What will I learn?

The Department of Biochemistry offers a graduate program leading to the M.S. degree. This is a research-oriented degree program comprised of graduate course work and supervised research leading to a Master's thesis. The Master of Science program involves approximately one year of course work and a research thesis performed under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The M.S. degree can be completed on a part-time basis. After consultations with faculty and the Chair, students should choose an advisor as quickly as possible. The Advisor assists the student with selection of a Graduate Advisory Committee which consists of the Faculty Advisor, at least one member of the Biochemistry faculty and at least 1 member from another department. The Graduate Advisory Committee assists the student with their course plan, advises on the thesis project, approves the thesis, and conducts the final examination. After the committee has been formed, the Graduate Student Advisory Committee must be submitted for approval. Full-time students can begin immediately to carry out supervised research in the laboratory of their advisor. A thesis project should be chosen by the student by the end of the first semester in consultation with the advisor.

MS Student Goals

The program is designed to provide students with the skills required to advance to positions as bioscience researchers/trainers in a broad spectrum of positions. The provides a framework for the progressive development of a mastery of the current state of the subject matter of biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology, an ability to synthesize this information and apply this foundation to the identification of key areas of investigation/experimentation in bioscience. The program relates the above framework to the development of the ability to design, implement, and interpret experimental approaches which address the questions identified. In addition, program will develop skills in the various means of communicating both the core of bioscience knowledge and the expression of experimental design, results and interpretation to a variety of potential audiences.

MS Student Learning Outcomes

The candidate will demonstrate the achievement of an appropriate level of competence in the ability to appraise, modify and / or create and implement experimental protocols and to design and develop experiments.

Oral Communication Skills: The candidate will demonstrate the achievement of an appropriate level of oral communication skills with respect to the content, organization, logical flow, presentation and appropriate use of language incorporating the use of visual aids.

Written Communication Skills: The candidate will demonstrate the achievement of an appropriate level of written communication skill with respect to grammar, syntax, spelling and use of vocabulary to effectively present information including the use of figures, tables and citations.

General Knowledge of Science: The candidate will demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge of the current elements of the biosciences as related to disciplinary specialization and a more detailed understanding of the individual area of scholarship, including an appropriate familiarity with the research literature and the ability to evaluate and critique publications.

Problem Solving Skills: The candidate will demonstrate an appropriate level of skill in the identification and selection of meaningful problems to be addressed in bioscience research, including the ability to defend said identifications and to design and develop appropriate methods to solve said problems.

Which department am I in?

School of Medicine

Study options

Full Time (Minimum of 30 graduate credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$24,741.00 per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

18 August 2020


School of Medicine

VCU Medical Center,

1201 E Marshall St,



23298, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants for admission to VCU graduate programs must hold the academic equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree from an accredited university.

For international students

Applicants to the Master of Science in Biochemistry program must meet all general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School. In addition, applicants must meet the following requirements.

  • Organic chemistry (with a minimum grade of B)
  • Undergraduate biochemistry (not required but recommended)
  • Laboratory experience

The university minimum TOEFL score requirement is 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based). The university minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.5. The PTE is also accepted with a minimum score of 65. Deadline: Fall - Applications accepted through June; priority given to early applicants.

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About this uni

Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university and number one public postgraduate arts school in the US.

  • VCU is one of the top 3 research universities in Virginia
  • 21% growth in sponsored awards in a 10-year period
  • 1,600 international students from 108 countries
  • 173-acre campus in downtown Richmond