Biochemistry Ph.D.

Students must meet the Graduate School's requirements for the Ph.D. degree. The Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry requires the completion of significant, original independent research and preparation of a thesis for submission to the Graduate School. In most cases it is expected that the Ph.D. degree be completed within 4-6 years of admission to the graduate program.

Credits: Graduate credits are earned for courses numbered 800-999. A minimum of two semesters of Doctoral Research (BCHM 999) is required. Many Ph.D. candidates enroll in BCHM 851-852 during their first year of study, unless the diagnostic examinations indicate a sufficient undergraduate preparation in general biochemistry.

Identification of thesis project:

Guidance Committee: During the second semester and after selecting a thesis advisor, and a potential project, the student, in conjunction with the advisor, will choose a Guidance Committee. This committee consists of five faculty members: the advisor (as chairperson), two other members of the Biochemistry faculty, and up to two faculty members from outside departments. However, only three members of the Guidance Committee are required for the 2nd year exam. The committee will meet soon after selection of a thesis project to determine the student's curriculum. Courses required by the Guidance Committee must be taken for credit and completed with a passing grade (at least a B-). Courses recommended by the committee may be audited or taken for credit, but in either case the student is expected to be familiar with the subject matter of these courses. The Guidance Committee will meet each semester thereafter to assess the student's academic and research progress. The Supervisory Committee Nomination Form needs to be completed and submitted to the Graduate School by the end of the first year.

The Doctoral Candidacy form needs to be completed and returned to the Graduate School.

Doctoral Committee: The Doctoral Committee is composed of the faculty advisor (as chairperson), two other faculty members in the Graduate Program in Biochemistry, and two faculty from other departments. In most cases, the Guidance Committee will constitute the Doctoral Committee. The Doctoral Committee evaluates the dissertation and administers the final examination. The Doctoral Committee will meet annually to assess the progress toward completion of the Ph.D. requirements.

Written Thesis: The student is required to prepare a written doctoral dissertation for submission to the Doctoral Committee. The dissertation must represent significant and original research written in a clear, comprehensible style. A copy of the complete thesis must be made available to the committee at least two weeks before the date of the final examination. (Consult the Thesis and Dissertation Manual provided by the Graduate School for details on preparing the manuscript.) Publication of the dissertation by University Microfilms is required. All costs associated with the preparation and publication of the thesis are the responsibility of the student.

Final Defense: An oral examination of the doctoral dissertation consists of two parts: an oral presentation of the research that is open to the public, and an oral defense of the dissertation conducted by the Doctoral Committee. Final approval of the doctoral dissertation will be determined by a majority vote of the Doctoral Committee. The Final Examination must be completed by the date listed in the Graduate School calendar. Three copies of the approved dissertation, ready for binding, will be submitted to the Graduate School Office at least two weeks before commencement. The student will also provide copies (softbound) to members of the Doctoral Committee who want copies. Graduate students may request an exception to departmental policy by completing a written petition to the graduate faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The Intent-to- Graduate form needs to be completed and sent to the Graduate School.

Questions? Contact:

Feixia Chu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Rudman Hall, Room 306
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: 
(603) 862-2436