grad-biochemistry-ms

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 54 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 with two exceptions: M.D./Ph.D students complete one semester of graduate teaching assistance (instead of two), and students' M.D. coursework counts toward three credits of biological sciences breadth (a total of six breadth credits is required, leaving the student to fulfill at least three credits of physical or quantitative breadth). For the prerequisites and degree requirements for the M.D. degree, as well as the online application form, see Medical Scientist Training Program.

This master’s program is offered for work leading to the Ph.D. Students may not apply directly for the master’s, and should instead see the admissions information for the Ph.D.

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 restrictions related to funding.

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 48 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 (https://registrar.wisc.edu/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 Upon completion of the Graduate School's and IPiB's minimum requirements for a master's degree, whether to confer the degree is up to the student's thesis advisor.
Language Requirements n/a

REQUIRED Courses

Required Core
BIOCHEM 719 From Atoms to Molecules3
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 Research 1Varies
or BMOLCHEM 990 Advanced Biomolecular Chemistry and Research
Seminars
After the first semester of work, M.S. candidates must maintain continuous seminar enrollment each semester in one of the approved advanced (900-level) seminars.
 

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

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

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five 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.

grievances and appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences: Grievance Policy
 

In the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), any student who feels unfairly treated by a member of the CALS faculty or staff has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing. Some complaints may arise from misunderstandings or communication breakdowns and be easily resolved; others may require formal action. Complaints may concern any matter of perceived unfairness.

To ensure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect the rights of both the person complaining and the person at whom the complaint is directed, the following procedures are used in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Any student, undergraduate or graduate, may use these procedures, except employees whose complaints are covered under other campus policies.

  1. The student should first talk with the person at whom the complaint is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. Others may be resolved by established departmental procedures.
  2. If the student is unsatisfied, and the complaint involves any unit outside CALS, the student should seek the advice of the dean or director of that unit to determine how to proceed.
    1. If the complaint involves an academic department in CALS the student should proceed in accordance with item 3 below.
    2. If the grievance involves a unit in CALS that is not an academic department, the student should proceed in accordance with item 4 below.
  3. The student should contact the department’s grievance advisor within 120 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment. The departmental administrator can provide this person’s name. The grievance advisor will attempt to resolve the problem informally within 10 working days of receiving the complaint, in discussions with the student and the person at whom the complaint is directed.
    1. If informal mediation fails, the student can submit the grievance in writing to the grievance advisor within 10 working days of the date the student is informed of the failure of the mediation attempt by the grievance advisor. The grievance advisor will provide a copy to the person at whom the grievance is directed.
    2. The grievance advisor will refer the complaint to a department committee that will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed, providing a copy to the student. Either party may request a hearing before the committee. The grievance advisor will provide both parties a written decision within 20 working days from the date of receipt of the written complaint.
    3. If the grievance involves the department chairperson, the grievance advisor or a member of the grievance committee, these persons may not participate in the review.
    4. If not satisfied with departmental action, either party has 10 working days from the date of notification of the departmental committee action to file a written appeal to the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee. A subcommittee of this committee will make a preliminary judgement as to whether the case merits further investigation and review. If the subcommittee unanimously determines that the case does not merit further investigation and review, its decision is final. If one or more members of the subcommittee determine that the case does merit further investigation and review, the subcommittee will investigate and seek to resolve the dispute through mediation. If this mediation attempt fails, the subcommittee will bring the case to the full committee. The committee may seek additional information from the parties or hold a hearing. The committee will present a written recommendation to the dean who will provide a final decision within 20 working days of receipt of the committee recommendation.
  4. If the alleged unfair treatment occurs in a CALS unit that is not an academic department, the student should, within 120 calendar days of the alleged incident, take his/her grievance directly to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The dean will attempt to resolve the problem informally within 10 working days of receiving the complaint. If this mediation attempt does not succeed the student may file a written complaint with the dean who will refer it to the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee. The committee will seek a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed, subsequently following other steps delineated in item 3d above.

Other

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. Explore career development opportunities in industry, government and academia to realize professional goals and paths.
  5. Develop teaching and mentoring skills in both lecture and laboratory settings.
  6. 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.

Faculty: Professors B. Fox (Chair, Department of Biochemistry), Kiley (Chair, Department of Biomolecular Chemistry), Amasino, Attie, Audhya, Bednarek, Brow, Buller, Butcher, Cantor, Cavagnero, Coon, Cox, Coyle, Craciun, Craig, Denu, Engin, C. Fox, Friesen, Gellman, Grant, Harrison, Henzler-Wildman, Holden, Hoskins, Hull, Keck, Kimble, Kirchdoerfer, Landick, Lewis, Lim, Martin, Merrins, Mosher, Ntambi, Palmenberg, Pike, Ralph, Raman, Rayment, Record, Rienstra, Romero, Senes, Sheets, Simcox, Sussman, Venturelli, Weeks, Wickens, Wildonger, Wright