Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


The Ph.D. program provides rigorous training for qualified students in both the research laboratory and classroom. Students are exposed to a variety of research areas through methods laboratories, formal courses, laboratory rotations, and seminar presentations. The area of research concentration is ultimately determined by the selection of a preceptor whose research area matches the student's interest. The time required to complete the degree program ranges from four to six years, with a typical student finishing in five years.

Because the course of study is rigorous, the Department only selects highly qualified students for admission into the Ph.D program and financial support. A set of criteria for admission has been established. It should be noted that differences in undergraduate training are recognized, and each application is treated individually. Qualified students who meet some, but not all, the established criteria may be admitted in conditional status with the stipulation that remedial work be done to overcome any deficiencies. Acceptance of students into the Ph.D. program in Biochemistry requires approval by a majority of the Graduate Committee.

Foreign students must also have completed the TOEFL exam with a minimum score of 210 on the computer-based version of the exam.

Guidelines for the Ph.D. program in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Fall Semester

611Biochemical Molecular Methods4
613Biochemistry Lab (Rotation)2-4
641Eukaryotic Genetics4
645Biochemistry I4
668Molecular Biology4

Spring Semester

680Biomolecular Interactions2
660Molecular Endocrinology2
612Advanced Laboratory Techniques2
675Biochemistry of Cancer2
630Laboratory Ethics1
606Biochemistry Seminar1
613Biochemistry Lab (Rotation)2-4
647Biochemistry II4
661/PHTX 661Molecular Toxicology3


At the end of the first year, a Dissertation Committee will be formed which will serve as the Reading Committee and Examining Committee. This Committee will consist of the preceptor, three other faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (at least three of the Committee members must be primary faculty in the Department), and one member outside of the Department, and must be approved by the Graduate Executive Committee.

Each student must meet regularly with his/her Dissertation Committee. There must be at least one formal meeting per year. This meeting may occur immediately after the student presents his or her annual research conference. After each meeting, the advisor will complete the "Student Meeting Form" and provide copies to the Committee members, the student and the Director of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program. If deficiencies are identified at the annual meeting, a second meeting of the student and committee will be held that year to determine whether the student has remediated the deficiencies. The first formal meeting of a Ph.D. student with the committee will probably be to present the Preliminary Proposal.

Students who do not have at least one committee meeting per year (every 12 months) will be given an incomplete in Research. This will become an F if the deficiency is not made up within one semester.

How to Apply

In addition to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies requirements, the following criteria will be used as the basis for formal acceptance of students to the Ph.D. program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Acceptance of each student requires approval unanimously by the Graduate Executive Committee or by a majority of the Graduate Committee.

  1. Transcript of course work. A two-semester course in organic chemistry is required.
  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.
  4. At least two letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty in biology and/or chemistry.
  5. A personal or phone interview with members of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is encouraged for all applicants.
  6. A personal statement of interest.

Start the application process.


Dr. Jaydev Dholakia

Department of Biochemistry
University of Louisville
School of Medicine
Louisville, KY 40292 
(502) 852-7842
Email Jaydev Dholakia

Financial Aid

College is one of the biggest expenses you'll have in your lifetime, but it is an investment that will pay off in higher income, expanded career opportunities, and greater personal satisfaction throughout your life. Numerous sources of financial aid can help you pay for college.

The process of locating aid and applying for it can be intimidating. Take it step-by-step and don't hesitate to ask for assistance from the knowledgeable financial aid counselors in UofL's financial aid office.

In addition to the financial aid opportunities offered by the University, the School of Medicine also has information about financial aid.

The Graduate School offers University Fellowships. Teaching and Research Assistantships are available when not occupied by current students. Inquire for current availability.

The Integrated Programs in Biomedical Sciences (IPIBS) is a newly designed pathway for entering graduate students who are interested in biomedical research as a career choice. The University of Louisville can offer you an outstanding financial assistance package, a supportive academic environment in a friendly and vibrant city.  This link will provide more information on Louisville, Kentucky (click here).