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Academic Overview

Programs of Study

The department offers programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.   The combined M.D./Ph.D. degrees are available in collaboration with the School of Medicine.  Applicants with a bachelor's degree in

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Or related fields

are encouraged to apply.

The first year is an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary program (IGPBS) taught by faculty members from the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Molecular and Integrative Physiology; Pathology and Laboratory Science; and Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics. Applications for graduate studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are accepted via the IGPBS program.

At the end of the first year, students choose a research lab and affiliate with the related department.  Advanced coursework is described here. The Ph.D. candidacy examination is taken before the end of the second year and consists of written and oral comprehensive examinations. The written component is a grant proposal in the format of the National Institutes of Health. The oral comprehensive examination is a defense of the grant proposal and a test of the student’s basic science knowledge. More information may be found here.

The Ph.D. degree requires at least 35 credit hours of coursework, emphasizing theoretical concepts as well as practical aspects of laboratory work.  Students develop the ability to apply basic knowledge and experience to an independent research problem. The program accommodates the individual student’s prior educational experience and ultimate goals. Completion of the requirements for a Ph.D. generally requires four or five calendar years. The M.S. requires about one year of course work and a year of supervised research leading to a thesis.  Graduates of the M.S. and Ph.D. programs are routinely placed in industrial and academic research positions.

Financial Aid

Graduate teaching assistantships are awarded to qualified applicants.  Stipends currently begin at $24,000 per year.  Stipends are increased periodically to stay competitive with other training programs.  Tuition costs for qualified applicants are also covered by the program.  Students pay required campus, library, and fitness center fees. Enrollment in a minimum of six credit hours per semester is required to maintain a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) or a research assistantship (RA).  Further information is available from the KUMC Office of the Registrar, 3001 Student Center, Kansas City, KS 66160,

Admission Requirements

The applicant should have a bachelor's degree in

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Or related fields

Applicants are urged to take the general aptitude and advanced sections of the Graduate Record Examination.

Please be advised that in the case of applications from outside of the United States, we require that a recent TOEFL score be included with the application (a minimum score of 570 is needed in order to be considered for admission as a regular graduate student.) In addition, the University now requires that non-native English speakers pass the Test of Spoken English (TSE) as a graduation requirement. 

To assure consideration for admission in the fall, applications should be received by January 1 to be considered for recruitment in February and March.

Listing of IGPBS Graduate Courses
Listing of BMB Graduate Curriculum

Information on M.D./Ph.D. Program
Grisolia and Kimmel Award Recipients
Meet our Biochemistry Faculty
Director of Graduate Studies: Dr. Aron Fenton

Request Application for Graduate Studies

Schedule Information

Last modified: Aug 17, 2020