School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY with a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Students of the basic medical sciences study biochemistry with particular emphasis in the following areas: the chemical composition and environment of cells; metabolic mechanisms involved in cellular maintenance and function; the biological sources of energy and the pathways for its formation; intermediary metabolism as a dynamic interplay between cellular constituents, structures, substrates and stresses; and the role of nucleic acids in cell function. Course work in this discipline involves students principally in laboratory experiences which familiarize them with the experimental basis of biochemical concepts and techniques.

The Department of Biochemistry offers the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The doctoral degree is standard in the department for students planning teaching or research careers in this field.  The department attempts to pattern students' programs according to their interests and, at the same time, to provide them with diverse experiences in the major areas of biochemistry. An M.D./Ph.D. program with a major in biochemistry is also available.


Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School and the Graduate Programs of the School of Medicine. Additionally, applicants are expected to meet the following departmental requirements: Students must have an undergraduate degree. Preferred majors include chemistry, biology, or physics, although other students are encouraged to apply. A minimum honor point average of 3.0 for the Ph.D. program is required; and an interview with the Graduate Officer or designated representative should be arranged, if possible. The Graduate Record Examination with the advanced test in biology or chemistry is required for unconditional admission, although a student may be admitted conditionally until completion of the examination. Foreign students must be proficient in English as determined by satisfactory performance on the standardized TOEFL English proficiency examination.

Scholarships: All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the School of Medicine governing graduate scholarship and degrees.

Doctor of Philosophy Requirements: Applicants for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must complete ninety credits, including at least thirty credits in research and dissertation, eight to ten credits in a minor and fifty to fifty-two credits distributed between the major and required cognate courses and electives. To fulfill major requirements, students must complete:

IBS 7010   BMB 7320
IBS 7020   BMB 7330
IBS 7030   BMB 7890

Each student must arrange a program in an area of minor concentration with a representative of the department in which he/she plans to minor and preferably with the representative on the doctoral committee. Concentrations in the following are among the acceptable minors: organic chemistry, physical chemistry, physical-organic chemistry, microbiology or immunology, pharmacology, physiology, biology and computer science.


The department has graduate assistantships and graduate research positions available for a number of qualified students. All students accepted into the graduate degree programs are considered for financial assistance and no application forms are necessary for this purpose. Students on assistantships are advised to elect no more than twelve credits in a given semester. All students, whether or not they hold a fellowship or an assistantship, are required to assist the graduate faculty in teaching and research activities as a component of their educational experience. For more complete information on financial assistance, students should consult or write to:

Dr. Marilynn Doscher
Graduate Officer
Department of Biochemistry and
Molecular Biology
Wayne State University School of Medicine
540 E. Canfield Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48201
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology