A student in the biochemistry doctoral program must earn 90 credits (60 with prior earned M.S. degree). Of that, a minimum of 24 credits are in course work, with the remaining credits in dissertation research. Three of the 24 credits are seminars. The biochemistry core courses (see list below) are required.
Biochemistry Core Courses
Additional Credits are from elective courses. Examples of elective courses are listed below.
Biochemistry Elective Courses
A student is guided in doctoral work by a faculty advisor and an advisory committee. After completing lab rotations (CHEM 760), usually in the first semester, the student selects a member of the department biochemistry graduate faculty as academic advisor. Early in the student’s program, the faculty advisor assists the student in forming a Faculty Advisor Committee consisting three members of the department faculty including the faculty advisor and a graduate faculty representative appointed by the Graduate School. The faculty advisor, in collaboration with the Faculty Advisor Committee, provides guidance, advice and assistance as the student completes required tasks and proceeds through the graduate program.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry collaborates with Sanford Health, Sioux Falls in biochemistry research. Graduate students pursuing the biochemistry Ph.D. may elect to choose a Sanford Research scientist as faculty advisor.
To be formally admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, a student must pass a comprehensive exam based on critical assessment of the recent biochemistry literature as well as student knowledge commensurate with successful completion of the core courses. 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 faculty 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.