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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Ph.D.

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is a member of the graduate program in biomedical sciences at Saint Louis University's School of Medicine. Each year, 10-15 highly qualified candidates with bachelor's degrees are accepted into this multidisciplinary Ph.D. program. To assist students in deciding which area of biomedical research is right for them, the program provides students with opportunities to explore research in as many as five diverse disciplines during the first year of graduate training.

Curriculum Overview

During the first year of study, courses focus on the basic biochemical, molecular, cellular and organismal aspects of the biomedical sciences. This prepares students for more intensive, individualized instruction in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Careers

The program prepares students to be technically skilled and thoughtful scientists who can seek diverse careers in industry, government or as university professors.

Admission Requirements

Students should possess an above-average GPA, sufficient GRE scores and TOEFL scores (for international students) and the equivalent of an undergraduate major in chemistry, biology or a related subject.

Application Requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE G scores (GRE S optional)
  • Résumé
  • Interview
  • Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students. International students must also meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Financial documents are required to complete an application for admission and be reviewed for admission and merit scholarships. 
  • Proof of financial support that must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the student's time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of the student's study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include:
    • Courses taken and/or lectures attended
    • Practical laboratory work
    • The maximum and minimum grades attainable
    • The grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations
    • Any honors or degrees received.

WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Assistantship Application Deadline

Students who want to be considered for an assistantship must submit the application by Feb. 1.

Review Process

Screening of applicants begins the December preceding the academic year of enrollment. During February, March and April, highly qualified candidates are invited to come to St. Louis for interviews and acquaint themselves with the area, the University and the graduate program in biomedical sciences.

Offers of admission into the program are generally made shortly after the interviews are complete. Acceptance of the applicant's offer of admission into the program is expected no later than April 15. Late applications are considered on a space-available basis.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for graduate assistantship, apply by Feb. 1. 

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid/index.php.

  1. Graduates will possess an appropriate level of knowledge of current biomedical science as related to biochemistry and molecular biology.
  2. Graduates will be able to evaluate and critique publications.
  3. Graduates will be able to identify and select meaningful problems to be addressed in bioscience research, to frame testable/falsifiable hypotheses concerning an important research question.
  4. Graduates will be able to create and implement experimental protocols with suitable controls to test a scientific hypothesis, and to interpret the results of experiments in light of the hypothesis driving them.
  5. Graduates will be able to demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate biomedical research with respect to the content, organization, logical flow, presentation and appropriate use of language incorporating the use of visual aids.
  6. Graduates will be able to summarize the expectations for responsible conduct of research.
Basic Biomedical Science Courses
BBS 5010Basic Biomedical Science I5
BBS 5020Special Topics in Basic Biomedical Sciences I4
BBS 5030Basic Biomedical Science II5
BBS 5040Special Topics in Basic Biomedical Sciences II4
BBS 5100Ethics for Research Scientists0
BBS 5920Basic Biomedical Sciences Colloquium2
BBS 5970Introduction to Basic Biomedical Sciences Research (taken over multiple semesters)4
BCHM 6280Intro to Genomics and Bioinformatics2
ORES 5200Introduction to Statistics in Biomedical Sciences3
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Courses
BCHM 6230Macromolecules: Structure and Function4
BCHM 6240Advanced Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology3
BCHM 6250Preparation and Evaluation of Science Research Proposal3
BCHM 6920Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Colloquium1
Dissertation Research
BCHM 6990Dissertation Research (taken over multiple semesters)12
Total Credits52

Additional coursework in chemistry or biology may be required at the discretion of the department chairperson or graduate program director. The program may include courses in one of the fields of preclinical medicine as electives.

Non-Course Requirements

All students are expected to participate in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Journal Club throughout the program.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.