M.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
A Master of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) is offered by the Division of Environmental and Biomolecular Systems. A M.S. in BMB prepares students for careers in bio- and medical-technology, health science monitoring and diagnostics. It also can be useful preparation for higher degrees in the biochemistry, molecular biology, and medicine.
The BMB curriculum within the EBS division provides students the opportunity to explore the structure and function of macromolecules and their integration into biological processes. Leading-edge metallobiochemistry, structural biology, spectroscopy, proteomics, microbial genetics and genomics are applied to uncover the molecular details of enzyme mechanisms, signal transduction, and control of gene expression. Collaborations with ESE and EBS allow BMB students to engage in multidisciplinary research involving the application of molecular biology and genetics to ecological studies.
The curriculum is designed to ensure a common foundation of core concepts and skills, but also to allow considerable flexibility for customization to provide the optimal educational experience for each student. Core concepts and skills are taught through a series of three required core courses, with the remaining coursework consisting of advanced electives, readings groups, and special topics courses selected in consultation with the student's advisory committee.
To provide focus to the student's course of study, and guidance in the selection of courses, the BMB M.S. program is divided into two tracks. The tracks have different required core courses, but they overlap in the selection of elective courses. Complete documentation is available in PDF format under Current Degree Requirements.
All three of the BMB M.S. degree can be obtained with or without a thesis. The non-thesis option may include some non-thesis research or internship credits. The M.S. thesis option requires a written thesis, composed of original research, and an oral defense. Most M.S. students are admitted to non-thesis tracks, but some enter directly into thesis tracks. Non-thesis M.S. students can convert to a thesis track, and M.S. students can be promoted to the Ph.D. program, although the latter requires a formal application. Typical times to complete the M.S. in BMB (for full time students) are 1 academic year for the non-thesis option and 2 years for the thesis option.
Most students accepted into the BMB M.S. program have Bachelors (or equivalent) degrees in the physical or biological sciences, engineering, or related disciplines (e.g., computer science). Prospective students with different backgrounds are encouraged to inquire, if they have professional or other experience that might provide adequate background. Requirements for admission to this program include all the general requirements of the Department of Science & Engineering, which are given here, plus the following:
M.S. students may be full time or part time. To matriculate, students should follow the instructions on the Admissions page for the Department of Science and Engineering. Applications are considered year-round, but prospective M.S. students are encouraged to apply by July 31 for admission to start in the following Fall quarter. (International students should apply earlier to allow time processing visas.) Requirements for admission to this program include all the general requirements are described on the Admissions web page.
M.S. students may be full time or part time. To matriculate, students should follow the instructions on the Admissions web page.