Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MS)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MS)

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This interdisciplinary degree program draws upon the expertise and resources mainly in the Departments of Chemistry and Biology, but also in Department of Physics, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and School of Earth, Environmental and Marine Sciences within the College of Sciences as well as in collaboration with the College of Health Professions and the School of Medicine. The Masters of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology provides an advanced multidisciplinary course of study for students in the Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Bio-medical research, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, and Health Fields. This program provides students with skills, knowledge and leadership experience for careers in the above fields but also in education, administration and many healthcare related areas.

  • Why UTRGV?

    • Ranked #79 among 300+ national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018
    • Accredited, cutting edge degree program
    • Experienced, dedicated faculty
    • Affordable tuition (ranked #1 in net price among national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018 and #3 most affordable university in America 2018 by BestValueSchools.com)
    • Demonstrated student success in research, professional certification and career advancement
  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. There is no application fee.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Undergraduate degree with a major in a Science Technology Engineering or Math (STEM) area.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 in STEM courses.
    • Overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources. For example: A professor or work supervisor.
    • Statement of Interest explaining objectives in pursuing the degree and area of interest within the advance Biochemistry and Molecular Biology degree. Please specify in the Statement of Interest if you would like to pursue a thesis or non-thesis option.
    • GRE General Test: GRE test are valid for 5 years. A waiver of the GRE requirement will be granted to applicants who show proof of completing a graduate degree (master’s or doctoral in a STEM field).

    Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.

    Additional requirements for international applicants:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    • Financial   Documentation  showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses (living and academic) for the first year of study. For additional information, visit the Financial Documentation section of our website.
    • Immigration  documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. For additional information, visit the Immigration Documents section of our website.

    UPDATE ON INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS FROM U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:

    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Michael Persans

    Phone: 956-665-7323

    Office: ESCNE 4.629

    E-Mail: michael.persans@utrgv.edu

  • Deadlines

    Deadlines:

    Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.

    Spring 2020 Priority Deadline is November 15th 2019

    Fall 2020 Priority Deadline is July 1st, 2020

  • Tuition Estimate

    Residency Per 3-Credit Hour Course Semester (9-Credit Hours) Total Estimated Cost
    Texas Resident $1,359.29 $3,563.87 $13,592.90
    Non-Resident/International $2,625.29 $7,361.87 $26,252.90


    *We estimate that tuition and fees will closely approximate the rates shown above; however, rates are subject to change. Please note that the rates above are estimated for on-campus students and those enrolled in 16-week online programs. The rate is different for Accelerated Online Programs (AOP). Visit the tuition and fees page for detailed information.

  • Course Requirements

    Thesis Option
     
    Required Courses 10
    BIOL 6316: Molecular Genetics 3
    CHEM 6305: Biochemistry 3
    BIOL 6312: Advanced Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
    CHEM 6102: Scientific Writing (May substitute BIOL 6202) 1
     
    Free Electives 13
    Chosen from the following:
    CHEM 6360: Special Topics in Physical Chemistry 3
    CHEM 6330: Special Topics in Organic Chemistry 3
    CHEM 6380: Special Topics in Biochemistry 3
    CHEM 6391: Physical Biochemistry 3
    BIOL 5421: Biotechnology 4
    BIOL 5313: Advanced Endocrinology 3
    BIOL 5316: Advanced Environmental Toxicology 3
    BIOL 5317: Advanced Bacterial Genetics 3
    BIOL 5402: Molecular Virology 4
    BIOL 6301: Molecular Techniques and Laboratory Instrumentation 3
    BIOL 6305: Biometry 3
    BIOL 6321: Applied Microbiology 3
    BIOL 6330: Molecular and Cellular Evolution 3
    BIOL 6400: Advanced Neuroscience 4
    BIOL 6420: Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 4
    BIOL 6185: Graduate Research 1
    BIOL 6285: Graduate Research  2
    BIOL 6385: Graduate Research 3
    PHYS 5375: Structure and Function of Biological Molecules 3
     
    Prescribed Electives 7
    CHEM 7101, BIOL 7100: Thesis Proposal 1
    CHEM 7300, BIOL 7300: Thesis I 3
    CHEM 7301, BIOL 7301: Thesis II 3
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 30

     

    Non-Thesis Option

     
    Required Courses 10
    BIOL 6316: Molecular Genetics 3
    CHEM 6305: Biochemistry 3
    BIOL 6312: Advanced Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
    CHEM 6102: Scientific Writing (May substitute BIOL 6202) 1
     
