Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics

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Application Deadlines:

2019-2020 academic year

The deadline for Ph.D. applications is 12/1/18

The M.S. application deadline is rolling through 5/1/19

Requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry & Biophysics

A more extensive description of the requirements may be found in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Student Handbook and the Brandeis University bulletin.


The academic curriculum consists of seven one-semester courses, of which four must be satisfactorily completed in the student's first year. In the first year, students typically take BCHM 101a, 102a, 104b, and BCBP 200b, as well as four 9-week laboratory rotations and the non-credit course CONT 300b. In subsequent years, students choose advanced-topics elective courses offered throughout the School of Science.

Choice of dissertation advisor

In May of the first academic year, each student chooses a Brandeis faculty member as advisor for Ph.D. thesis research.


Each student serves as a teaching assistant for two semesters, in courses, sections, or labs, usually in the student's second year of study.


Proposition are mock-research proposals that the student writes and then defends in oral presentations. Each student must pass two propositions during the second academic year. Each proposition is an original research proposal based on an understanding of current literature in a specific field of research. The student should identify an interesting and experimentally tractable question at the forefront of biological science, and should design a plan to attack this question.

Progress Meetings

Starting in the third year of study, the student meets with a faculty committee of three members at least once every academic year to discuss progress towards completing thesis research. Students should not view these meetings as exams! Their sole purpose is to facilitate the student's trajectory towards a successful dissertation.


The Ph.D. candidate must write a dissertation that summarizes the results of an original investigation of an approved subject and which demonstrates the competence of the candidate in independent research. The student delivers a public lecture on the dissertation research and defends the work in a meeting with the dissertation committee.


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