Jan 29, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine (MS)

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The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine offers a program for the Master of Science degree. The primary objectives of this program are to provide the necessary theoretical preparation for biochemical careers and to expose students to biochemistry and molecular medicine related research activities culminating with the Master of Science degree. Goals of the program are to train students in preparation for (1) further doctoral study, (2) advanced biochemical research positions in industry and academia and (3) teaching positions at the community college level.

In general, admission requirements are the same as for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The prerequisite for applicants to the graduate program in biochemistry is a bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate major in one of the natural sciences. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the natural sciences (including mathematics) is normally required. Applicants must satisfactorily pass the general and advanced (chemistry, or biology or molecular biology) portions of the Graduate Record Examinations. In addition, the department requires at least three letters of recommendation from faculty members who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate work and independent research. Demonstrated proficiency in the English language is required. Special circumstances may provide consideration for conditional admission.

The master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular medicine requires 34 units of elective graduate study to be determined by the student’s advisory committee. Fourteen or more course units must be taken in biochemistry and molecular biology; 8 units may be pursued outside the department. Students interested in the commercial aspects of biotechnology may take courses focusing on business entrepreneurship, finance, management and marketing in the USC Marshall School of Business. Master’s students have the option of completing a research thesis allowing state-of-the-art laboratory-based investigation or a non-research-based theoretical thesis. Upon approval, a maximum of 14 units of directed research in biochemistry will be applied to the degree. Up to 6 units of graduate course work taken outside of USC may be applied toward the MS degree. Flexibility exists to plan each student’s program to suit individual needs, ambitions and background.

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