Master of Science (M.S.)

The master’s degree is offered only under special circumstances and upon recommendation by the program COGS and approval by the Graduate Dean.

*IMPORTANT Note About the Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry Degree*
This program is no longer accepting students at this time as this field of study is now the Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry discipline within the new Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) Program. All information in this section of the Catalog  is for the current Biochemistry students only.

The graduate program in Biochemistry offers students the training necessary for them to conduct independent biochemical research in an academic, industrial, or clinical environment.  The Biochemistry curriculum is designed to provide a synergistic series of formal courses, seminars, teaching opportunities, and individualized biochemical research experiences in the laboratories of participating faculty.  Students are encouraged to broaden their scientific experience by taking courses in other biomedical science tracks. 

Biochemistry Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required for the M.S. degree.  In addition, all master’s candidates must register for BIOC 6098 Thesis for at least one semester in order to graduate.  The student must successfully defend a thesis and be recommended by their program COGS for approval of their degree to the Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. 

Biochemistry Master's Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
IBMS 5000Fundamentals Of Biomedical Sciences 8
IBMS 5008Lab Rotations 2
 Total Credit Hours: 10.0
First Year
SpringCredit Hours
IBMS 5008Lab Rotations 2
INTD 6002Ethics In Research 0.5
BIOC 6036Macromolecular Structure & Mechanism 2
BIOC 5085Biophysical Methods In Biology 2
Electives  2.5
BIOC 6097Research 4-6
 Total Credit Hours: 13.0-15.0
Second Year
FallCredit Hours
BIOC 6029MBB Journal Club and Student Research Presentations 2
BIOC 6097Research 1-12
Electives  2-3
 Total Credit Hours: 5.0-17.0
Second Year
SpringCredit Hours
BIOC 6029MBB Journal Club and Student Research Presentations 2
Electives  2-3
BIOC 6098Thesis 1-12
 Total Credit Hours: 5.0-17.0

Biochemistry Objectives/Program Outcomes

  1. Review/interpret research literature
  2. Communicate effectively in writing
  3. Communicate effectively in verbal presentations
  4. Display potential for conducting independent research

BIOC 5085. Biophysical Methods In Biology. 2 Credit Hours.

This course is required for all students enrolled in the Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry track. The course covers modern biophysical methods for studying biological macromolecules in sufficient detail to understand the current literature. Topics to be covered include macromolecular structure determination by X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy; absorbance, fluorescence, and EPR spectroscopy; circular dichroism; light scattering; mass spectrometry; and hydrodynamics, including diffusion, electrophoresis, sedimentation velocity, and sedimentation equilibrium. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available basis.

BIOC 5087. Molecular Genetics And Biotechnology. 1 Credit Hour.

This course is required for all students enrolled in either Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry Track. The objective of this course it to provide comprehensive treatment of approaches to experimental biochemistry and [biophysics rooted in genetics, recombinant DNA technology, and genomics.

BIOC 6029. MBB Journal Club and Student Research Presentations. 2 Credit Hours.

To be taken by all graduate students in the MBB track each semester starting with the second year. Students will each make one presentation per semester. Presentations will typically be of a recent journal article in the area of biochemistry or biophysics. Journal articles for presentations must be approved by the instructor. With permission, a student may present a summary of his or her doctoral research. In the Spring semester of their third year, students will present a review of literature relevant to their doctoral research. Grading will be based on both the presentation and involvement in class discussion.

BIOC 6036. Macromolecular Structure & Mechanism. 2 Credit Hours.

This course will cover the fundamentals of protein and nucleic acid structure and of enzyme catalysis. The course is required of students in the Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics Track.Topics to be covered include: DNA and RNA structure, protein structure, protein folding, ligand binding by proteins, and enzyme catalysis. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available basis.

BIOC 6037. Integration Of Metabolic Pathways. 2 Credit Hours.

The course is required of students in the Molecular Biophysics and Metabolic Pathways track. The objective is to provide an understanding of the individual reactions in intermediary metabolism and how the reactions are integrated by regulatory mechanisms. Topics include carbohydrate, lipid, and nitrogen metabolism and mechanisms of regulation of individual enzymes and metabolic pathways. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available basis.

BIOC 6097. Research. 1-12 Credit Hours.

This course consists of independent, original research under the direction of a faculty advisor.

BIOC 6098. Thesis. 1-12 Credit Hours.

Registration for a least one term is required of M.S. candidates.

IBMS 5000. Fundamentals Of Biomedical Sciences. 8 Credit Hours.

This core course covers the fundamentals of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, organismal and systems biology, and microbiology and immunology. The course is designed for first-year graduate students matriculating into the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program (IBMS).

IBMS 5008. Lab Rotations. 1-3 Credit Hours.

This course provides an opportunity for students to participate in research activities in the laboratories of faculty members in different disciplines to learn laboratory skills and to gain an introduction to the research fields of faculty members.

INTD 6002. Ethics In Research. 0.5 Credit Hours.

This course covers topics relevant to ethics in scientific research. The course is taught on a case-study basis, dealing with real and hypothetical situations relevant to the conduct of scientific research. Topics discussed will include, but will not be limited to: data management, peer review, recognizing scientific misconduct, authorship, and The University of Texas regulations relevant to human and animal research. This course is required of all doctoral graduate students.