appropriate program of study is developed for each graduate student
on an individual basis through regular consultation with a faculty
advisory committee. This program will consist of lecture and laboratory
courses, seminars, and independent research. During the first year
of graduate study, the student will become acquainted with the research
activities of each faculty member. Those topics currently being
investigated are described under the Faculty & Personnel Section
of this web site and students may select research areas from a variety
of disciplines in biochemistry and molecular biology. For both M.S.
and Ph.D. students, research training is the primary focus of the
program to prepare the graduate for an active career in academic
or industrial research.
The Doctor of Philosophy
program leading to the Ph.D. emphasizes research training in order
to prepare the student for a challenging career directing original
independent research activities. The program also emphasizes the
written and oral communication skills needed to excel in the scientific
the program of study is tailored to the individual needs of the
student, he or she is required to complete a series of core courses
that provide the student with a broad perspective of the field.
The courses include: a) Proteins, Enzymes, and the Generaton of Metabolic Energy; b)Metabolism and Genetics; c)Molelcular Biology; d)Gene Expression and Cell Cycle; e)Cell Biology; f)Analytical Methods, and g)a series of advanced courses in Post-Transcriptional Regulation, Chromatin, Structure, Protein Structure/Function, Cancer, and Genetics. Interactions and collaborations among faculty are encouraged. Students have an unusually wide selection of thesis directions, as well as the opportunity to become acquainted with research ranging from cellular/biomedical to biochemical/biophysical. Generally
about 30 credits of formal course work is required.
the end of the first year of study, the student must pass a written,
comprehensive qualifying examination This examination tests the
students ability to use the knowledge gained from the core courses
to formulate and test hypotheses based on current issues in biochemistry
and molecular biology. In the second or third year the student must
pass a preliminary examination consisting of a written grant proposal
dealing with his or her dissertation research. The student will
orally discuss and defend the proposal before the advisory committee.
Completion of the degree involves an oral defense of the Ph.D. thesis.
The Master of Science
program leading to the M.S. degree is designed to provide extensive
research training, but in contrast to the Ph.D. program, is not
necessarily intended to prepare students for an independent research
career. The M.S. degree is offered through a joint program with
the Biology Department at Louisiana State University - Shreveport,
classroom instruction is similar to that for the Ph.D. degree, although
certain courses may be taken at LSU-S. Students may choose to work
in labs at the Medical Center or at LSU-S. Neither the written qualifier
examination nor the oral preliminary examination is required for
the M.S. degree. Completion of the degree requires submission and
oral defense of a M.S. thesis. The program is usually completed
within three years.