Ph.D. in Biochemistry

By exploring the chemical reactions within cells, biochemists get to the core of life's processes. Study at the Ph.D. level breeds the deep expertise that research groups and universities demand today.

Program at a glance

Admissions cycles: Fall, Spring
Application deadlines: Dec. 15, June 15
Assistantship types available: Research, Teaching
Graduate director: John Cushman
View the Biochemistry graduate program handbook

Why choose this Ph.D. in biochemistry?

The University's biochemistry faculty has deep and diverse expertise into the structures and roles of macromolecules in complex biological systems. It prepares students for careers in research or teaching and fosters a cooperative, personal working environment among students and faculty.

The University's biochemistry Ph.D. is part of its campus-wide, interdisciplinary Molecular Biosciences Graduate Program. Students in these programs benefit from exposure to faculty members from both the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources (CABNR) and the University of Nevada School of Medicine.  Students have opportunities for multidisciplinary interactions with graduate students and faculty members in related departments, including:

  • Agriculture
  • Nutrition
  • Veterinary Sciences
  • Biology
  • Physiology and Anatomy
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cell Biology

The academic environment is lively and highly interactive, as represented by a diverse, interdisciplinary seminar program sponsored in conjunction with other related departments. The program of study includes lecture courses, laboratory rotations, journal club presentations and discussion groups, a qualifying written and oral examination, dissertation research and one or more semesters of teaching experience.

How do I apply?

Applicants to the program must meet the Graduate School's admission criteria. Applicants who have not taken courses in molecular biology, molecular biophysics or metabolic regulation, but who meet the remaining requirements, might be admitted to the program with the expectation that such remedial coursework will be completed within the first year of graduate study.

The general admission requirements are:

  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0
  • A combined Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test score of 300 or greater

Students for whom English is a second language must also provide proof of a competitive TOEFL or IELTS examination score for admission.

To ensure full consideration, applications should be completed by Dec. 15 for the fall semester and Nov. 15 for the spring semester. In addition to the graduate school application fee, there is a $90 nonrefundable application fee for this program. 

Is funding available?

Students admitted to the Molecular Biosciences Ph.D. programs are automatically offered research or teaching assistantship positions in their first year. A separate application for financial assistance is not required.

The assistantship currently carries a stipend of $25,000 per year. Ph.D. graduate assistants also receive a tuition waiver, which is worth about $12,000 per year. Lastly, students on graduate assistantships at the University of Nevada, Reno are also covered by the University health insurance plan, which is worth about $1,400 per year.

What's next?

You can learn more about the biochemistry Ph.D. and get connected with a faculty member by completing the form on this page or contacting the graduate director below. If you are ready to begin at the University, you can apply now for admission.

John C. Cushman, Ph.D.
Foundation Professor, Graduate Program Director
MS330/Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Tel: 775-784-1918
Fax: 775-784-1419

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