of the other requirements (BIOC 606 and BIOC 630) will total 14 credit hours. The remaining 8 credit hours of coursework can be fulfilled with one semester of BIOC 611 (Advanced Techniques in BMB Methods I, 4 credit hours) and/or electives BIOC 611 is required for a student entering the laboratory-based option and who has no prior research experience.

The MS student with a lab-based option is expected to complete 4 rotations (BIOC 613 laboratory rotations for a total of 8 credit hours) with the goal to learn diverse laboratory techniques. Selection of the lab/preceptor will be made in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Laboratory rotations: Students are expected to spend the equivalent of up to 10 hours per week for 8 weeks learning laboratory techniques and approaches focusing on a research problem. At the end of the rotation, students present their work to the Department in a 15 minute research conference format. They will be expected to understand the background of the work, the specific goals of the project, and have an understanding of the methodological approaches and interpretation. A short written summary of the work is also required.

Summative event: A paper based on literature research or laboratory research (rotation research) is required. The topic will be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the paper evaluated by 2 faculty.

Non-thesis/course-based option

Requirements include 22 credit hours of BIOC courses and 8 credit hours of electives inside or outside of BIOC. All students in this option must complete the required courses and other requirements listed above (BIOC 645, 647, 668, 606, and 630) will fulfill 14 credit hours of BIOC courses. Selection from the following courses BIOC 667, 680, 675, 661 can be used to fulfill the BIOC course requirements. Laboratory work (BIOC 613) may be considered an elective to count towards the degree. The student will work with the Director of Graduate Studies to review course enrollment and track their progression towards degree.

Summative event: A paper based on literature research is required. The topic will be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the paper evaluated by 2 faculty.

Curriculum

FALL COURSE OFFERING
course #course namehr
BIOC 645Adv Biochemistry IRequired4
BIOC 610Methods & Analysis in Biomed SciElective2
BIOC 611Adv Techniques in BMGElective4
BIOC 668Mol Biol/GeneticsRequired4
BIOC 680Biomolecular InteractionsElective2
BIOC 606seminarRequired1
BIOC 603Special Topics in BMBElective(1-4)
BIOC 613Lab RotationRequired for lab-based option(1-4)
BIOC 619ResearchRequired for thesis-based option(1-9)
SPRING COURSE OFFERING
course #course namehr
BIOC 647Adv Biochemistry IIRequired4
BIOC 667Cell BiologyElective3
BIOC 675Cancer BiologyElective4
BIOC 661Molecular ToxicologyElective3
BIOC 630Responsible Conduct of ResearchRequired1
BIOC 606seminar1
BIOC 603Sp. Topics -Grant WritingElective2
BIOC 603Special Topics in BMBElective(1-4)
BIOC 613Lab RotationRequired for lab-based option(1-4)
BIOC 619ResearchRequired for thesis-based option(1-9)

Faculty

Shahid Baba

Assistant Professor

Paula J. Bates

Assistant Professor

Aruni Bhatnagar

Professor

Douglas Borchman

Professor

Matt Cave

Associate Professor

Jonathan Chaires
Professor

Endowed Chair in Cancer Biophysics

Alan Cheng

Assistant Professor

Jason Chesney

Associate Professor

Barbara J. Clark
Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Brian F. Clem

Assistant Professor

Marsha Cole

Assistant Professor

Daniel J. Conklin

Assistant Professor

Douglas S. Darling

Professor

Jaydev N. Dholakia

Associate Professor

Steven R. Ellis

Professor

Pamela W. Feldhoff

Associate Professor

Richard C. Feldhoff

Professor

Ronald G. Gregg
Professor

Chair

Bradford Hill

Assistant Professor

Kyung Hong

Assistant Professor

Gary W. Hoyle

Professor

Alfred Jensen

Professor

Ted Kalbfleisch

Assistant Professor

Jon B. Klein

Professor

Carolyn M. Klinge

Professor

Zhenmin Lei

Professor

Qiutang Li

Assistant Professor

Mark Linder

Associate Professor

Qingxian Lu

Assistant Professor

Kenneth R. McLeish

Professor

Donald H. Miller
Professor

Director of James Graham Brown Cancer Center

Robert A. Mitchell

Associate Professor

Timothy O'Toole

Assistant Professor

David W. Powell

Associate Professor

Russell A. Prough

Professor Emeritus

Madhavi Rane

Assistant Professor

David Samuelson

Associate Professor

Christine Schaner-Tooley

Assistant Professor

Sanjay Srivastava

Professor

Joseph Steffen

Professor

Sucheta Telang

Assistant Professor

John O. Trent

Associate Professor

Roland Valdes Jr.

Professor

Eugenia Wang
Professor

Gheens Endowed Chair on Aging

Brian W. Wattenberg

Associate Professor

Stephen J. Winters

Professor

James L. Wittliff

Professor Emeritus

Hong Ye

Assistant Professor

Igor Zelko

Assistant Professor