    Free Electives 13
    Chosen from the following:
    CHEM 6360: Special Topics in Physical Chemistry 3
    CHEM 6330: Special Topics in Organic Chemistry 3
    CHEM 6380: Special Topics in Biochemistry 3
    CHEM 6391: Physical Biochemistry 3
    BIOL 5421: Biotechnology 4
    BIOL 6365: Biological Research Problems 3
    BIOL 5313: Advanced Endocrinology 3
    BIOL 5316: Advanced Environmental Toxicology 3
    BIOL 5317: Advanced Bacterial Genetics 3
    BIOL 5402: Molecular Virology 4
    BIOL 6301: Molecular Techniques and Laboratory Instrumentation 3
    BIOL 6305: Biometry 3
    BIOL 6321: Applied Microbiology 3
    BIOL 6330: Molecular and Cellular Evolution 3
    BIOL 6400: Advanced Neuroscience 4
    BIOL 6420: Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 4
    PHYS 5375: Structure and Function of Biological Molecules 3
     
    Prescribed Electives 7
    CHEM 6370: Chemical Education 3
    BIOL 5300: Graduate Biology for Educators 3
    BIOL 5136: Current Issues in Biology 1
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 30
     

    Course Descriptions

    BIOL 5136: Current Issues in Biology               [1‐0]

    Discussion and analysis of active areas of research in biology at an advanced level. Topics will vary by semester offered.

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 5300: Graduate Biology for Educators               [3‐0]

    This course covers integrated biological principals from molecules through the biosphere, with a focus on specific contributions that knowledge of those principles has made to the physical, intellectual and esthetic welfare of humanity. The course will include lectures, readings of scholarly and popular literature, discussion, and a scholarly paper based on individual investigation of literature

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 5313: Advanced Endocrinology               [3‐0]

    Description coming soon..

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 5316: Advanced Environmental Toxicology               [3‐0]

    An advanced treatment of physiological and systematic interactions of environmental pollutants with biological systems.

    Prerequisite: BIOL 2401 and 2402 or 3411 (or BIOL 3311) and 6 hours of Organic or Biochemistry or consent of instructor.

    BIOL 5317: Advance Bacterial Genetics               [3‐0]

    Bacterial genetics from both classical and molecular perspectives. Topics include transcription, translation, mutagenesis, transduction, transformation, conjugation and transposition. The lab is structured as a semester-long research project in which bacterial strains are randomly mutagenized, mutants are analyzed, and the mutated gene is identified. Laboratory fee.

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 5402: Molecular Virology               [4‐0]

    This course emphasizes current research on the genome organization and replication of viruses, functions and regulations of viral genes, molecular mechanisms of virus-host and virus-vector interactions, and novel molecular control strategies. Students will be introduced to the history of virology, taxonomy of viruses, symptomatology, epidemiology, diseases and management of viral diseases. Laboratory fee.

    Prerequisite: BIOL 3403.

    BIOL 5421: Biotechnology               [4‐0]

    Description coming soon..

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 6330: Molecular and Cellular Evolution               [3‐0]

    Description coming soon..

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 6301: Molecular Techniques and Laboratory Instrumentation               [3‐0]

    This course studies the theory and application of laboratory techniques, with an emphasis on molecular techniques. The course may be team taught by various members of the graduate faculty as expertise dictates.

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 6305: Biometry               [3‐0]

    Statistical analysis and principles as applied to biological problems. Laboratory Fee

    Prerequisite: Recommended: Undergraduate statistics course.

    BIOL 6312: Advanced Cellular and Molecular Biology               [3‐0]

    An in-depth study of the physical and molecular activity at the cellular level. Topics to be emphasized include nucleic acid structure and organization, gene expression and its regulation, protein structure and recombinant DNA techniques.

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing, BIOL 3412 or equivalent, CHEM 3303 or equivalent.

    BIOL 6316: Molecular Genetics               [3‐0]

    Subject matter in this course will be dealing with the modern concepts of genetics with emphasis on molecular-level investigations of DNA, gene structure, transcription, translation and gene regulation as elucidated through studies of gene cloning, recombinant DNA technology and biochemical genetics.

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing and one of the following courses: BIOL 3401 OR BIOL 3406 OR BIOL 3412 OR BIOL 3413 OR BIOL 3415 OR BIOL 4417

    BIOL 6321: Applied Microbiology               [3‐0]

    This course is primarily associated with the commercial exploitation of microorganisms, and involves processes and products that are of major economic, environmental and medical importance to humankind. Aspects of industrial microbiology such as production of valuable microbial products via fermentation processes will be emphasized. Key aspects of microbial physiology to elucidate the versatility of microorganisms for their diverse metabolic activities and products will be included in the course. $4 laboratory fee.

    Prerequisite: BIOL 3401.

