Interdisciplinary PhD in Structural and Computational Biology and Quantitative Biosciences



The Graduate School requires PhD students to complete a minimum of 32 graduate-level credits in order to obtain a PhD Degree. These 32 credits are fulfilled via core curriculum courses, an ethics course, seminar courses, 990 research credits, and specialty courses. Please keep in mind that all major course requirements must be completed before a student undergoes their oral preliminary examination.

Core Curriculum

All students are required to take:

  • Chem 665, Biophysical Chemistry
  • Chem 668, Biophysical Spectroscopy

​Because Chem 668 is only offered every other year, students will be advised upon joining the program when they will need to take the course.

Additional Courses

In addition to the required classes, students must take at least two other classes from different categories in the following list:

  • Structure Courses:
    • ​Biochem 601: Protein and Enzyme Structure and Function
    • Math 606: Mathematical Methods for Structural Biology
    • Biochem 625: Mechanism of Action of Vitamins and Minerals
  • ​Modeling Courses:
    • Chem 661: Chemical and Statistical Thermodynamics
    • Math 609: Mathematical Methods for Systems Biology
  • Molecular Biology Courses:
    • ​Biochem 612: Prokaryotic Molecular Biology
    • Biochem 620: Eukaryotic Molecular Biology
  • Neuroscience Courses:
    • ​Physiology 610: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Spectroscopy/Microscopy Courses:
    • ​BME 619: Microscopy of Life

Ethics Course

All students are required to take an ethics course. It is recommended that students take this course in their first year.

Seminar Course

Students are required to participate in seminar courses for the duration of their studies. Initially, all students are required to enroll in Chem 872: Selected Topics in Macromolecular and Biophysical Chemistry for both fall and spring semesters. Once a student has successfully achieved dissertator status, they are eligible to enroll in alternative seminars with permission from the program.

990 Research Credits

These are the courses in which students will be conducting their independent research. First semester students will register for 990 research credits in the department of the Biophysics Program Chair, Meyer Jackson. Once a thesis lab is selected, these credits will be conducted in the Thesis Advisor’s home department.

Specialty Courses

To fulfill the remainder of required credits, students can take specialty courses. It is recommended to take courses in areas such as biotechnology, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, molecular biology, or physics. Students should consult with their Thesis Advisor and thesis committee members about appropriate specialty courses to take pertaining to individual training goals.



The Graduate School requires that the overall grade point average (GPA) of non-research courses be 3.0 (B average) or better. In addition, the Biophysics Program requires a cumulative Biophysics GPA of 3.0 or better in the core, ethics, and specialty courses. Research and seminar course grades are not included in the Biophysics GPA.

Credits are not counted from courses in which a grade of BC or below is obtained for the Biophysics core courses. In the event of an unsatisfactory grade, the student must repeat the course and obtain a grade of B or better if they want to count the class towards their Biophysics GPA and course requirements.

The Biophysics Graduate Degree Program Coordinator will monitor course enrollment and completion. Any deficiencies will be discussed with the Biophysics Steering Committee and could lead to academic probation.