2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MS

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Program Description

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) offers a program of study leading to the Master of Science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. Biochemists and molecular biologists study life processes ranging from the level of individual molecules to the whole organism. This M.S. program provides the student with a strong foundational background to understand the molecular basis of life. An important career development aspect of the M.S. program is the availability of two options-a thesis-based or coursework-based program.

  • Thesis-based option: A student will conduct valuable hands-on and cutting-edge laboratory research within a biomedical focus. The typical time to complete this program is two years.
  • Coursework-based option: A student will gain an in-depth understanding of various areas within biochemistry and molecular biology through a curriculum involving coursework and seminars. This program can be completed within three semesters.

Students completing the M.S. program are well-equipped to continue their career development in a number of areas. Examples include:

  • Preparation for continued study in a Ph.D. program. (Graduate study with faculty in the BMB department at Wright State leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree is available through the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program.)
  • Preparation for continued studies in the health professions, including a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree program.
  • Directly proceed to work in industry, academic, medical, or government research labs.

Major research interests of the department include diverse studies of life processes having a biomedical focus and include:

  • Structure and function of biological macromolecules
  • Molecular genetics
  • Metabolomics
  • Systems biology

Specific research projects (see the faculty research page for more details) deal with the structure and function of:

  • Membranes
  • Proteins and enzymes
  • Nucleic acids
  • Chromatin structure and function
  • Molecular genetics of disease
  • Nucleotide metabolism
  • Microbial systems biology
  • Magnetic resonance to study biochemical phenomena

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements for admission established by The Graduate School. A bachelor’s degree in the biochemical, biological, or chemical sciences, including coursework in organic chemistry, physics, and calculus, is generally required. In addition, letters of recommendation (three are required) are an important admission consideration.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the M.S. degree program in biochemistry and molecular biology will be able to:

  • Read and assimilate the current literature in the field
  • Write proficiently within the standard scientific format
  • Understand the various technologies used in the field
  • Apply critical thinking towards experimental design and the acquisition, processing and interpretation of data


BMB General Facilities

The BMB department is well-equipped to support various biochemical and molecular biology research projects. Examples of key equipment available include visible-ultraviolet recording spectrophotometers, spectrofluorometers, DNA synthesizer, circular dichroism spectrophotometer, FPLC, DNA array systems, next-generation sequencers, real-time PCR system, stopped-flow reaction analyzer, liquid scintillation counters, gamma counters, ultracentrifuges, various kinds of electrophoresis equipment, gas-liquid chromatographs, high pressure liquid chromatographs, and tissue culture facilities. NMR, microscopy, mass spectrometry, and biocontainment facilities are available for departmental use. A modern, well-equipped laboratory animal facility is also available.

Center for Genomics Research

The Center for Genomics Research (CGR) is a Research Center of Excellence at the Boonshoft School of Medicine. The CGR’s primary mission is to provide support and core facilities for Wright State research faculty engaged in basic and clinical research in the areas of gene expression, flow cytometry, and genotyping. The center strives to cultivate collaborations between basic and clinical researchers at Wright State through training of personnel, collaborative projects undertaken at CGR, and joint grant submissions involving researchers and CGR members.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Laboratory

The Magnetic Resonance Laboratory houses a Varian INOVA 600 NMR Spectrometer equipped with multiple probes for analysis of any nuclide, and a robotics sample changer. The laboratory is particularly well-equipped to support ongoing NMR-based metabolomics research.

For More Information


Program Requirements:

Qualification for the Master of Science degree requires a candidate to fulfill the requirements of the Graduate School, to complete departmental course work, and to submit an acceptable research thesis (thesis-based option).

A. Identical core courses are required for the Thesis-based and Coursework-based M.S. program options.

B. The credit-hour requirement for elective courses differs for the two M.S. options.

I. Core Courses (required for Thesis-based and Coursework-based options)

Core courses: 9.5 Hours

II. Advanced Courses

Thesis-based Option

  • Graduate seminars in BMB or other departments: 5 Hours
  • Elective courses (two additional 6000- or 7000-level courses): 5 Hours
  • Hands-on, research-based thesis: 14 Hours

Coursework-based Option

  • Graduate seminars in BMB or other departments: 6 Hours
  • Elective courses (6000- or 7000-level): 15 Hours

Graduate Seminars in BMB or Other Departments (credit-hours dependent upon program option)

Thesis-based option: 5 Hours

Coursework-based option *: 6 Hours

* Course selection subject to departmental approval. In special cases, seminar credit from other departments is allowed with permission of the Program Director.

Elective 6000- or 7000- Level Courses (credit-hours dependent upon program option)

Thesis-based option *:  5 Hours

Coursework-based option :  15 Hours

* Course selection subject to departmental approval. The student and his or her thesis advisor will have the responsibility for selecting advanced courses and seminars suited to each student’s program needs and interests.

A minimum of 9-credit hours must be in BMB elective courses (BMB 6990 cannot substitute for this requirement). All elective choices must be pre-approved by the Program Director. BMB 6990, Special Problems in Biochemistry, can count as an elective (maximum 3 credits towards the additional 6-hours) with permission of the Program Director.

Hands-on Research Thesis (Thesis-based option only): 14 Hours

  • Credit Hour(s): .5 to 15 or
  • Credit Hour(s): 1 to 5
  • The thesis must be based on hands-on research. BMB 8990  (or BMB 6990  ) must be taken each semester the student performs laboratory research. The thesis advisory committee must be made up of at least three faculty from the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. The student will orally defend the completed thesis and present a departmental seminar on his/her research.

Total Credit Hours

Thesis-based Option:  33.5 Hours

Coursework-based Option:  30.5 Hours

Program of Study for Coursework-based M.S. Option

The Course-based M.S. option in BMB can be completed within three semesters, as outlined below.

Course No.Fall Semester (YR 1)Cr-h
BMB 6020Research Perspectives3
BMB 7500Molecular Biochemistry I
BMB 8000Biochemistry Seminar1
BMB 9000Advanced Seminar1

Total Semester Credit-hours:8
Course No.Spring Semester (YR 1)Cr-h
BMB 7030Research Ethics0.5
BMB 7520Molecular Biochemistry II3
BMB 8000Biochemistry Seminar1
BMB 9000Advanced Seminar1

Elective courses (6000 or 7000-level)6

Total Semester Credit-hours:
Course No.Fall Semester (YR 2)Cr-h
BMB 8000Biochemistry Seminar1
BMB 9000Advanced Seminar1

Elective courses (6000 or 7000-level)9

Total Semester Credit-hours:11


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