Graduate Program

Studying for the Doctorate

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics is a component of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and offers a comprehensive personalized program of study that incorporates both didactic and practical training. The Department admits qualified students for work leading to the Doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.  The goal is to instill a thorough knowledge of modern biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, and biophysics, while at the same time awakening the student’s imagination to the diverse and exciting research areas represented by our faculty.

The faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics constitutes the Graduate Program Committee, which oversees all students in the Department.  Upon entering the program in July or September, a Proposal Committee is formulated for each student to help design the formal course work in the first and second years and to select the first of three laboratory rotations. When the student chooses a research mentor from the faculty after the first year, the mentor becomes the chairperson of a new Research Committee which guides the student through the remainder of the didactic curriculum and the research project itself. The Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics faculty is dedicated to preparing its students for outstanding careers in academia and industry.  A hallmark of the program is one-on-one faculty involvement in the form of individual tutoring, preparations for oral and written presentations, and in-depth and ongoing discussions of research tactics.