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BCMB Program Descriptions

Nathan Holmes in Biomedical Lab

CMU offers BCMB programs at the Ph.D. and M.S. levels.  While the core courses are the same in the two programs, the Ph.D. dissertation will represent a substantially greater amount of original research compared to the M.S. thesis.  Students with a bachelor's degree may apply to either the M.S. or Ph.D. program, however students with limited research experience should consider the M.S. program first.

The BCMB Ph.D. is a research degree in which students are trained primarily by conducting research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The program also includes a set of core courses that will be enhanced by elective courses in the student's area of interest. Successful completion of the Ph.D. requires a minimum of 60 hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree. Each student's program of study will be developed in consultation with the faculty mentor and approved by his or her dissertation committee. Up to 30 hours of relevant graduate work may be transferred for students entering with a master's degree in a related field.

Below is a representative list of required courses, please see the online academic bulletin for complete, up-to-date program requirements.

Required Courses (10-11 hours)
  • SCI 710 Biomolecular Structure and Function-Proteins and Nucleic Acids
  • SCI 720 Advances in Cell/Molecular Biology and Genetics 
  • SCI 731 Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Colloquium 
  • SCI 740 Research Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research
Elective Courses I (7-30 hours)
  • Selected from the following in consultation with the student's advisor and committee:
    • SCI 770 Careers in Biomedical Sciences 
    • Biology: 500-700 level BIO courses
    • Chemistry: 500-600 level CHM courses
    • Mathematics and Statistics: 500-700 level MTH and STA courses other graduate-level courses recommended by the advisor and approved by the committee
Elective Courses II (3-30 hours)
  • SCI 791 Special topics in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology 
  • SCI 750 Directed Research in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology 
Dissertation (12 hours)
  • SCI 899 Dissertation 

The BCMB M.S. is a research-intensive master's degree in which students are trained by conducting research under the guidance of a faculty mentor to complete a thesis. The program includes a set of core courses to develop specialized knowledge in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology that will be enhanced by elective courses in the student's area of interest. Successful completion of the M.S. requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree. Each student's individual program of study will be developed in consultation with the faculty mentor and approved by his or her thesis committee.

Below is a representative list of required courses, please see the online academic bulletin for complete, up-to-date program requirements.

Required Courses (10-11 hours)
  • SCI 710 Biomolecular Structure and Function-Proteins and Nucleic Acids
  • SCI 720 Advances in Cell/Molecular Biology and Genetics 
  • SCI 731 Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Colloquium 
  • SCI 740 Research Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research 
Elective Courses I (10-11 hours)
  • Selected from the following in consultation with the student's advisor and committee:
    • SCI 750 Directed Research in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology 
    • SCI 770 Careers in Biomedical Sciences 
    • Biology: 500-700 level BIO courses
    • Chemistry: 500-600 level CHM courses
    • Mathematics and Statistics: 500-700 level MTH and STA courses other graduate-level courses recommended by the advisor and approved by the committee
Thesis (9 hours)
  • SCI 799 Thesis 


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Shanna Wenzlick
Graduate Program Administrator
Department of Biology
Central Michigan University
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