Integrated Program in Biochemistry graduate student pipettes a solution in the lab.

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 PhD degree with a major in biochemistry. Although an MS 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 56 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 dual degree program for students wishing to complete both the MD and PhD degrees. For the prerequisites and degree requirements for the MD degree, as well as the online application form, see Medical Scientist Training Program.


Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

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

Fall Deadline December 1
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not exclusively in English, must provide an English proficiency test score earned within two years of the anticipated term of enrollment. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Requirements for Admission policy:
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

To qualify for admission to the program, an applicant must complete a bachelor's degree at a regionally 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. The Admission Committee assesses a candidate’s potential for success in the program by taking all aspects of their application into consideration. Most successful applicants have completed a rigorous undergraduate curriculum that includes courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. Most have also had a substantive laboratory experience that demonstrates commitment and talent for research. 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 program's website.


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.

Program Resources

IPiB students receive a full stipend 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 PhD candidates in good academic standing and making satisfactory research progress. 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

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 54 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 42 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 54 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement policy:
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Refer to the Graduate School: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement policy:
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.

Language Requirements n/a
Graduate School Breadth Requirement Doctoral students must complete the program’s required coursework plus a minimum of 6 credits of approved breadth coursework in the physical, biological, and/or quantitative sciences (3 credits each from two of these categories). Students who opt for the Option A or B doctoral minor or a graduate/professional certificate must complete the program’s required coursework, the requirements of the minor or certificate program, and a minimum of 6 credits of approved breadth coursework in the physical, biological, and/or quantitative sciences. The latter might be waived with approval from the Education and Career Development Committee.

Required Courses

Program Course Requirements
BIOCHEM/​BMOLCHEM  701 Responsible Conduct in Bioscience Research (taken fall of first year)2
BIOCHEM 719 From Atoms to Molecules (taken fall of first year)3
BMOLCHEM 720 Experimental Design and Paradigms in Cellular Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (taken spring of first year)3
BIOCHEM 721 Biochemical Communication (taken fall of second year)2
Research Requirements33
Advanced Biomolecular Chemistry and Research
Breadth Requirements6
Students must complete a minimum of two additional graduate-level (Grad 50%) courses from the following list of didactic or laboratory courses in order to fulfill their breadth requirements, and a minimum of 6 total credits is required. In consultation with their committee, students must complete courses 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.
Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism
Computational Modeling of Biological Systems
Biology of Viruses
Protein and Enzyme Structure and Function
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
Molecular Control of Metabolism and Metabolic Disease
Microbiology at Atomic Resolution
Advanced or Special Topics in Biomolecular Chemistry (Topic: Biochemical Methods for Genome Maintenance)
Chemical Biology
From Atoms to Molecules
Experimental Design and Paradigms in Cellular Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biochemical Communication
Advanced Topics (Topics: Membrane Protein Structure and Function (Advanced); Foundations of Biotechnology; Biochemical Applications of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance)
Statistical Methods for Bioscience I
Advanced Microbial Genetics
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Microscopy of Life
Genomic Science
Biophysical Chemistry
Proteomics Approaches for Biologists
Fundamentals of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
General Virology-Multiplication of Viruses
Bioinformatics for Microbiologists
Biophysical Spectroscopy
Stem Cells and the Central Nervous System
Purification and Characterization of Protein and Protein Complexes
Selected Topics in Physiology
Carcinogenesis and Tumor Cell Biology
Cellular and Molecular Biology/Pathology
Biology of Aging
Advanced Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics for Biologists
Methods in Quantitative Biology
Molecular and Cellular Principles in Pharmacology
Design of Biological Molecules
Special Topics in Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics (Topic: Computational Network Biology)
Plant Cell Biology
Special Topics
Advanced Genomic and Proteomic Analysis
Seminar Requirement5
PhD students must take at least five semesters of seminars and present in three of those. Students select 1-credit seminars in consultation with their committee.
Total Credits54

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 Credits Earned at Other Institutions

For well-prepared advanced students, the program may accept up to 12 credits of prior graduate coursework from an uncompleted degree 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.

Undergraduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions or UW-Madison

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

Credits Earned as a Professional Student at UW-Madison (Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Veterinary careers)

Refer to the Graduate School: Transfer Credits for Prior Coursework policy.

Credits Earned as a University Special Student at UW–Madison

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


Refer to the Graduate School: Probation policy.

Advisor / Committee

Every graduate student must have a faculty thesis advisor in the program. 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 PhD 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 PhD examination.

Credits Per Term Allowed

A maximum of 12 credits in fall and spring semesters and 2 credits in summer semesters is permitted for non-dissertators; 3 credits in fall, spring, and summer semesters for dissertators.

Time Limits

Refer to the Graduate School: Time Limits policy.

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.


All students, both US and international, receive an annual stipend and tuition remission for the duration of their studies, provided satisfactory progress is made toward their degree. Comprehensive medical coverage is also offered. In addition, some students are supported on fellowships or training grants. Students are chosen based on criteria specified by the different training grants.

Students may matriculate only in the fall semester.

Professional Development

Graduate School Resources

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

Learning Outcomes

  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, Attie, Audhya, Bednarek, Brow, Buller, Butcher, Campbell, Cantor, Cavagnero, Chaudhari, Coon, Cox, Coyle, Craciun, Craig, Denu, Engin, Fan, C. Fox, Friesen, Galmozzi, Gellman, Grant, Harrison, Henzler-Wildman, Hess, Holden, Hoskins, Hull, Keck, Kirchdoerfer, Landick, Lewis, Lim, Merrins, Neugebauer, Ntambi, Putnam, Raman, Rayment, Rienstra, Romero, Senes, Sheets, Simcox, Sussman, Venturelli, Wang, Weeks, Wright