Biochemistry (M.S.)

Biochemistry (M.S.)

student studying chemistry

Why get a master’s degree in biochemistry?

Do you want to be involved in research at the frontiers of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology? Our M.S. in biochemistry lets you combine a rigorous curriculum in biochemistry and related disciplines with a wide variety of interdisciplinary research opportunities. You can delve into research on pharmacology, physical biochemistry, endocrinology, structural biology, or cancer biology. The graduate biochemistry program prepares you for a successful career in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, blood analysis, academic and government research laboratories, or for advanced studies in doctoral programs, medical or dental school, veterinary school, or health-related professional programs.

Why choose UNH for your degree?

At UNH, the graduate biochemistry program emphasizes interdisciplinary research training in well-equipped research laboratories and facilities. You can participate in cutting-edge research in areas ranging from tumor cell biology to protein structure, function and regulation to signal transduction pathways. Laboratory rotations familiarize you with campus research labs. UNH is ranked among the nation’s highest-performing research universities, having earned a Carnegie Classification R1. The university’s research portfolio brings in more than $110 million in competitive external funding each year. An accelerated B.S./M.S. program also is available for undergraduate students.

Potential careers 

  • Biochemist
  • Clinical researcher
  • Educator
  • Forensic analyst
  • Lab manager
  • Pharmacologist
  • Research scientist
  • Toxicologist

Contact

Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences
Rudman Hall
46 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
603-862-4095
mcbs.dept@unh.edu

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Curriculum & Requirements

The M.S. in Biochemistry combines a rigorous curriculum in biochemistry and related disciplines with interdisciplinary research opportunities at the frontiers of biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology. Graduates of the program are equipped for successful careers in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, or in academic and government research laboratories. Graduates are also prepared for doctoral programs, medical school, or other health-related professional programs.

Distinctive Features of the Program

  • Advanced course offerings include signal transduction pathways, pharmacology, physical biochemistry, proteomics, endocrinology, structural biology, bioinformatics, and cancer biology
  • Emphasis on interdisciplinary research training
  • Well-equipped research laboratories and core facilities on the UNH campus
  • Laboratory rotations upon entry to the program to become familiar with different research laboratories
  • Weekly graduate student seminar presentations, as well as a departmental seminar series of invited speakers
  • Opportunities to gain teaching experiences as a Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • Accelerated M.S. program available to UNH students enrolled in the B.S. program in Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology

Research Opportunities

  • Tumor cell biology
  • Protein structure, function, and regulation
  • Signal transduction pathways
  • Molecular neurobiology
  • Genomics and bioinformatics
  • Proteomics and glycomics

Financial Support

  • Students admitted to the M.S. Program are typically supported by Research Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships
  • Internal summer and academic year fellowships are available to students on a competitive basis.
  • Teaching Assistantships are not available for students enrolled in the Accelerated M.S. program

Career Prospects

  • Research scientists in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
  • Lab managers in academic research labs and research institutes, state and federal government agencies
  • Continuing education in doctoral programs and professional health programs (e.g., medical school)

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of foundational courses in biology, chemistry (including organic chemistry), physics, and mathematics
    • Otherwise well-qualified applicants can correct academic deficiencies with enrollment in appropriate courses or independent study during the first year of graduate studies
  • Applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores
  • International applicants living outside the U.S.A. should first complete a free online pre-application, which can be found on the Graduate School's website.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement, including research interests and two or three potential Biochemistry faculty thesis advisors.

Accelerated Master's Admission Requirements

  • Current junior standing in the B.S. in Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology program at the time of application
  • GPA of 3.2 or greater
  • Thesis advisor identified who supports entry into the program
  • Three letters of recommendation (one of which is from the thesis advisor)
  • Personal statement of research interests and career aspirations
  • GRE is waived

M.S. Degree Requirements

Student must meet the Graduate School's requirements for the master's degree (minimum 30 credits) and are expected to develop a culminating thesis based on the completion of a research project. Demonstration of proficiency in physical chemistry and biochemistry will be assessed in the first year by examination or coursework. All candidates for the M.S. degree must pass an oral examination based on the thesis or project report and on the graduate courses completed in the degree program.

Credits: A minimum of 30 graduate credits is required including 6-10 master's thesis credits (MCBS 899 Master's Thesis). Graduate credits are earned for courses numbered 800-999. Up to 12 credits earned in non-Biochemistry courses numbered 700-799 may be taken for graduate credit upon approval of the Graduate School. Typically, master's students enroll in BCHM 851-852 Principles of Biochemistry during their first year of study, unless diagnostic examinations indicate that undergraduate preparation in general biochemistry is sufficient. 

Thesis Committee: During the first semester, the Graduate Program Coordinator will assist the student in choosing courses. Following selection of the research advisor, the student and the advisor jointly agree on the members of the Thesis Committee during the second semester and communicate this recommendation to the Biochemistry Graduate Program Coordinator. The Master's Supervisory Committee Nomination Form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate School. The Thesis Committee consists of the advisor as chair and two other members. The committee meets soon after selection of a thesis project to approve the student's proposed curriculum.

Courses required by the Thesis Committee must be taken for credit and completed with a passing grade (B-minus or better). 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. It is recommended that the student meet with their Thesis Committee every semester to review progress of the thesis project and academics.

Written Thesis and Oral Presentation: Students must prepare a written master's thesis for submission to their Thesis Committee. A copy of the complete thesis must be made available to the committee at least 14 days before the date of the final examination. Consult the Thesis and Dissertation Manual provided by the Graduate School for details on preparing the manuscript.

The oral examination of the master's thesis consists of two parts: an oral presentation of the research that is open to the public and an oral defense of the master's thesis conducted by the Thesis Committee.

Final approval of the master's thesis will be determined by the Thesis Committee. The final thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School via the procedures outlined in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual. As their program nears completion, students must submit the Intent-to-Graduate prior to the deadline posted on the Graduate School's calendar. 

All MCBS graduates will be able to:

  • Critically apply theories, methodologies, and knowledge to address fundamental questions in their primary area of study.
  • Pursue research of significance in the discipline (or an interdisciplinary or creative project). Students plan and conduct this research (or implement their project) under the guidance of an advisor, while developing intellectual independence that typifies true scholarship.
  • Demonstrate skills in oral and written communication sufficient to present and publish work in their field, and to prepare grant proposals.
  • Follow the principles of ethics in their field, and in academia.
  • Demonstrate, through service, the value of their discipline to the academy and community at large.
  • Demonstrate a mastery of skills and knowledge at a level required for college and university undergraduate teaching in their discipline and assessment of student learning.
  • Interact productively with individuals from diverse backgrounds in the roles of team members, leaders and mentors with integrity and professionalism.

Graduates of the Biochemistry M.S. degree program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate extensive knowledge and understanding of fundamental biochemistry principles and their area of specialization in the field.
  • Critically apply theories and methodologies to address fundamental questions in biochemistry through research activities.
  • Design and conduct biochemical experiments in their area of specialization, analyze and interpret research data, and draw critical conclusions.
  • Communicate biochemical concepts and experimental results effectively in writing and orally both in scientific technical language as well as at an appropriate level tailored for the general audience.

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: 1/15 (priority consideration) and 3/1 (final deadline)
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement that includes the following: 1) the reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives, 2) your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field, and 3) a review of MCBS graduate program faculty research descriptions and the identification by name of two or three potential mentors for your graduate studies.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Additional Department Requirements

Please note the GRE is no longer required.  No GRE score is needed to apply.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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