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Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers courses of study leading to the Master of Science degree specifically related to biotechnology and to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. These courses are offered by the faculty of the College of Medicine, but the degrees are administered by the Graduate School.

General Admission Requirements

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is preferred and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in major course work is required. Each graduate department may have additional "special admission requirements" which are noted on this page.

  • Completed on-line application and signature page orDownload the paper application (HTML) | (Acrobat)
  • The non-refundable $45 application fee (Waivers accepted for FAMU Feeder Program and McNair Scholars)
  • Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the Registrar’s Office from ALL colleges and universities attended
  • GRE Scores (Only official score reports are accepted within 5 years of the test date)
  • Statement of Academic and Research Interest
  • Autobiographical Sketch (Personal biography) / Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation Word

For International Applicants In addition to the requirements listed above you must meet the following:

  • Official transcripts, certificates and/or mark/grade sheets must be sent directly from the college or university to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, and must show proof of degree(s) earned, courses taken and marks/grades received. Also, ALL transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services ( or AACRAO ( and be forwarded to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions.
  • TOEFL Scores (Minimum computer-based score of 213 is required and only official score reports are accepted within 2 years of the test date)
Special Admission Requirement

To be admitted to the M.S. or Ph.D. program applicants should have earned a B.S. or B.A. degree and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in science courses. All applicants must fulfill the following undergraduate requirements before they can be admitted unconditionally: one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and biology and, for Ph.D. students one semester each of calculus and physical chemistry. In addition, applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted preferably by individuals who can specifically evaluate the scientific ability of the student.

Special Degree Requirements

Master of Science, Biotechnology

A student must complete a minimum of 37 credit hours of courses to earn the M.S. degree. All students must follow the prescribed program: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology courses 222-101, 222-200, 222-203, 222-215, 222-216, 222-250 and 222-251 or 222-205, and 222-213 or 222-271; Microbiology 231-413 (or approved substitute); Biology 280-532 (or approved substitute) and 280-430; and the Radiation Safety Workshop conducted by the Radiation Safety Office. Course 222-205, when substituted for 222-250 and 222-251, must be taken for two semesters and 222-213 or 222-271 for one semester. Course 222-201 must be taken each semester in residence. The industrial or academic externship, 222-200, is ordinarily completed in the student's last semester in residence. Doctor of Philosophy To qualify for the Ph.D. degree, students must complete a total of 72 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. These must include the following biochemistry and molecular biology courses: 222-170, 222-201, 222-203, 222-210, 222-300 and 15 credit hours or more of advanced biochemistry courses. One 3-credit hour course in advanced chemistry must be completed. The advanced course must be chosen from the following list of chemistry courses: 205-243; 205-244; or 205-231. Each student must also write a dissertation based on original research and defend it in a public oral examination. Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must pass a qualifying examination consisting of a written comprehensive test and an oral defense of a research proposal prepared by the candidate.

M.D./Ph.D The College of Medicine and the Graduate School jointly offer an integrated program that leads to both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees without compromise in the customary substance of each of these degrees individually. Additionally, the curricular emphasis develops in the trainee the unique professional role perspective of the clinician/scientist/scholar. It also develops a particular appreciation for the urgent and unsolved health problems that are present in the population served by the Howard University Hospital and its affiliated clinical programs. Application Process Graduate departments that currently invite applications for Ph.D. study in this program are: Anatomy, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Genetics and Human Genetics, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Biophysics. The steps in the application process are as follows:

  • Complete all aspects of the application for medical school. Submit a brief letter of interest in applying for the M.D. Ph.D. programs to the program director. The M.D./Ph.D. program committee will review the application to medical school. If a candidate meets the minimum eligibility criteria, he/she will receive a supplemental application for the combined program. The program committee may invite a candidate for a visit to the campus for an interview.
  • Concurrent with the visit, a candidate will also be invited to apply to the graduate department of his/her choice through the Graduate School.

The application for the M.D./Ph.D. program should be returned to:
Verle Headings, M.D., Ph.D.
Director M.D./Ph.D. Program
Howard University College of Medicine
520 W Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059
(202) 806-6381


4th and College Streets,  NW,  
Washington DC 20059   
Voice: 202-806-7469
Fax: 202-806-4664
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