The graduate programs in biochemistry are open to all qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing. To be admitted with full standing to the program, the applicant must meet the Graduate School's admission requirements, have adequate preparation for the study of chemistry and biochemistry at the graduate level, and show potential to undertake advanced study and research as evidenced by academic performance and experience.

Financial Assistance

The student must first apply to the Graduate School and be accepted in full or conditional status before he/she is eligible for an assistantship in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Graduate students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are supported by either teaching assistantships (TA) or research assistantships (RA).  The standard stipend is $24,000 per year for both Research Assistants (RA) and Teaching Assistants (TA). In addition to the stipend, graduate assistants in good standing receive a graduate tuition waiver. Tuition waivers cover base tuition for NDSU graduate credits. Students are responsible for differential tuition, student fees, and tuition for non-graduate level credits taken or Cooperative Education credits.

Master of Science

The Master of Science program requires the completion of 30 graduate semester credits with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. This total is comprised of both class work and research credit, but must include at least 16 semester credits of didactic course work.

Required Courses
CHEM 720Introduction to Chemical Research2
CHEM 790Graduate Seminar (second year seminar)1
or BIOC 790 Graduate Seminar
UNIV 720Scientific Integrity1
CHEM 790Graduate Seminar (defense seminar)1
or BIOC 790 Graduate Seminar
Didactic Credits (601-689, 691; 700-789, 791; 800-889 and 891)16 *
CHEM 798Master's Thesis6-10
or BIOC 798 Master's Thesis
Total Credits Required30
As part of total semester credits, the following departmental courses are recommended for students based on discipline:
CHEM 632Analytical Chemistry II3
CHEM 730Separations2
CHEM 732Advanced Survey of Analytical Chemistry4
CHEM 736Mass Spectrometry2
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
BIOC 673Methods of Biochemical Research3
BIOC 674Methods of Recombinant DNA Technology3
BIOC 701Comprehensive Biochemistry I4
BIOC 702Comprehensive Biochemistry II4
CHEM 724Chemical Applications of Group Theory1
CHEM 725Advanced Survey of Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 727Organometallic Chemistry3
CHEM 728Physical Methods for Chemical and Biomolecular Research2
CHEM 744Organic Spectroscopy2
CHEM 741Physical Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 742Physical Organic Chemistry II2
CHEM 744Organic Spectroscopy2
CHEM 745Organic Synthesis4
BIOC 665
CHEM 760Statistical Thermodynamics4
CHEM 763Kinetics2
CHEM 764Dynamics2

 A minimum of 10 must be from courses numbered 701-789; 791 or 800-889; 891

Each student chooses a thesis adviser within six months of beginning graduate school. As this is one of the most important decisions made in graduate school, students are strongly urged to visit multiple faculty members to discuss research opportunities. In addition, faculty seminars during the fall semester are designed to acquaint new students with the available research programs.

By the end of the first academic year, each student selects an advisory and examination committee, which consists of the thesis adviser, two other faculty members in the chemistry department, and one faculty member from a department outside the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Doctor of Philosophy 

 The Ph.D. program requires the completion of 90 graduate semester credits, post-baccalaureate, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. This total is comprised of both class work and research credit, but must include of at least 27 semester credits of didactic course work.

Candidates for the PhD degree are required to earn at least 90 semester credits, which can include credits for seminar and research. No fewer than 27 of these 90 semester credits shall be earned in courses carrying graduate credit (courses numbered 601 to 789), and of these 27 credits, a minimum of 20 must be from courses numbered 701 to 789. Of these 20 credits, the requirement is 8 total credits in at least two fields of study other than the major area, selected from:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Coatings and Polymeric Materials
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials & Nanotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Other related area (e.g., Physics, Math, Pharmacy, Engineering, Zoology)

 A student matriculating with a Master’s Degree, including one earned at an international institution, must earn not fewer than 60 graduate credits at NDSU. Of these credits, not fewer than 15 credits must be NDSU courses numbered from 701 to 789. Courses numbered 601-689 may be used for the Plan of Study as long as they have not been taken in an undergraduate or previous graduate program. Approved courses are Department of C&B 625, 626, 627, 628 and 630.

Required Courses
Introduction to Chemical Research
Graduate Seminar (second year seminar)
Graduate Seminar
Graduate Seminar (proposal seminar)
Graduate Seminar
Graduate Seminar (public presentation)
Graduate Seminar
Graduate Seminar (defense seminar)
Graduate Seminar
Scientific Integrity
As part of total semester credits, the following departmental courses are required for students based on program:
Advanced Survey of Inorganic Chemistry
Methods of Biochemical Research
Methods of Recombinant DNA Technology
Comprehensive Biochemistry I
Comprehensive Biochemistry II
Advanced Survey of Analytical Chemistry
Physical Organic Chemistry I
Advanced Survey of Physical Chemistry
Doctoral Dissertation

Admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree is accomplished by satisfying three requirements: 1) satisfactory performance in course work with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average, 2) satisfactory performance on a written comprehensive examination, taken by the end of the fourth semester, and 3) satisfactory defense of an original research proposal on a topic approved by the student's supervisory committee. The defense of this proposal must occur at least eight months prior to the final oral examination.

Following completion of dissertation research, the candidate must complete a written dissertation and an oral presentation to the department and supervisory committee.

Christopher L. Colbert, Ph.D.
Purdue University, 2000
Postdoctoral, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2000-2004
Research Interests: Structural Biology and Metalloprotein Biochemistry

Stuart J. Haring, Ph.D.
University of Iowa, 2004
Postdoctoral, University of Iowa, 2004-2008
Research Interests: DNA Metabolism and Cell Cycle Regulation

Kenton R. Rodgers, Ph.D.
University of Iowa, 1988
Postdoctoral, Princeton University, 1989-1993
Research Area: Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Sangita C. Sinha, Ph.D.
Purdue University, 2000
Postdoctoral, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2001-2005
Research Interests: Biochemistry and Structural Biology of Host-Pathogen Interaction

John Wilkinson, Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University, 2001
Postdoctoral, University of Michigan, 2001-2006
Research Interests: Metabolic Control of Cancer Progression

Zhongyu Yang, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh, 2010
Research Area: Bioanalytical chemistry; Biophysics; Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy