Chemical Biology Master's Degree Curriculum Overview

Chemical biology is the application of chemistry to the understanding and utilization of biological phenomena. By developing a chemical understanding of biological systems, chemical biologists can develop quantitative descriptions of complex biological phenomena, predict outcomes of biological systems, and contribute to the new field of synthetic biology wherein the chemistry of life is expanded using existing scientific principles that nature has not yet employed. The chemical biology master’s degree program provides students with the essential tools to reveal the logic of how biological systems operate as well as engineering changes in those systems.

Concentrations Include:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry

Other areas of concentration can be designed in consultation with the department.

Areas of Focus Include:

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cancer Biology
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery

A full list of concentrations and specific courses are available in the academic catalog.

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

  • Apply their knowledge of chemistry, physics, mathematics and computers to investigate biological problems, and use statistical methods to interpret biological data and determine and interpret the kinetic parameters of biological reactions (scientific foundations)
  • Separate, isolate, quantitate, and identify nucleic acids and proteins using electrophoresis, polymerase chain reactions, spectrophotometry, Western and Southern blot procedures; characterize the structure and function of cells and their subcellular organelles using microscopy, cell culture techniques, staining and antibody probes (technical foundations)
  • Conduct laboratory research, search genomic databases, read and interpret scientific literature (experimentation)
  • Apply chemical methods such as infrared and ultraviolet spectrophotometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and gas and liquid chromatography to identify biological molecules (tools)
  • Enter the workforce as a scientist or for admission to US medical, dental, osteopathic medical schools and further graduate study (professionalism)
  • Demonstrate initiative and reliability in the pursuit of knowledge and in their personal behavior towards others (teamwork)
  • Be able to write as a scientist and prepare reports in journal article format and communicate
  • Follow biosafety and lab safety rules, procedures and protocols and conduct themselves and their work in the laboratory in an ethically, chemically and biologically safe manner following standard procedures and protocols (ethical)
  • Use noninvasive recording methods to measure and interpret human physiological data

Below are some of the typical courses available in this program.

Core Courses Include:

(Prerequisites may be required)

  • Biochemistry II
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Cellular Signal Transduction
  • One Advanced Chemistry Course (with recommendation of research advisor)

Electives Include:

  • Biochemical Laboratory Techniques
  • Molecular Biology Laboratory Techniques
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology Laboratory Techniques
  • Cellular Signal Transduction

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