Saint Joseph’s University’s master's in biochemistry program explores the complex series of chemical reactions that take place within each organism, unleashing scientific breakthroughs that enhance and expand life like never before. Apply your passion for discovery to spur innovation and increase your understanding of our living world.
Dive into the complex series of chemical reactions that take place within each organism with Saint Joseph’s PhD in biochemistry program. Expert instructors bring together the disciplines of biology and chemistry, along with research and fieldwork opportunities that link those lessons to the real world. The knowledge and network you will make at Saint Joseph’s University will help you make the ultimate connection to a rewarding career. Plus, through our Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI), you have the opportunity to receive a full-tuition waiver and over $26,700 in support.
What Sets Our Program Apart
Many of our PhD students have generous institutional support in the form of a Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI), which includes a full-tuition waiver and over $26,700 in support including: $21,500 starting stipend, $2,232 student health plan reimbursement and $3,000+ in additional scholarships.
Use sophisticated laboratory equipment and advanced technology, including a 400-MHz NMR spectrometer, high-pressure liquid chromatographs, fluorescence spectrophotometers and powerful Beowulf supercomputers in our West Center for Computational Chemistry and Drug Design.
We incorporate computer technology throughout the biochemistry PhD curriculum, starting with your first course in chemistry. Nearly all lectures and labs integrate computer applications.
Engage in independent research under the guidance of expert faculty. Our faculty specialize in structural biochemistry, enzymology, molecular biology, cell biology, computational biochemistry, nucleic acid biochemistry, and drug discovery.
What Can You Do With a PhD in Biochemistry?
Those who graduate with a doctorate in biochemistry have gone on to pursue careers in:
- Molecular biology
- Cell biology
- Other modern branches of biology and medicine
Students in the biochemistry program learn the experimental techniques that prepare them for technical positions in biomedical research in one of the growing number of industries involved in biotechnology. From cancer research to gene splicing to photosynthetic capture of solar energy, biochemistry leads the way with new ideas that are saving lives and changing the world.
The PhD in biochemistry requires a minimum of 43 credits (23 didactic credits, which includes both core and elective courses, and a minimum of 20 research credits). These courses are selected in consultation with your research advisor, advisory committee and the department’s graduate program director. You’re also expected to participate in the department’s seminar program where both literature and research seminars are delivered to students and faculty on a weekly basis during the semester. To achieve doctoral candidacy, you must pass written and oral comprehensive qualifying exams.
View required courses for this program in the academic catalog. Please contact us if you have any questions about the program curriculum.
Upon entering the Biochemistry PhD program, you will register for research rotations with at least two potential research advisors. This laboratory rotation program exposes you to available research opportunities based on your research interests. Once you complete this program, you’ll be eligible to select a research advisor. Once you select your research advisor, an advisory committee is formed, which typically consists of three or four faculty members with appropriate expertise. They will assist you in your research endeavors.
The equivalent of at least four semesters of full-time research are minimally required to qualify for the PhD degree. You’ll be expected to carry out an independent, original research project under the direction of a graduate faculty member with the guidance of an advisory committee. With the aid of your research advisor, you’ll write a research prospectus outlining your proposed research program. You’ll present this prospectus and get it approved by your advisory committee before you begin your thesis research. You’ll also be required to present and publish your research findings as part of your degree requirements.
Once you complete your research project, you must write a thesis describing your research accomplishments and successfully defend your thesis at a final oral examination before the members of the advisory committee.
The tuition for Biochemistry PhD students entering fall 2022 is $1,676 per credit*. *Pricing does not include room and board, health insurance or any professional, clinical or transportation fees. Visit our Tuition & Fees page for a detailed cost breakdown.
Qualified chemistry PhD students may receive institutional funding in the form of a Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI), which includes a full-tuition waiver and over $26,700 in support. Financial aid in the form of scholarships, student loans and discount eligibility may also be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our Financial Aid page.
Why Study Biochemistry in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia is in the heart of the health science industry. The city is quickly becoming a leading biotech hub, thanks to the high concentration of universities, healthcare institutions and laboratory space in the area. Work directly with Philadelphia’s diverse population and choose from a large number of employers to complete your internship/fieldwork.
Biochemistry PhD Admissions Information
You must meet the following prerequisites to be considered for admission to the PhD in biochemistry program:
- Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, or be currently enrolled in an undergraduate/professional degree program at Saint Joseph’s University
- Fluent in both spoken and written English (see below for language requirements for international applicants)
- Present transfer credit, earn advanced placement credit by examination or obtain credit in undergraduate courses in:
- Calculus (2 semesters)
- Genetics (1 semester)
- Analytical Chemistry (1 semester)
- Literature of Chemistry (1 semester)
- English Composition (1 semester)
- Biochemistry (2 semesters)
- Biochemistry Laboratory (1 semester)
- Physical Chemistry (1 semester)
- Cell Biology or Advanced Biochemistry (1 semester)
- Organic Chemistry with laboratory (2 semesters)
GRE scores are optional. You can submit them if you think they’ll strengthen your application.
- Apply online.
- Submit official college transcripts from all colleges attended. If you attended Saint Joseph’s, we will obtain this transcript for you.
- Submit a 1000-word personal statement explaining your short and long-term study and career goals. PhD applicants must also identify at least two of the program’s faculty whose research interests align most closely with yours. Personal statements may be submitted as part of the application via the application portal.
- Submit resume or CV.
- Submit three letters of recommendation.
The application deadlines for admission to Saint Joseph’s PhD in biochemistry program are:
Deadlines for fall:
- Priority Review for funding consideration for ALL applicants: March 1
- Domestic Student Deadline: August 1
Deadlines for spring:
- Priority Review: October 15
- Domestic Student Deadline: November 1
Deadlines for international students:
- Fall – June 15
- Spring – October 15