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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry

Requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. The department does not offer undergraduate degrees.

The Department of Biochemistry offers a Ph.D. program which begins in the Autumn Quarter of each year. The program of study is designed to prepare students for productive careers in biochemistry; its emphasis is training in research, and each student works closely with members of the faculty. In addition to the requirement for a Ph.D. dissertation based on original research, students are required to complete six advanced courses in biochemistry and related areas among the 135 total units required for the Ph.D. Selection of these courses is tailored to fit the background and interests of each student. A second requirement involves the submission of two research proposals which are presented by the student to a small committee of departmental faculty members who are also responsible for monitoring the progress of student curricular and research programs, and a journal club presentation. All Ph.D. students are expected to participate actively in the department's seminar program, and students are encouraged to attend and to present papers at regional and national meetings in cellular biochemistry and molecular biology. Teaching experience is an integral part of the Ph.D. curriculum and is required for the degree.

The Department of Biochemistry offers an M.S. degree only to students already enrolled in the Ph.D. program. Students should contact the Graduate Studies adviser for more details.

Those applying for graduate study should have at least a baccalaureate degree and should have completed work in cell and developmental biology, basic biochemistry and molecular biology, and genetics. Also required are: at least one year of university physics; differential and integral calculus; and analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry. The department is especially interested in those applicants who have research experience in biology or chemistry. Students must submit an application, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, by December (see web site) for admission in the following Autumn Quarter.

Applications should be submitted at Applicants are notified by March 31 of decisions on their applications. Stanford University requires scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (verbal, quantitative, and analytical), and applicants are encouraged to submit scores from the GRE Subject Test in either biochemistry, biology, or chemistry. Applicants should take the October GRE exam.

All applicants are urged to compete for non-Stanford fellowships or scholarships, and U.S. citizens should complete an application for a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Traineeship. Students are provided with financial support to cover normal living expenses; Stanford tuition costs are paid. Applicants for admission to the department are considered without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, or marital status.

Postdoctoral research training is available to graduates who hold a Ph.D. or an M.D. degree. Qualified individuals may write to individual faculty members for further information.

At present, the primary research interests of the department are the structure and function of proteins and nucleic acids, the biochemistry and control of development processes, molecular motors and the cytoskeleton, the trafficking of proteins between membrane-bound organelles, the control and regulation of gene expression, bioinformatics/protein structure design, and the application of microarrays to problems in human health and disease.

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