A student looking into a microscope
Doctor of Philosophy

About the Program

Further your research career with a PhD in Biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University. When you enter as a full-time PhD student at CWRU—one of the top research universities in the U.S.—your tuition is covered. Plus, you get health insurance and a stipend, too. You’ll join a cohort of up to four extremely motivated students, and you’ll spend much of your time in labs, being mentored by our renowned faculty. Most of our graduates go on to research or pursue research-related careers, specifically in academia and biotech. No matter what your post-doctoral plans look like, the skills you learn will translate well to this in-demand field.

What to Expect

Our PhD is a part of the Biomedical Sciences Training Program, which has 11 different PhD options under the biomedical sciences umbrella. This interdisciplinary approach allows you to specialize in biochemistry while also taking electives in related disciplines. For instance, if you choose to conduct X-ray, crystallography, or protein structure and function research, you might also need to take physical chemistry.

Your faculty advisor will be with you every step of your PhD journey—which is typically about six years. Your first year will be packed with that educational foundation plus research opportunities, followed by that plus a qualifying exam in your second year. This is when you’ll decide what your research project will focus on.

As you develop your research specialty, consider this: On average, our graduates publish five papers, so your CV will start off strong as you enter into your career.

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Beyond the Classroom

Your time at CWRU will be enhanced by professional development opportunities, especially in labs—both on and off campus. You’ll participate in three, month-long rotations in biochemistry labs. If metabolic research energizes you, your project might lead to admission into the Metabolism Training Program, an interdisciplinary program funded by the National Institutes of Health.

You’ll periodically participate in research seminars along with special symposia with CWRU speakers and visiting experts. You’ll also conduct a presentation to showcase the existing research on your chosen topic and discuss how you’ll add to that body of research.

By the Numbers


medical research school in the nation, U.S. News & World Report


papers published per graduate, on average


graduates have research or research-related careers

student-to-faculty ratio

years to complete the PhD Program

Admission Requirements

Our program thrives when we have students with diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences. We look forward to learning more about you!

The application process requires:

  • Online application, including a personal statement with the experiences that shaped your interest in science and your long-term goals 
  • $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (either already complete, or will be complete before you enroll)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • List of research experiences (optional)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Test scores for GRE (optional)
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE

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