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Graduate Catalog | 2005-2007
College of Natural Sciences


to courses in CH Chemistry | BCH Biochemistry »

Master of Arts
Doctor of Philosophy

Facilities for Graduate Work

Research in biochemistry is carried out in the Biochemical Institute and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Facilities available through the department are listed in the description of the graduate program in chemistry.

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Areas of Study

Graduate study in biochemistry is offered in a wide range of areas, including drug metabolism; nutritive aspects of human disease; metabolic regulation; structure and function of enzymes, toxins, and contractile proteins; mechanism and regulation of protein biosynthesis; cloning, sequencing, and site-directed mutagenesis of enzyme-coding genes; enzymology of DNA repair and replication; and biochemical taxonomy. Details are available from the graduate adviser.

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Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring semester 2004-2005.

Creed W. Abell
Eric V. Anslyn
Dean R. Appling
Karen Browning
Kevin N. Dalby
Andrew Ellington
Walter Fast
George Georgiou
David E. Graham
Marvin L. Hackert
David W. Hoffman
Brent L. Iverson
Kenneth A. Johnson
Sean M. Kerwin
G. Barrie Kitto
Robert M. Krug
Alan M. Lambowitz
Hung-Wen (Ben) Liu
Lara K. Mahal
Edward M. Marcotte
Stephen F. Martin
Tanya T. Paull
Austen Fox Riggs II
Jon D. Robertus
Rick Russell
Christine E. Schmidt
Jason B. Shear
Scott W. Stevens
John J. G. Tesmer
Christian P. Whitman
Y. Whitney Yin
Zhiwen Zhang
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Admission Requirements

Students seeking a graduate degree in biochemistry must have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in a cognate area, such as chemistry, biology, physics, or microbiology, with the following preparation: mathematics through one year of calculus; chemistry, including organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physical chemistry; general physics; and biology, including cell biology. Deficiencies in undergraduate courses, if not too extensive, may be corrected during the student's first two semesters in the graduate program. These courses are usually not counted toward graduate degrees.

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Degree Requirements

One semester of Chemistry 398T is required of all candidates for advanced degrees.

Master of Arts

Master's degree students must complete at least thirty semester hours of coursework and must submit a thesis based on individual research. The thesis course may be counted as six of the thirty semester hours required for the degree. A minor of at least six semester hours is required, which may be in another area of chemistry, such as organic or physical chemistry, or in a related discipline, such as biology. No more than nine semester hours of upper-division coursework may be counted; these hours must be divided between the major and the minor field, with no more than six hours in the major field and three in the minor.

Courses required for the major in biochemistry are Chemistry 387D or 387K, 394, 395G, and 395J. Most students take two and one-half years to earn the Master of Arts.

Doctor of Philosophy

For admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree, a student must complete the following courses with a grade of at least B in each: Chemistry 387D or 387K, 394, 395G, and 395J. Students are also required to complete two elective courses, which may be selected from Chemistry 395F, 395H, certain topics of Chemistry 391L, or, with the approval of the graduate adviser, other upper-division or graduate courses. Students must complete Chemistry 192G five times and make four presentations, which is normally accomplished by the end of the third year of the graduate program. A qualifying examination designed to test the student's knowledge of the basic principles of biochemistry must be completed within the first two years. A major part of this examination consists of a research proposal written in the form used for a National Institutes of Health grant application. The student presents and defends this proposal orally and is examined in terms of his or her ability to do independent research.

After the requirements for admission to candidacy have been completed, the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee petitions the dean of the Graduate School to appoint a dissertation committee. A student must do dissertation research under the supervision of a member of the Graduate Studies Committee. Generally this faculty member, chosen by mutual consent of the student and the professor, serves as chair of the dissertation committee.

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For More Information

Campus address: Robert A. Welch Hall (WEL) 2.218, phone (512) 471-4538 or (866) 471-3890, fax (512) 475-8839; campus mail code: A5300

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate Program in Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 1 University Station A5300, Austin TX 78712


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Graduate Catalog | 2005-2007 Biochemistry program | courses

Fields of Study

    Office of the Registrar     University of Texas at Austin copyright 2005
    Official Publications 16 Aug 2005