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Biochemistry is the study of life at the molecular level. Throughout recent history, advances made through biochemical research have led to key developments in medicine and have engendered successes in biomedical engineering. It is now a uniquely exciting time to be considering a career in Biochemistry, because genomics methods and groundbreaking technological advances in microscopy and other areas are pushing biochemical research forward at a staggering pace.

Biochemists at UT are using state-of-the-art chemical, physical, and computational tools and approaches to obtain a fundamental understanding of the molecular processes that underlie life, sustain and improve the natural environment, and promote the development of more effective treatments for human diseases.

The flexible program of study is designed to provide excellent training and research opportunities individually tailored to each student's needs. A well-qualified student can usually complete the doctoral degree program in five to six years.

Financial Support

During your first academic year in the Biochemistry Graduate Program (September 2020-May 2021), you will be fully supported through the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Biochemistry Graduate Program with an annual stipend of $32,500 (as of fall 2020), full tuition and fees, and health insurance. Additional support for students in the Biochemistry Program may come from a combination of research assistantships, teaching appointments, University Fellowships and Biochemistry Endowments.

After the first year, financial support is coordinated with the permanent laboratory and students are employed as graduate research assistants or as teaching assistants. Continuing students are also eligible for a wide array of competitive fellowships that are awarded on the basis of teaching performance or academic excellence. Funding for travel to professional conferences is also available.

Program Outline

1. Rotations: Students conduct three lab rotations during the first academic year. The rotations provide students the opportunity to explore different research interests prior to the selection of a Ph.D. supervisor.

2. Course work: All students are required to take 4 core courses and an additional six credit hours (2 electives) of relevant graduate level coursework inside the Biochemistry Graduate Program.

3. ICMB Seminar Series: Students should attend the seminars held weekly. These seminars give students the opportunity to participate in discussions with faculty and peers about various topics and research problems.

4. Teaching: During their second or third year, students are required to fulfill a one long-semester teaching assistant requirement.

5. Qualifying Exam: To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the student must complete the Qualifying Exam in the spring of their second year. The exam consists of presenting a NIH-style thesis proposal to a committee, which includes the design, writing and defending of the student's dissertation research.

6. Annual ICMB retreatThe Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology hosts an annual retreat in the Texas Hill Country. The three-day event is an exciting opportunity for faculty, post-docs, and graduate students to meet and discuss science in an informal setting.

7. Research: Independent, original research under the direction of a faculty member; the results of this research constitute the dissertation.

Additional Information

Prospective students are encouraged to review the Program Requirements and Timeline and Biochemistry Graduate Student Handbook for detailed information about the doctoral degree program.


If you have any questions please check our application FAQs or feel free to contact our Graduate Program Administrator.