    BIOL 6365: Biological Research Problems               [3‐0]

    The student, in conference with his or her committee chair, will define an independent research problem. If taken in summer, the student should enroll in no other course that summer term. The student's report will be written in an approved scientific style. One copy will be retained by the faculty member directing the research, and one copy will be placed in the student's biology graduate program file. Laboratory Fee.

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 6400: Advanced Neuroscience               [4‐0]

    This course studies the integrative functions of the animal nervous system from molecules to behavior.

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 6420: Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology               [4‐0]

    The lecture portion of this course will present the unique biological aspects of plants in the context of their biochemistry, physiology and cellular and molecular biology. The laboratory portion of this course will teach students the unique lab techniques involved in the study of plant biochemistry and molecular biology.

    Prerequisite:Graduate standing and one of the following courses: BIOL 3401 OR BIOL 3406 OR BIOL 3412 OR BIOL 3413 OR BIOL 3415 OR BIOL 4417.

    CHEM 6102: Scientific Writing               [3‐0]

    Description coming soon..

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    CHEM 6305: Biochemistry               [3‐0]

    This course discusses the mechanisms of biosynthesis of macromolecules, particularly amino acids, proteins, fatty acids, lipids, polysaccharides, purines, pyrimidines and nucleic acids. Emphasis will be given to how these processes are controlled and integrated with the metabolism of the cell and the molecular basis of disorders related to the intermediary metabolism. The molecular mechanism of signal transduction and recombinant DNA technology is also emphasized.

    Prerequisite: CHEM 3303.

    CHEM 6330: Special Topics in Organic Chemistry               [3‐0]

    May include advanced organic preparative laboratory, advanced organic synthesis, polymer synthesis, polymer physics and engineering and organic nanomaterials.

    Prerequisite: CHEM 2303

    CHEM 6360: Special Topics in Physical Chemistry               [3‐0]

    May include quantum chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics, statistical mechanics, group theory and nuclear chemistry.

    Prerequisite: Undergraduate Physical Chemistry I & II, CHEM 3304 and CHEM 3305.

    CHEM 6370: Chemical Education               [3‐0]

    Special topics for the enhancement of chemical education including chemistry, technology, environmental science and other related topics. May be repeated for credit up to 9 hours.

    Prerequisite: Assigned teaching duties or graduate student status.

    CHEM 6380: Special Topics in Biochemistry               [3‐0]

    May include advance biochemical techniques, protein biochemistry, biotechnology, critical developments in biochemistry, advanced training and conduct in biochemistry, enzymes biochemistry and clinical biochemistry.

    Prerequisite: Undergraduate Biochemistry, CHEM 3303.

    CHEM 6390: Physical Biochemistry               [3‐0]

    The objective of this course is to provide an introduction (principle and practice) to the experimental and theoretical aspects of Materials Science with specialized in surface and interfacial interaction of materials for industrial application to solve scientific and engineering.

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    PHYS 5375: Structure and Function of Biological Molecules               [3‐0]

    Description coming soon..

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 7100: Thesis Proposal               [3‐0]

    During the semester students will formalize their thesis committee and project. Students in this course are required to complete and submit written thesis proposal. The student will also give a presentation on their thesis proposal (planned research). Students enrolled in this course must attend and actively participate int he Biology Graduate Program Journal Club & Data Review. This course is required for all Biology M.S. thesis students. Students are encouraged to take this in their first semester.

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    BIOL 7300: Thesis I               [3‐0]

    The Biology graduate student will actively engage in supervised research needed to meet thesis requirements. This includes but not limited to design of an original research problem with a written proposal, collection and analysis of original data and writing of a scientific report in acceptable publication format. Students enrolled in this course must attend and actively participate in the Biology Graduate Program Journal Club & Data Review. This course is required for all Biology M.S. thesis students. Once enrolled a student must be continuously enrolled in a Thesis course until graduation. This excluded summer, unless the student is graduating.

    Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission.

    BIOL 7301: Thesis II               [3‐0]

    The Biology graduate student will continue to engage in supervised research needed to meet thesis requirements. This includes completion, submission and oral defense of their thesis. The course is to be taken after Thesis I. Students enrolled in this course must attend and actively participate in the Biology Graduate Program Journal Club & Data Review. This course is required for all Biology M.S. thesis students. Once enrolled a student must be continuously enrolled in a Thesis course until graduation.

    Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission.

    CHEM 7101: Seminar I               [3‐0]

    Presentation of the proposed thesis project.

    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

    CHEM 7300: Thesis I               [3‐0]

    Research work culminating in a presentation of thesis research data.

    Prerequisite: CHEM 7101, CHEM 7102 and graduate advisor’s permission.

    CHEM 7301: Thesis II               [3‐0]

    Research work culminating in a thesis defense.

    Prerequisite: CHEM 7300 and graduate advisor’s permission

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