The University of Chicago | Graduate Admissions

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - PhD

Division: Biological Sciences
Cluster: Molecular Biosciences
Degree Type: PhD 

Program Description

The tradition of excellence in biochemistry and biophysics at The University of Chicago continues today and is rapidly expanding. Our world-class group of professors, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers are making important discoveries at the interface of biology, chemistry, and physics. The interdisciplinary nature of the research being conducted by students in our graduate program is enhanced by our location in the Gordon Center for Integrative Science, which houses research groups from biochemistry, chemistry, physics, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research under the same roof. The breadth of our research mirrors the diversity of biological processes, focusing on the molecular basis of biological function at the Ångstrom thru micron length scales using the tools of structural biology, protein engineering, synthetic chemistry, computation, and single-molecule biophysics.

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The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Gordon Center for Integrative Science
929 E. 57th Street, Suite W225
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Phone: 773-702-1330
Fax: 773-702-0439

Application Method

Applications should be initiated through the online application. Paper applications are not accepted.


Deadline for admissions and financial aid: December 1

The Department admits applicants once a year for the following Autumn Quarter. Applications received after the deadline cannot be considered.

Campus Visits

Campus visits and interviews are not required. Contact the department for more information.

Degree Objective

The Biochemistry program admits applicants only for the Ph.D. degree.

Application Requirements

      1. A completed application.
      2. Application fee
      3. Transcripts from all institutions attended after high school should be uploaded with the application.
      4. Three letters of recommendation from college or university professors who know the applicant's work well. Individuals who have been away from school for several years may submit recommendations from their employers.
      5. Graduate Record Examination scores. We require the GRE general test scores; subject test scores will be considered, but are optional.


Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions are released in early March. No decisions will be given by phone or email.

Program Requirements

  1. Five required courses: Protein Fundamentals, Biophysical Properties of Biomolecules,  one course in Molecular Biology, one course in Cell Biology, and Current Seminar Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  2. Additional recommended course: Nucleic Acids Structure & Function
  3. Plus four electives (two electives can be substituted for rotations)
  4. Plus two lab rotations

Costs & Financial Aid

The Division of Biological Sciences offers academically qualified applicants complete and equitable support.  Students in good academic standing are guaranteed an initial five years of support (conditional on satisfactory academic progress) in a package that includes the cost of tuition, health insurance, and a stipend for living expenses.  However, because many of the Division's sources of funding cannot be used to support foreign students, applicants from other countries should make every effort to obtain assistance from their government and fellowships from outside sources.