Chemical Biology Doctoral Program Curriculum Overview

Stevens’ multi-disciplinary program in chemical biology blends advanced study in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, life sciences, medicine, and clinical applications. For this PhD program, research is the primary focus of the degree. Students will work on an individual research project, become an expert in the field, write a dissertation and defend the dissertation.

By the end of this program, students will be able to:

  • Important research skills appropriate to their area of research, including the ability to separate, isolate, quantify and identify nucleic acids and proteins using electrophoresis, polymerase chain reactions, spectrophotometry, and Western and Southern Blot procedures; as well as to characterize the structure and function of cells and their subcellular organelles using microscopy, cell culture techniques, staining and antibody probes
  • The use of various instrumental techniques to study biological molecules of interest and apply chemical methods, such as infrared and ultraviolet spectrophotometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and gas and liquid chromatography to identify biological molecules
  • Biosafety and lab safety rules, procedures and protocols and how to conduct themselves and their work in the laboratory in an ethically, chemically and biologically safe manner

Degree Requirements

A student enrolled in the master’s program in chemistry or chemical biology who is interested in a doctorate degree must apply formally for admission to the Doctoral program. Eighty-four credits are required for the doctoral degree. The Master’s degree is not a prerequisite for admission to the doctoral program but may be included in the 84 credits. The 84 credits should include a minimum of 30 credits of dissertation hours. For the Ph.D. degree, a prior Masters’ degree may be transferred for up to 30 credits. Up to one-third of additional course credits may be transferred with the approval of the Program Director and the Dean of the Graduate School provided they have not been used to obtain another degree.

The preliminary requirements for the doctorate are regarded not as ends in themselves, but rather as preparation for the dissertation in which the student demonstrates ability. Continuation in the doctoral program is contingent on passing the qualifying examination and preliminary examination.

If you have existing graduate credits or experience in this area of study, please contact [email protected] to discuss opportunities to include it in the curriculum.

Qualifying Examination

All doctoral students in chemical biology must pass a qualifying examination. After successful completion of the qualifying examination, the next milestone is a preliminary examination. The preliminary examination is based on an original research proposal in an area of the student’s own choice, preferably in an area related to the pending dissertation area but with a topic significantly different from his or her thesis. It is submitted in written form and defended orally before the Thesis Committee.

Doctoral Dissertation and Advisory Committee

The final milestone is the doctoral dissertation and defense. Specifics on these degree requirements can be found in the Chemical Biology Program Graduate Student Handbook.

For additional information about courses, please review the academic catalog.