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.
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.