Brandeis University

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Biochemistry and Biophysics


415 South Street, MS 084

Waltham, MA 02453

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Ph.D., M.S.

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The graduate program in Biochemistry and Biophysics offers advanced education in the principles and practice of macromolecular chemistry, mechanism, and structure. All aspects of this program are aimed at the questions: how do macromolecules work? How do proteins, membranes, nucleic acids, membrane assemblies, and high-order complexes of these enormous molecules use physical-chemical principles to act in the varied contexts that underlie biological function? Faculty participating in this program share the conviction that the coherent operation of living cells, and its disruption in disease, is ultimately understandable in terms of the chemistry and physics of biological macromolecules.

This highly multidisciplinary program draws students from two types of undergraduate backgrounds: those with more chemically based training (Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology majors) and those from Physics, Engineering, or Mathematics, who wish to bring quantitative skills to bear upon biological problems. This student mix is meant to be mutually reinforcing, so that during the trajectory to the graduate degree, all trainees master both chemical and quantitative approaches to the art of macromolecular analysis.

The Ph.D. program offers:

--a rigorous curriculum of courses emphasizing macromolecular structure and function

--four student-selected laboratory rotations during the first academic year

--original thesis research in laboratories operating on the edge of discovery

--practice in conveying scientific information via expository writing and public speaking

--specialized informal seminars, discussion-groups, and journal-clubs

--opportunities to present research results at professional scientific meetings

The two-year Master's program incoprorates two lab rotations, 4 required courses, a variety of electives, and a thesis.

An interactive, informal spirit pervades the Life Science programs at Brandeis University. Students may choose research labs from all Life Science faculty regardless of departmental affiliation. Since most research groups are small, faculty members maintain close interactions with students, and collaborations among laboratories are common. Students may also opt to supplement their training by participating in IGERT (NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship), Quantitative Biology, or Macromolecular Structure and Mechanism cross-disciplinary programs. All Biochemistry and Biophysics Ph.D. students are fully supported with tuition waiver, health insurance support, and a monthly living stipend. Master's students may qualify for need-based aid.

Research programs in over 50 laboratories investigate fundamental life processes ranging from the structure and function of individual macromolecules to the mechanisms that control the behavior of whole organisms. The research of our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows is enhanced by our new state-of-the-art Shapiro Science Center and Complex. Within the Complex, research and teaching-lab/classroom spaces exemplify the top-tier research and teaching that characterize the sciences at Brandeis and foster connections between disciplines in the sciences.

We encourage you to learn more about our programs, located just outside of Boston with its world-renowned academic and scientific resources -- an ideal location for internships, research, and career opportunities. As part of the Boston Area Graduate Consortium, Brandeis students are welcome to take advantage of the curricular opportunities at several area schools.


New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Loans Offered: A variety of loan programs, including the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the TERI Continuing Education Loan, may be available to Graduate Professional Studies students who meet this criteria.

Locale: Small City

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