For a brief description of the program, application requirements and contact information, view the graduate program summary.
Director for the Center for Biological Chemistry: Paul N. Black, Ph.D.
Graduate Chair: Melanie Simpson, Ph.D.
Graduate study in biochemistry is pursued through the Center for Biological Chemistry, which has responsibility for instructional programs, undergraduate degrees, and graduate degrees in biochemistry. The purpose of the program is to provide training in biochemistry that will prepare students for professional careers in agricultural, biomedical or natural sciences, with particular emphasis on carrying out and interpreting contemporary research. The program is designed to provide sufficient depth that the student will be at the state of the art in his/her area of specialization. At the same time, the program is designed to provide sufficient breadth that the student can understand current studies in related areas of biochemistry.
The faculty of the Center for Biological Chemistry is made up of faculty in Nutrition and Health Sciences, Agronomy and Horticulture, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
Applicants for graduate work in the Center for Biological Chemistry must have a BS or BA degree in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, or a related field. Undergraduate work should include at least one course in biochemistry, one course in genetics, one course in physical chemistry (calculus based), one year of organic chemistry, and one year of physics. Deficiencies in these requirements will be made up during the first year of graduate study. The verbal, quantitative and analytical parts of the Graduate Record Examination are required for a student to be considered for admission. The advanced Graduate Record Examination in biochemistry, biology, or chemistry is recommended. Foreign students whose native language is not English must have a minimum TOEFL score of 550.
Further information about admission and graduate programs can be obtained from the Center for Biological Chemistry, N200 Beadle Center, City Campus. Also visit the biochemistry Web site at biochem.unl.edu.
Master of Science Degree.
All students must take BIOC 836, 932, 933, 934, 935, and at least 4 credits of biochemistry seminar (BIOC 992K). Other course requirements are arranged in consultation with the Examining Committee. Students under Option I (advance permission is required to use Option II) must earn a minimum of 30 hours of credit, consisting of 20 to 24 hours of courses (including seminar) and 6 to 10 hours of thesis credit. At least one half of the required hours (including thesis) must be taken in the Center. At least 8 hours must be taken in courses only open to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without a 400 counterpart). Students will be required to assist with teaching biochemistry courses for a minimum of one semester.
Each student must pass a written comprehensive examination formulated and administered by the Examining Committee. The purpose of the exam is to test the student’s breadth of knowledge in biochemistry.
Students in the Option I program must complete an original research project, write a thesis, and present a publicized seminar open to faculty and students at which the work comprising the MS thesis is presented. Each student must pass a final oral examination administered by the Examining Committee.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree.
The PhD in the Center for Biological Chemistry is a research degree providing in-depth education in an area of biochemistry. Course requirements are arranged in consultation with the student’s Supervisory Committee but should include credit hours in BIOC 836, 932, 933, 934, 935 and 8 credits in biochemistry seminar (BIOC 992K).
Students must pass a comprehensive examination consisting of written and oral components. This examination will include preparation and defense of an original research proposal and the student’s Supervisory Committee is responsible for administering the exam.
Students must complete an original research project, write a dissertation, formally present and defend the research work in a seminar, and pass a final oral examination covering the research work and thesis administered by the Supervisory Committee. The PhD degree is principally a research degree; thus, this is the most important requirement in the program.
Minor in Biochemistry.
To fulfill the requirements for a minor in biochemistry, graduate students outside the Center for Biological Chemistry seeking a masters degree are required to complete at least 9 credits in BIOC-listed or cross-listed courses at the 800 or 900 level, with at least 3 credits at the 900 level. Students seeking a doctoral degree must complete at least 15 credits in BIOC-listed or cross-listed courses at the 800 or 900 level with at least 6 credits at the 900 level (for the doctoral degree).