Ph.D. Requirements

In conjunction with research, the degree requirements for earning a Ph.D. in the  Chemical Biology Program include: major/minor coursework, laboratory rotations, a preliminary research exam, an original research proposal, and a 4th year seminar. Please use the menu at left to learn more about each of these requirements.


General time line for degree completion:

1st Year


  • Faculty advising for course work selection (End of August)
  • Take Chemical Biology (Biochem 704) - Required major course for Fall
  • Additional coursework (Minor courses)
  • Rotations
  • Research group selection (November 1)
  • Initiate Thesis research!


  • Take a Biophysical/Bioanalytical Methods course (Choice of several, see coursework) - Required major course for Spring (preferred timing)
  • Additional coursework (Minor courses)
  • Assemble a committee of three faculty members (one is your thesis adviser)
  • Research


2nd Year


3rd Year

  • Research
  • Original research proposal oral & written defense (Submitted by end of December; Defended by end of Winter Break)
  • Dissertator status achieved


4th Year

  • Research
  • Thesis planning meeting (1 year prior to anticipated defense, at student and adviser's discretion)
  • 4th year seminar on thesis research at "Seminar Day" in May


5th Year (+)

  • Research
  • Assemble your Ph.D. thesis committee (augment current committee with two additional faculty members)
  • Write and defend Ph.D. thesis