grad-biochemistry-phd

Biochemistry is the study of biological molecules, their roles in the cell, and the chemistry of their reactions in living systems. The Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) is the merged graduate program between the Department of Biochemistry (in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences) and the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry (in the School of Medicine and Public Health). The program trains the next generation of biochemists and prepares them for 21st Century challenges in science. IPiB offers a Ph.D. degree with a major in biochemistry. Although an M.S. degree is officially offered, students are not admitted for a terminal master's degree.

From atoms and cells to plants and animals, biochemistry research in IPiB is at the forefront of modern science. We are home to around 100 graduate students and 52 world-class faculty pursuing cutting-edge research in all areas of biochemistry, including: cell and developmental biology, chemical biology, endocrinology, enzymology, immunology, metabolism, molecular genetics, molecular medicine, physical biochemistry and biophysics, quantitative biology, structural biology, systems and synthetic biology, and virology. The program teaches critical thinking skills, applicable to a wide range of professional fields that students pursue after graduation.

The size and breadth of IPiB provide unique opportunities for graduate students who want to pursue a degree in one of the top biochemistry graduate programs in the nation. Our modern facilities are filled with labs carrying out groundbreaking research in a collaborative, friendly, and inspirational atmosphere. Welcome to IPiB and we hope that you can share our enthusiasm for the biochemical sciences!

Dual Degrees

The program participates with the School of Medicine and Public Health in offering a joint program for students wishing to complete both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The basic prerequisites and degree requirements for the Ph.D. in the M.D./Ph.D. program are identical to those for the major in biochemistry; however, the minor may be taken in medical sciences. For the prerequisites and degree requirements for the M.D. degree, as well as the online application form, see Medical Scientist Training Program.

To qualify for admission to IPiB, an applicant must complete a bachelor's degree at a recognized, accredited college or university. The basic background for graduate study in biochemistry ordinarily would be provided by an undergraduate degree in biochemistry, chemistry, physics, or in one of the biological or medical sciences. Coursework in biochemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and physical chemistry is required. (Admission might be granted without one or more of these course requirements, but the deficiency must be made up within the student's first two years of graduate study.) The applicant's undergraduate grade point average must be at least 3.0 (4.0 scale). For more information, please visit the Prospective Students tab on the IPiB website.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

IPiB students receive a full stipend ($28,000 for 2018-19), as well as tuition remission and comprehensive health insurance. The stipends take the form of traineeships, research assistantships, or fellowships, and are guaranteed for all IPiB Ph.D. candidates in good academic standing. IPiB also assists its graduate students with outstanding academic records in competing for University or national awards.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 54 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 42 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement All coursework must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.

Language Requirements n/a
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements Doctoral students must complete IPiB’s required coursework plus a minimum of 6 credits of approved breadth coursework in the physical, biological, and/or quantitative sciences. Students who opt for the Option A (focused) doctoral minor must complete IPiB’s required coursework, the minor requirements of the minor program, and a minimum of 6 credits of approved breadth coursework in the physical, biological, and/or quantitative sciences.

