South Dakota State University's Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry offers a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. To be formally admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, a student must pass a comprehensive examination based on critical assessment of the recent biochemistry literature as well as student knowledge commensurate with successful completion of CHEM 548, CHEM 705, BIOS 662 and BIOS 665.The exam will be offered twice annually (end of Fall Semester, end of Spring/beginning of Summer Semester) and students are allowed two attempts to successfully complete. Students must successfully pass the exam by the end of their second year in the program in order to continue.
After admission to candidacy the primary activity throughout the remainder of the graduate student's program is completion of the proposed research objectives. The degree requirements are completed when the written dissertation is defended before the student's advisory committee. For a student entering with a bachelor's degree, it will typically take four to five years to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. program.
Students can either pick a research advisor at SDSU or do transitional research with Sanford Research in Sioux Falls.
The Department is home to multiple state of the art fluorescence microscopes for the analysis of biochemical reactions involving purified molecules and within living cells. These instruments including spinning disk confocal microscope, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, targeted photo-bleaching, instrumentation for ensemble and single molecule Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) experiments and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and optogenetics capabilities. The department also houses cell/tissue culture facilities, large-and small-scale protein purification equipment and biophysical characterization capabilities including an Isothermal Titration Calorimetry. Campus computer facilities (including a Beowulf supercomputer cluster) are readily available. Individual groups maintain their own system for molecular modeling, word processing or data manipulation. Direct, on-line computer access to chemical and biochemical literature databases such as Chemical Abstracts and Web of Science are provided by the Department.
Biochemistry Core Courses