Biochemistry, PhD

Program Overview

The PhD in Biochemistry program prepares students for careers in academia and industry, in both research and positions in which a strong background in research is important. The emphasis of the doctoral program is on research, culminating in the completion of an original independent doctoral thesis under the guidance of a faculty member in the Biochemistry program. Students' research is aimed at understanding the structures and functions of proteins and other biological macromolecules, such as RNA in biological systems. There is also a strong focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of complex diseases, such as cancer and infectious diseases, that can lead to new therapies. Many research projects involve collaborations with scientists at CWRU and at institutions around the world. 

Students begin with an integrated curriculum in cell and molecular biology and then take courses in Biochemistry and other subjects to provide a strong knowledge base in biomedical research. They also participate in formal and informal seminars as well as discussions of current literature.


Students are admitted to this PhD program through the Biomedical Sciences Training Program (BSTP) or the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

Biomedical Sciences Training Program (BSTP)

The BSTP offers a common entry point to most of the School of Medicine's biomedical PhD programs. BSTP students can choose among research mentors in many different PhD programs in the School of Medicine.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

Students in the MSTP earn the dual MD/PhD degree. MSTP students also have the choice of mentors in many different PhD programs. The admission requirements of those programs can be viewed on their pages in the Bulletin. Program requirements for the dual can be found on the Medical Scientist Training Program, PhD/Medicine, MD program page.

PhD Policies

For PhD policies and procedures, please review the School of Graduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.