Required Courses

Program Course Requirements
BIOCHEM 660 Methods in Biochemistry2
BIOCHEM/​BMOLCHEM  701 Professional Responsibility1
BIOCHEM 729 Advanced Topics (From Atoms to Molecules)3
BMOLCHEM 720 Experimental Design and Paradigms in Cellular Biochemistry and Molecular Biology3
BIOCHEM 990 Research1-12
Breadth Requirements
Students must complete a minimum of two additional graduate level (600 or above or that carry the graduate attribute) didactic or laboratory courses in order to fulfill their breadth requirements, and a minimum of 6 total credits is required. Courses must be chosen from at least 2 of the following categories: physical sciences, biological sciences, or quantitative sciences. One-credit seminars do not count toward the breadth requirements.
Protein and Enzyme Structure and Function
Mathematical Methods for Structural Biology
Mathematical Methods for Systems Biology
Prokaryotic Molecular Biology
Advanced Nutrition: Intermediary Metabolism of Macronutrients
Eukaryotic Molecular Biology
Plant Biochemistry
Mechanisms of Action of Vitamins and Minerals
Cellular Signal Transduction Mechanisms
Molecular Control of Metabolism and Metabolic Disease
Methods in Biochemistry
Biophysical Chemistry
Chemical Biology
Regulation of Gene Expression in Prokaryotes
Advanced Topics (IPiB Seminar)
Biomolecular Chemistry Seminar
Advanced Topics (Practicum in Undergraduate Teaching)
Advanced Topics (From Atoms to Molecules)
Advanced Topics (Foundations of Biotechnology)
Advanced Topics (Responsible Conduct of Research)
Advanced Topics (Membrane Protein Structure and Function (Advanced) )
Practicum in Biochemistry Teaching
Methods and Technologies for Protein Characterization
Professional Responsibility
Experimental Design and Paradigms in Cellular Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biology of Viruses

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

For well-prepared advanced students, the Program may accept up to 6 credits of prior graduate coursework from other institutions towards the minimum graduate degree credit and minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. The minimum graduate residence credit requirement can be satisfied only with courses taken as a graduate student at UW–Madison.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the graduate degree.

UW–Madison University Special

No credits taken as a University Special student are allowed to count toward the graduate degree.

Probation

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Every graduate student must have an IPiB faculty thesis advisor. The thesis advisor advises the student about coursework, supervises the student's research, and acts as a mentor to the student through the student’s graduate career. The thesis advisor must approve the student's coursework before registration for a given semester and must also approve any subsequent changes to it.

A Ph.D. thesis committee is composed of at least four graduate University faculty members, including the thesis advisor. The thesis committee is empowered by the Program to advise the student about certification, administer the preliminary examination, oversee annual progress reports, approve thesis composition, and conduct the final Ph.D. examination.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

12 credits

Time Constraints

Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may be required to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

Other

IPiB students receive a stipend ($27,000 in 2017-18) in addition to fringe benefits and tuition. Competitive fellowships and traineeships are also available. Students may matriculate only in the fall semester, and a master's degree is not offered as a terminal degree.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

1. Gain a broad understanding of the biochemical principles that underlie all biological processes.

2. Become aware of the current limitations of the state of understanding of this discipline and the strategies that are required to advance the field.

3. Formulate and design new approaches that extend and apply biochemical principles beyond their current boundaries.

4. Conduct independent research using a diverse breadth of biochemical processes.

5. Think critically to address research challenges using a broad range of the theories, research methods, and approaches to scientific inquiry.

6. Collaborate with investigators within the program, university, and beyond since current and future advances in the biomolecular sciences demand interdisciplinary skills.

7. Foster professional and ethical conduct in the sciences, including but not limited to: exposition of the scientific method; ethical design of experimental protocols; reproducibility in science; professional behavior in industrial, government, and academic settings; documentation of scientific results; communication to other scientists and the public; peer review; and confidentiality.

8. Develop communications skills that enable the articulation of research to fellow scientists and non-scientists.

9. Explore career development opportunities in industry, government and academia to realize professional goals and paths.

10. Develop teaching and mentoring skills in both lecture and laboratory settings.

Faculty: Professors B. Fox (Chair, Department of Biochemistry), Kiley (Chair, Department of Biomolecular Chemistry), Amasino, Ansari, Attie, Audhya, Bednarek, Brow, Butcher, Chanda, Clagett-Dame, Coon, Cox, Craciun, Craig, Denu, Dvinge, Engin, C. Fox, Friesen, Harrison, Hayes, Henzler-Wildman, Holden, Hoskins, Hull, Keck, Kimble, Landick, Lewis, Markley, Martin, Merrins, Mitchell, Mosher, Ntambi, Pagliarini, Palmenberg, Pike, Ralph, Raman, Rayment, Record, Romero, Senes, Sheets, Sussman, Venturelli, Wang, Weibel, Wickens, Wildonger