MS Curriculum

Biochemistry M.S. students enroll in courses, participate in seminars, and engage in research. The program can be completed in 15-21 months and requires 36 credit hours of which at least 18 hours must be letter graded.  Please see below for the courses required for the M.S., the list of approved electives courses, and the requirements for the optional Focus Areas.  A highlight of the M.S. curriculum are several laboratory courses that provide experimental expertise valuable for careers in both industry and academia.

Biochemistry MS lab instructors

(Biochemistry faculty lab instructors Drs Arvidson, Wang, and Howell, and teaching laboratory manager Leslie Severt)

While research is not required, most students choose to participate in experimental biomedical research for course credit. Students work with faculty mentors in the Biochemistry program. They can also choose from over 200 faculty mentors at CWRU School of Medicine and our affiliated hospitals. This opportunity is excellent preparation for students who wish to pursue a PhD degree; strong students may be permitted to transfer to our PhD program.

The degree can be completed with either full- or part-time study. Part-time study is convenient for research assistants in CWRU biomedical science laboratories.


Required Courses

BIOC 407 Introduction to Biochemistry: From Molecules to Medicine 4
BIOC 408 Molecular Biology 4
BIOC 500 Biotechnology Laboratory: Molecular Biology Basics 1
BIOC 501 Biochemical and Cellular Techniques for Biotechnology 3




Biotechnology Laboratory: Molecular Biology and Biochemical Techniques


Biotechnology Laboratory: Eukaryotic Molecular and Cellular Biology

EXAM 600 Master's Comprehensive Exam 1

List of electives courses

(Maximum of 12 credits of BIOC 601)



Focus Areas

To help guide students in their studies, we have created option focus areas, which are suggested course sequences in areas of interest.  These focus areas leave room in student schedules for research and additional electives.


Molecular Structure and Function

BIOC 412 Proteins and Enzymes 3
BIOC 415 Biological Membranes and Their Proteins 3
BIOC 434 Structural and Computational Biology 3


Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease

BIOC 410 Microbial Physiology and Therapeutic Opportunities 3
BIOC 411 Antimicrobial Therapies and Resistance 3


Cancer Biology

BIOC 450 Molecular Basis of Cancer 3
BIOC 453 Biochemical Pathways in Cancer Therapeutics 3
BIOC 460 Advanced Technologies for Cancer Research 3


Experimental Biotechnology Track

(Available to students matriculating before spring 2024.)

The Experimental Biotechnology track prepares students for employment opportunities in biotechnology, as researchers in academia or the biotechnology industry. This sequence of lecture and laboratory courses covers techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology and laboratory skills that are important in biotechnology.

We provide students with hands-on experience at the bench in recombinant protein production, mammalian cell culture, molecular and cell biology, and mass spectrometry. We also cover experimental design and documentation of experiments, and professional skills and knowledge.

In addition to BIOC 407, BIOC 408, and EXAM 600, this track requires:

  • BIOC 500  Biotechnology Laboratory: Molecular Biology Basics 
  • BIOC 501  Biochemical and Cellular Techniques for Biotechnology
  • BIOC 502A Biotechnology Laboratory: Molecular Biology and Biochemical Techniques  
  • BIOC 502B Biotechnology Laboratory: Eukaryotic Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BIOC 502C Biotechnology Laboratory: Mass Spectrometry Techniques
  • BIOC 511  Practice and Professionalism in Biotechnology

BIOC 500-502 form a sequence that introduces common techniques used in biochemistry labs and gives students hands-on experience and training in structured teaching labs. BIOC 511 covers issues of practice in academic and industrial labs. These courses may be taken in the first or second years.

The completion of the track is recorded on the student's transcript.