Master of Science
Main Campus - Melbourne

Master of Science in Biochemistry

An applicant for admission to the master's program in biochemistry should have an undergraduate degree in biochemistry, chemistry or in a related area. Typically, a minimum of eight semester courses should have been taken in four of the five major fields of chemistry: organic, analytical, physical, inorganic and biochemistry (required); as well as appropriate courses in mathematics and physics. Applicants may be admitted on a provisional basis with the requirement that undergraduate deficiencies be corrected during the first year of study. Proficiency examinations are administered to all new students the week before the beginning of classes as an aid in planning each program of study.

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section of the university catalog. All admitted students are enrolled in the nonthesis option by default.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Biochemistry is based on successful completion of either a thesis option requiring a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours following an approved program plan, a research proposal, thesis and oral examination in defense of the thesis; or a nonthesis option requiring 30 graduate credit hours following an approved program plan that includes the 3-credit hour Chemical Research Project (CHM 5095), and a final program examination. Students will be placed in the nonthesis option by default.

Thesis Option (department head approval required)

A thesis based on research conducted in residence at Florida Tech under the direction of a member of the chemistry department graduate faculty is required. During the first academic semester, the student selects a faculty member to serve as research advisor. During the same semester and with the assistance of the advisor, the student selects an advisory committee, prepares a program plan and defines a research topic. The student then progressively continues through the stages of research proposal, research, thesis and oral examination. Throughout this period, the advisory committee provides assistance and direction to the student and serves as the review board for the research proposal, thesis and oral examination.

Nonthesis Option (default option)

The nonthesis option requires advisor guidance in selection of six credit hours of coursework relevant to the student's area of interest, and Chemical Research Projects (CHM 5095) in lieu of the thesis. Research will be primarily literature-based and includes successful completion of a final program examination.


Each student follows an individual program plan. The program plan must have a minimum of 30 credit hours including two of four core chemistry courses, five additional chemistry/biology courses, and nine credit hours of thesis for the thesis option or six credit hours of relevant coursework and CHM 5095 for the nonthesis option. Students in either option must register for Chemistry Graduate Seminar (CHM 5900) each semester offered. All courses selected for inclusion on the program plan are subject to approval by the department head.

The thesis option requires successful completion of 21 semester credit hours and the nonthesis option requires successful completion of 27 semester credit hours from the following course lists. At least six semester credit hours must be taken from the core course list.

Core Courses (minimum of six credit hours from the following)
CHM 5002 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHM 5111 Advanced Physical Chemistry 3
CHM 5304 Advanced Analytical Chemistry 3
CHM 5500 Advanced Organic Chemistry 3


Chemistry/Biology Electives
BIO 4101 Molecular Biology 3
BIO 4201 Immunology 3
BIO 4301 Cell Biology 3
BIO 5012 Protein Biotechnology 3
BIO 5029 Chemical Ecology 3
BIO 5501 Cell and Molecular Biology 3
BIO 5502 Molecular Biology of Signal Transduction 3
BIO 5575 Biology of Cancer 3
BIO 5585 Protein Structure and Function 3
BIO 5630 Sensory Biology   
CHM 5018
Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHM 5201 Green Chemistry 3
CHM 5501 Interpretation of Chemical Spectra 3
CHM 5507 Natural Products 3
CHM 5508 Bioorganic Chemistry 3
CHM 5520
Medicinal Chemistry 3


Technical Elective

The technical elective may be selected from the courses above or other courses offered within the chemistry department or other academic departments. The nonthesis option requires successful completion of Chemical Research Projects (CHM 5095), which focuses on conducting literature research.